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  • Fall Paddle Destinations
    Summer is on the way out While it s sad to see the days get shorter the weather in Fall is prime for... read more
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    It was Tuesday afternoon and it looked like the bands of rain that Irma brought us were blowing out ... read more
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From the Mountains to the Sea

Summer is on the way out as we approach the end of August. As always, it seemed to fly by way too quickly. But it's always nice to transition from the muggy days of late summer into the dry, cooler days of early Fall.  I got a taste of it last week when we spent five days in the mountains. One of the great aspects of living in North Carolina, is being able to leave the coast in the morning and be in the mountains by lunch. The transition, in such a small amount of time is drastic. Leaving Wilmington with temperatures in the upper nineties, we arrived in Blowing Rock with highs in the mid seventies.  Hiking is our main activity during our time in the mountains, and we tackled some impressive terrain. The 5 mile Boone Fork Trail in the Julian Price Park is a high point. This loop trail follows takes you through a canopy of rhododendron with numerous creek crossings and scenic views of waterfalls. It's a challenging five miles of hiking, but well worth the effort put in. Biking the Virginia Creeper Trail is also an experience not to be missed. There are several bike options here, but the most popular route is from White Top Mountain down to the town of Damascus. This 18 mile ride is almost entirely down hill, and tracks mountain streams, waterfalls and numerous bridge crossings with scenic views of the valley below. After stretching our legs out on the Creeper, we continued hiking. Accessing the Tanawa Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway, we hiked up to Rough Ridge. At the top is an extensive boardwalk providing panoramic views of Grandfather Mountain and the surrounding mountains. With the leaves already beginning to drop, it felt like Fall had arrived. Heading back to the coast, the temperatures steadily climbed back into the nineties. But it won't be long before Fall makes it's way back into Southeastern North Carolina.

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Summer is on the way out. While it's sad to see the days get shorter, the weather in Fall is prime for paddling. In fact, October, November and December are ideal months to paddle in Southeastern...

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Scott Schmolesky has been kayaking for over 20 years and has been an instructor the last ten. Most recently he started the outfitter and guide service, The Expedition Organization which offers guided kayak programs in Southeastern, North Carolina. His paddling adventures have taken him through Australia, Europe, and throughout the U.S. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can read more of his articles here.

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