If you’re looking for a way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, then hiking is an ideal option. Not only does it get you out of your apartment, but it also offers picturesque views and varying terrain.
If you’re not looking for something too far from NYC, then there are a few hiking areas near me that are just a short drive away. Here are some of the best trails in the area.
Wilson Creek Wild And Scenic River Area
Wilson Creek Wild And Scenic River Area is an ideal hiking destination for anyone who loves nature and adventure. This beautiful area in the Grandfather District of Pisgah National Forest is home to world-class trout fishing and a wide variety of hiking trails. The area is also popular for camping, and has several campgrounds that are open to the public.
In 2000, Wilson Creek was added to the National Wild and Scenic River System. It flows 23 miles from its headwaters below Calloway Peak to the confluence with Johns River. It is classified as a Wild 4.6 mile section, a Scenic 2.9 mile section, and a Recreational 15.8 mile section.
The river gorge that stretches through the upper part of the Wilson Creek system is one of the most spectacular in the country. Its boulder-clad walls tumble and twist to form cascades, falls and pools that make it perfect for kayakers.
Anglers can fish the Wilson Creek Gorge year round for a variety of trout species, including rainbow and brown trout, and brook trout. The state stocks Wilson Creek heavily.
On its upper end, Wilson Creek flows through private property for 4-miles before it emerges to the public as a larger flow. During that stretch, it is managed under catch-and-release, single-hook, artificial-only regulations and features small stream-born brown trout that are plentiful.
It then flows through the Wilson Creek Gorge for another 3 miles, with a small but colorful collection of waterfalls and plunge pools that make it an enjoyable place to kayak. The rocky gorge is a popular destination for summer recreation, and visitors can find a variety of camping sites and hiking trails in the area.
After the gorge, Wilson Creek flows for 5 miles down to the Adako community. The last mile of this section is stocked by the state and offers anglers a chance to keep a trout for dinner.
This donation will complete a segment of protected public lands along the Wilson Creek, extending the conservation footprint of the land trust and its partners, Foothills Conservancy executive director Andrew Kota said. The organization and its partners have been preserving land and water in the Wilson Creek watershed since 2006.
Earth Day marked an unusual and significant donation from longtime environmental steward Tim Sweeney to the Morganton-based nonprofit land trust, Foothills Conservancy. The 322-acre gift averts the need for years of fundraising campaigns, seeking grants and applying for loans to purchase the property. It fills a gap in the protection of a highly significant section of the Wilson Creek watershed that borders on three sides by the Pisgah National Forest.
South Mountains State Park
Located in Burke County, this state park is an ideal location for anyone who loves to hike. It offers over 40 miles of trails for hiking, equestrians and mountain bikers. There are also a number of backpacking campsites at different locations throughout the park.
Hiking the trails of South Mountains is an excellent way to get out into nature and enjoy the beautiful scenery in North Carolina. The park has numerous waterfalls and other scenic features to see, as well as plenty of trails for a variety of levels of difficulty.
Most of the trails start from the Jacob Fork parking area, and they climb through oak, hickory and pine forests. You can also find wildflowers and other types of plants as you hike through the woodlands.
The park’s most notable feature is the High Shoals Falls, which has a stream of water falling 80 feet over a cliff face of bare rock. The falls are an ideal place to take a break, relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the park.
For more information on hiking trails in the park, check out the website. You can also visit the visitor center to learn more about the park’s history and wildlife.
In addition to being an excellent place for hiking, the park is a great destination for families and visitors looking to explore the outdoors. There are a number of campsites for people to stay at, and kids can enjoy a variety of fun activities at the park’s environmental education center.
If you’re planning on going to the park with your dog, be sure to bring their leash and a bowl of water for them to drink. This will help to keep them happy and avoid any potential accidents.
The most popular trail in the park is the one to the High Shoals Falls, but there are a number of other trails as well. You can also go on a hike to Chestnut Knob for panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and peaks.
The park is open year-round, and it’s easy to get to from Charlotte. It’s a short drive from the city, so you can easily plan a day trip to this hiking area with your family.
Landsford Canal State Park
Landsford Canal State Park in Catawba, South Carolina is a great place to hike. The park is home to the last of a dozen 19th century river canals built along the Catawba River. The canal and the river itself are well preserved, and several hiking trails follow the canal and the Catawba River.
A trip to Landsford Canal State Park can be done anytime of the year. However, during late May or early June the area is a flower lover’s dream. This is because the park is home to the largest outcropping of Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies in the country.
These flowers bloom from mid-May through mid-June, so plan a visit for this time frame to see them. There are three different hiking trails at Landsford Canal State Park: The Canal Trail (1.5 miles one way), the Nature Trail (0.6 miles one way), and the Eagle Point Trail (0.2 miles one way).
The Canal Trail is the most popular trail and follows the canal as it passes the Lockkeeper’s house. During this hike, you can also take a look at the original stonework and locks on the canal.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing hike, the Nature Trail is a more laid-back option and takes you to a viewing platform for the Rocky Shoals Spider Lilies. This trail is also a good choice for families as it’s easy to see the birds and other wildlife along the path.
There is also a bald eagle nest located at the park. The female eagle has laid eggs every February since the 1990s and her fledglings learn to fly by late May.
Besides the beautiful hiking trails, there are plenty of things to do at Landsford Canal State Park. You can visit the ruins of a 19th century canal, kayak on the river, and enjoy some bird watching.
You can also book a picnic table or shelter for your group. There are five picnic tables with charcoal grills and one covered shelter that can be reserved ahead of time for about $25 per day.
The park is also home to a pair of resident bald eagles who have chosen to stay in the same spot for their entire lives. They mate and raise their young here, so you can get a close-up view of these birds from the park trails.
High Shoals Falls
High Shoals Falls State Park is a great hiking area that offers plenty of trails and opportunities for camping. You can find more than a dozen campsites here, and the trails are all well-marked, so you'll have no trouble finding your way around.
If you're looking for an easy hike, try the 2.9-mile River Trail that begins at the parking lot and runs along the Jacob Fork River. It's flat with few roots and rocks, and it has an observation deck at the end.
You can also take the 0.3-mile Hemlock Nature Trail (easy), which begins at the SW corner of the parking lot, or the 2.6-mile Chestnut Knob Trail (strenuous), which crosses over High Shoals Creek. The 0.2-mile Big Bear Trail leads to another waterfall, appropriately named Big Bear Falls.
There's also a 1.4-mile rock hop called Possum Trail, which is a nice option if you're looking for a less strenuous hike with lots of natural terrain. The path splits off from Shinny Trail just before the T intersection, and it can be a good choice for experienced backpackers.
The trail is a little rocky, but it's generally an easy rock hop. There's also a water crossing where the trail splits from Shinny Trail. https://www.bramverweij.com/best-9-outdoor-pool-tables-for-your-bac...
Eventually, the path crosses over a small bridge over Shinny Creek. After a few more crossings, you'll come across the base of High Shoals Falls. This waterfall is incredibly beautiful in the fall, and it's easy to get to from the hiking trail.
Hikers should take note that this trail is very popular and can become very crowded, so plan your trip accordingly. Make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water, and be aware that there are steep stairs up to the viewing platform for the waterfall.
Once you've reached the top, you can go back down to the parking area or keep on going to explore the rugged gorge that lies below High Shoals Falls. There are 10-20 foot cascades in the river, making it an incredibly scenic backdrop.
The trail to the base of the waterfall is a little difficult and has some steep steps, but it's a rewarding hike that draws a lot of visitors. It's best to arrive early or on a weekday to avoid crowds.
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