What we're about

Our goal is to help you explore on foot the abundance of wonderful natural places North Carolina has to offer. If you're a beginner, we'll make sure that you never hike alone (unless you want to!). We'll also teach you how to become an intrepid hiker capable of exploring wherever (the rugged Linville Gorge Wilderness, for instance) and whenever (at night!). We're aided in our efforts to get out and explore by Great Outdoor Provision Co., which provides us space for clinics and meetings, and pays the fee for our Meetup site.

Upcoming events (3)

Lunch with GetHiking! Long Hikes

Online event

Maybe your hikes have been in the 3- to 5-mile category so far this fall. But lately, as cool fall weather has finally settled in, you’ve felt you’d like to hike farther, spend more time on the trail under those clear, crisp skies. At this week's GetHiking! Lunch we discuss what to consider as you start hiking longer as well as some of our favorite Piedmont hikes in the 5- to 10-mile range.
In our Gear Talk with Trusty segment, Johanna Breed with Great Outdoor Provision Co. talks fleece appropriate for these long fall hikes.

GetBackpacking! Weekend Quick Escape to Rock Castle Gorge (Virginia)

Rock Castle Gorge, East Trailhead

$105.00

IMPORTANT NOTE: Signing up here does not guarantee you a spot on this trip; to officially register, go to https://getgoingnc.com/shop/getbackpacking-weekend-quick-escape-rock-castle-gorge-2/

Bemoaning the fact you haven't been able to backpack much this year and worry that it's too late to go now — especially if you're not used to hiking with 35 pounds on your back? Bemoan no more: our series of fourth-quarter Weekend Quick Escapes returns in 2021, giving you the opportunity to hike a short distance (a quarter mile, in this case), set up camp, and enjoy a weekend of daypack hiking!
Here’s the deal:
* We leave at 5 p.m. Friday, so you shouldn’t have to take time off from work.
* We drive to a trailhead that’s no more than two and a half hours away.
* We hike to a campsite that’s anywhere from a half mile to less than 3. (We’ll be to camp no later than 8 p.m.).
* We set up camp (yes, in the dark; it’s a good skill to have, and easier to learn in a group).
* Saturday, we have the entire day to hike. We’ll hike in day packs, returning to our basecamp at day’s end. Our Saturday hikes will be from 10 to 15 miles.
* Sunday, we do one more short hike before heading home. You’ll be home mid to late afternoon.

It’s the perfect option for backpackers who thought they didn’t have time to plan a fall backpack trip, let alone take one.

Our first trip: Rock Castle Gorge in Virginia. Here’s how this trip will unfold:

Friday: We’ll leave the Triangle at 5 p.m. We’ll arrive at the trailhead to the primitive camping area at the base of the gorge around 7:30 p.m. and hike in the half mile or so on an old roadbed and set up camp.

Saturday: We’ll take on the 10.8-mile Rock Castle Gorge Loop, hiking the trail counter-clockwise from the camping area. It’s mellow at first, then some sturdy climbing up to the ridge. Here, you’re rewarded with passage through ridge-top meadows affording great views, during the height of the fall leaf season, of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. After about four miles of rolling views, we descend down more challenging terrain into the gorge, where the 2.8 miles back to camp is on old roadbed above and along Rock Castle Creek. One of the most scenic hikes in the South.

Sunday: We’ll pack up, be back to the trailhead by 10 a.m., then drive 40 minutes to nearby Fairy Stone State Park for a 5.3-mile hike on the Little Mountain Falls and Turkey Ridge trails, for more fall color.

Cost: $105

Includes: Camping, eguide for the trip detailing all hikes (including a custom map and elevation profile), tips on what to bring and how to dress, information on the terrain we’ll be exploring. We’ll also have a Zoom Trip Planning meeting on Monday, Nov. 15 at 6 p.m. to go over the hike and give tips on how to be ready for a quick Friday escape, hiking and setting up camp at night, and nay unique challenges this trip may present, and more.

Hike is limited to 8 participants.

GetBackpacking! Weekend Escape for Non Backpackers: Rock Castle Gorge

IMPORTANT NOTE: Signing up here does not guarantee you a spot on this trip; to officially register, go to IMPORTANT NOTE: Signing up here does not guarantee you a spot on this trip; to officially register, go to https://getgoingnc.com/shop/getbackpacking-weekend-quick-escape-rock-castle-gorge-for-non-backpackers/

Love the idea of backpacking — of spending the night in a more remote, backcountry site — but not so much the idea of carrying 35 pounds on your back the whole time? With our Weekend Quick Escapes that's not a problem. In fact, not having backpacking gear isn't a problem, either. With our Backpacking for Non-Backpackers program, we provide the key backpacking gear you likely don't have.

First, about the backpacking:

We set you up with the key backpacking gear you likely don’t have, carry it a short distance to basecamp, then we help you set up and show you how to use your equipment. Included in the program:

* Osprey backpack. We have high-quality packs that will fit most hikers comfortably and will hold all the gear you’ll need for the weekend.
* Backpacking tent. If you’ve got a tent, great. But if you need one that’s a little lighter, more compact and will leave room in your pack for more gear (including a “luxury” item or two), we can help you out.
* Sleeping pad. A sleeping pad insulates you from the ground (providing a little more heat) and gives you a soft, more cush night of sleep.
* Stove and cooking kit. We provide a lightweight gas canister stove, the gas canister, a pot, a cup, and an all-purpose eating utensil.

We also provide:
* eguide. The Monday before our weekend trip we will send you an eguide covering:
* Weekend agenda, from meeting time and place, to a brief daily breakdown of our hikes, to maps and route descriptions for each day of the trip.
* What you need to bring. A full list of what you’ll need to bring. You likely have the basic hiking gear; we’ll provide a list of what to bring, including general hiking gear you bring on most trips plus any gear specific to this trip.
* Food recommendations. You can eat well in the backcountry but you have to be smart about it (mainly so your entire pack isn’t filled with food). We’ll go over good breakfast, lunch and dinner options.
* Zoom planning meeting. The Monday before our trip we will conduct a Zoom planning meeting. We will go over the trip, covering many of the items in the eguide. It’s a great opportunity to ask questions about what to expect, and how to pack and prepare for the trip
* Fitting, packing. At the trailhead we will fit you with the pack best suited for you and help you pack it (weight distributions is key — even if you’re only hiking a short distance).
* Cooking. We’ll help you figure out how to work your stove, cook your food and clean up afterward.

Now, about the trip itself:

Friday: We arrive at the trailhead to the primitive camping area at the base of the gorge around 7:30 p.m., hike in the half mile or so on an old roadbed and set up camp.

Saturday: We’ll take on the 10.8-mile Rock Castle Gorge Loop, hiking the trail counter-clockwise from the camping area. It’s mellow at first, then some sturdy climbing up to the ridge. Here, you’re rewarded with passage through ridge-top meadows affording great views, during the height of the fall leaf season, of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. After about four miles of rolling views, we descend down more challenging terrain into the gorge, where the 2.8 miles back to camp is on old roadbed above and along Rock Castle Creek. One of the most scenic hikes in the South.

Sunday: We’ll pack up, be back to the trailhead by 10 a.m., then drive 40 minutes to nearby Fairy Stone State Park for a 5.3-mile hike on the Little Mountain Falls and Turkey Ridge trails, for more fall color.

Cost: $195

There are 4 openings for this trip.

Past events (326)

Lunch with GetHiking! Fall Color in the Piedmont

Online event

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