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February 23, 2013

North Carolina Hiking

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A mountainous, rugged canvas of land spreading from the west, sloping gently in the middle, before fissuring into a watery gap to the east. This is the scene that unfolds before you when you go...

A mountainous, rugged canvas of land spreading from the west, sloping gently in the middle, before fissuring into a watery gap to the east. This is the scene that unfolds before you when you go on a North Carolina hiking trip along the Tar Heel State’s Piedmont Mountain range. This North Carolina hiking trail occupies the heartland of the relatively geological infant range, formed as it was only some 250 million years ago. The Piedmont Mountain range came to be in the wake of similar tectonic buckling that created the Appalachian Mountains to the west, another great site for North Carolina hiking.

North Carolina’s heartland contains its three largest cities – Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro – and consequently its heaviest population density. Naturally, this of course means that the same area plays a prominent role in the state’s commercial fortunes, and has also been the stage for much of North Carolina’s historical and cultural evolution. But more than that, this region’s bustling metropolis lie very close to a landscape of hills, forests, and lakes brimming with North Carolina hiking opportunities.

Charlotte North Carolina Hiking Quick Escapes

Charlotte is one of North Carolina’s busiest cities. But despite that, there are certain pockets in the borders of the city that provide you with the perfect North Carolina hiking quick escape. The 32, 500-acre Lake Normal, located some 35 miles north of the city on I-77, is one of North Carolina’s largest lakes, formed in the sixties when Duke Power Company dammed the Catawba River. In return for flooding the valley, the benevolent company also gifted a parcel of land that now forms Lake Normal State Park, where great North Carolina hiking opportunities await you.

Thirteen of the lake’s 520 miles of shoreline are located within the park. As a pocket of land protected from the spoils of over-development, a North Carolina hiking trip in one of the park trails provide you with excellent spots for solitude and communing with nature.

To access the park for a short North Carolina hiking trip, do it from Exit 42 off I-77. Once you have arrived, make for the trailhead of the 6.5-mile Lakeshore North Carolina Hiking Trail, located at the parking area of the family campground.

North Carolina Hiking Triad: Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point

The triad – the three cities of Winston-Salem, Greensboro, and High Point – has witnesses its share of pivotal moments in U.S. history. Today, it offers one of the best North Carolina hiking you will find in the state.

Located just under one hour north of the Triad is a great North Carolina hiking spot, the Hanging Rock State Park. This North Carolina hiking spot is composed of 6, 921 acres of forest and mountain tucked between Highways 66 and 89. This park was established in the 1930s and sits within the ancient Sauratown Mountain range, named for the Saura Indians who once inhabited the region. Over 18 miles of North Carolina hiking trails thread through the wooded expanse of the park, leading you to waterfalls, caves, and the dramatic outcrop of Hanging Rock itself.

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