Tuesday, January 31, 2012

100 Things to do (Outside!) in 2012

As winter comes back to Western North Carolina, you may be stuck inside thinking about what you'll do once you do finally get to get back out. Well, the folks over at Blue Ridge Outdoors (a great, free publication you should pick up at your favorite gear store every month) have put together a list of 100 things to do outside in 2012, broken down by month.

The whole list can be found over at the BRO 100 site.

Here are 11 of our favorites for the rest of the year:


11. Paddle at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.
The center in Charlotte, N.C., includes an artificial class II-IV whitewater river, along with hiking, mountain biking, and climbing on the 400 surrounding acres.

14. Learn to roll a kayak. Visit the Nantahala Outdoor Center or Endless River Adventures in Western North Carolina, D.C.’s Potomac Paddlesports, Richmond’s Adventure Challenge, or join the Georgia Canoeing Association in Atlanta.


28. Get dirty.
The Goodwill Mud Run in Greenville, S.C. offers several race categories, including “Out for Blood” for competitive athletes and “What Were We Thinking?” and “If We’re Not Back in an Hour and a Half, Come Find Us!” divisions for less experienced folk. April 14-15.


36. Hike through Joyce Kilmer’s old-growth forest. California has their giant redwoods and sequoias. We’ve got our 400-year-old tulip poplars and hemlocks. These old-growth wonders eluded the axe and stand mighty and proud in a secluded corner of North Carolina.


45. Sleep in a hammock. String up a hammock between two trees and prepare for a night beneath the stars. (Beside a lake like Fontana or Santeetlah here in WNC!)


54. Cliff jump. Head up to St. Mary’s Wilderness in George Washington National Forest. Drive right up St. Mary’s Road, park, and take the St. Mary’s Falls Trail for a mile to a refreshing and remote dip. You can get your cliff jumping jollies out here too.


61. Stargaze. Bring a bit of strong drink, a pair of binoculars, and somebody close to you. Big Huckleberry Knob off of the Cherohala skyway in Graham County offers 360-degree views on a mile-high mountain vista.


71. Hike the other A.T. The 288-mile Benton Mackaye Trail runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Davenport Gap on the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You could refer to this trail as the sister trail to the Appalachian Trail–it was even conceived by the same man who inspired the Appalachian Trail. This trail crosses through some of the most secluded wilderness areas in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.


89. Squirrel-approved adventure. Navitat’s zip lines, just 20 minutes north of Asheville, N.C., span over 1,000 feet of fall foliage canopy. For added thrill, try zipping at night.

90. Witness the weird.The best time to view the mysterious Brown Mountain Lights is in the fall, so make it a Halloween experience.


93. Night rides. The edginess of night is often the best way to amplify any experience. And that applies to mountain biking as well. You’ll want a headlamp with at least 200-300 lumens.


97. Holiday hiking. Choose your favorite day hike trail and try it out in the winter.

Try to cross off as many of these as you can...we are shooting for at least one adventure a month!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Frosty Foot Trail Race - 8k 30k & 50k

It looks like we missed the registration this year for the Tsali Frosty Foot trail race, at least for the 8k and 30k races. However, if you're the adventurous type, there is are still two spots for the 50k (31 miles!). If you don't run this year, put it on your to-do list for next year like I am going to do.

The race is this Saturday, January 7th at the Tsali recreation area in Swain County, NC. This area is world renowned for its single-track mountain biking trails and is also great for hiking and running. We have discovered how much fun running these trails is this summer and fall. You can adjust your mileage using the shortcuts to make your hikes or runs as long or short as you want. And because the bike trail schedule alternates, you can find a trail to yourself if you're on foot.

Register and get more information at the official Frosty Foot website.

More general information on the Tsali recreation area can be found this website or information on mountain biking at Mountain Bike WNC.

Cheoah River Release Dates 2012

The release dates have been set for the Cheoah River in Graham County. This river has been described as one of the best in the Southeast, comparing with the big waters of the Western states. The crowds of kayakers and rafters have grown over the past few years since commercial rafting started up on this river...come get in on the fun!

February 25 & 26 (Saturday & Sunday)
March 17, 18 & 19 (Saturday, Sunday & Monday)
April 14, 15 & 16 (Saturday, Sunday & Monday)
April 28 & 29 (Saturday & Sunday)
May 5 & 6 (Saturday & Sunday)
May 19 & 20 (Saturday & Sunday)
May 26 & 27 (Saturday & Sunday)
July 7 & 8 (Saturday & Sunday)
September 1 (Saturday)
November 3 (Saturday)

And...we're back!

Wow, time gets away from us all. I realized that it has been more than a year since we posted to this blog. Amber is in graduate school now and between that and moving to a new house, we have just let this site fall to the wayside. However, it was great to log in and see that people have been discovering the site and have actually been commenting. I am very sorry to everyone who asked for advice that I haven't replied to in the past year.

I'm making it my new year's resolution to keep up with this site a lot more. We have recently discovered our love for running and ran our first half marathon this past November and I'm sure we will have a lot more to say about that in the coming months.

So, sorry again and thanks for stopping by! Come back often for more great North Carolina adventures.