Come celebrate North Carolina's Year of the Trail with a weekend of exploring the state's Coastal Plain! We kick off the weekend with a night hike around a mysterious Carolina Bay Friday evening. Saturday, we have guided hikes at two state parks, a state natural area, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and a state educational forest (in addition to a guided flatwater paddle trip and a mountain bike ride), followed by an evening of live music and great local food. Sunday, we provide all the information you need to explore on your own.
In addition, we'll have local craft and outdoor vendors at our basecamp Saturday during the day in Elizabethtown and Saturday evening in nearby White Lake.
Late February is a great time to explore North Carolina's Coastal Plain, with skies typically sunny and daytime highs near 60. Ideal conditions for exploring roughly 70 miles of local trail.
Options for beginning and experienced hikers alike.
Here's a full agenda for the weekend:
3 – 7 p.m. – Check-in at the Trail Weekend Headquarters at the Cape Fear Farmers Market, 106 MLK Dr., Elizabethtown and then explore this quaint town filled with locally owned shop and great places to eat. Welcome, food, vendors, information on Saturday events, information on DIY events
5:30 p.m. -- Kickoff in downtown Elizabethtown featuring Earl B. Hunter Jr., founder of Black Folks Camp, Too, who will speak on, "Increasing More Unity in the Outdoor Community and Beyond: Campfire Conversations with Black Folks Camp Too."
6:30 p.m. – Night hike at Jones Lake State Park, Cedar Loop Trail
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Trail Weekend Headquarters is open. Food, Vendors, information on Saturday events, information on DIY hikes 106 MLK Dr., Elizabethtown.
10 a.m. – Hike at Jones Lake State Park on the 4-mile Bay Trail
11 a.m. – Guided mountain bike ride at Browns Creek Nature Park and Bike Trail
12:30 p.m. – Guided paddle on Jones Lake State Park
1 p.m. – Reading by local author at Bladen County Public Library
2 p.m. – Guided hike on the statewide Mountains-to-Sea Trail
3 p.m. – Guided hike at Bay Tree Lake State Natural Area
4 p.m. – Guided hike at Singletary Lake State Park
4 – 8 p.m. Trail Weekend Headquarters Moves to White Lake. New location is Camp Clearwater, 2038 White Lake Drive, Elizabethtown
4 p.m. – Guided hike on White Lake multi-use path
5:30 – 7 p.m. – Mountain-to-Sea Trail Fundraiser at Camp Clearwater. Join us for some Southern Comfort Cuisine and fellowship as we share our experiences in Mother Nature’s Playground.
6-8 p.m. Live music – Band TBA
Self-guided hikes, with information provided.
These Year of the Trail events are part of the N.C. Trails Day Festival in Elizabethtown/White Lake sponsored in part by the N.C. Department of Natual and Cultural Resources' Hometown Strong program.