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Meditation Hike @ Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve

Back in April of last year, we kicked off the SPINMO group by walking at Hemlock Bluffs on the Swift Creek Loop Trail (looping 3 times), but for this hike we'll start with the Swift Creek Loop trail (yes, looping 3 times), then continue on with the Beech Tree Cove and Chestnut Oak Loop trails.

The entire walk will be in silence, with different focuses along the way. The first loop of the Swift Creek trail we'll be using the two longer boardwalks for joyous sound (feet and hands only), rhythm and follow-the-leader change-ups ... somehow these just call for celebration in the realm of tap-dancing; for the second loop we'll shift into silence (I'm betting with a "glad heart" from the initial loop); then, with the final loop, we'll start into reflective thought based on the trail signage (taken from a metaphysical viewpoint and focusing on oneself (Oneself?) these signs are absolutely amazing). We'll keep with the silence and signage for the remaining two trails as well. On the trails, there are 6 different observation decks; we'll pause at all of these for several minutes of silence while we look out over the woods. More about all of this when we meet.

The first trail (Swift Creek Loop) has a long flight of stairs that we'll traverse - first down, then up. At the bottom of the stairs, the loop trail is relatively flat and well maintained. With 3 laps, and 2 lookout decks we'll be hiking about 55 minutes (~ 2 miles) including ~10 minutes for the decks (standing in silence). We'll then continue on with the remaining two trails (Beech Tree Cove and Chestnut Oak) where we'll be hiking just over an hour (~ 2 miles) including ~20 minutes for the decks (standing in silence). These trails are fairly well maintained, with many up and down patches; and, 2 of the overlooks have moderate flights of stairs. Plan on about 2-1/2 hours (4 miles) for the entire walk, including journaling at the end.

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  • Marie

    I had a wonderful time. Very peaceful and inspiring. The weather was perfect and Leslie was an inspiring leader. I hope to join the group for many more hikes.

    February 10, 2013

    • Toni

      I totally agree with you!

      February 11, 2013

  • Carl T.

    Another mind/body loosening experience. Wonderful sun and playful. Esp. enjoyed introjecting the signs metaphorically in my current life. Interesting each view of the river led me to a different perspective on life. Thanks Leslie and all who played along.

    February 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nice day for a walk in the woods. I find these walks to be valuable in putting life/stess into perspective while connecting to nature and the other walkers. Thanks again Leslie for putting in the time and effort to organize yet another great experience.

    February 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks Leslie for your thoughtfulness in putting these hikes together. They are inspiring and uplifting.

    February 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was terrific as usual

    February 10, 2013

  • Leslie G.

    What a delightful day. I enjoyed being at the back of the group on the first lap of the boardwalks to see the impromptu dancing and stomping by several members ... I then found it difficult to merely walk these same boardwalks for the next two laps. For me, standing in silence on the various lookout platforms, breathing in the sounds and smells of nature, and embracing the qualities of "peace" and "love" to permiate my upcoming week was deeply connecting. Nice to have 4 new members attend as well.

    February 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The day is great and the meditation/walk was exhilarating.

    February 10, 2013

  • Gurpreet

    Too much to do this weekend. Glad that the person on the waitlist and her guest can get in.

    February 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I heard the town of Cary was planning to do a "controlled burn" at Hemlock Bluffs on Wednesday. I hope it isn't too smokey smelling tomorrow.

    February 9, 2013

    • Leslie G.

      I have learned to just say "yes" to adventures regardless of what Mother Nature (or other factors) throws my way. It will be great tomorrow; and, if they had a burn I'm thankful that it went a bit smoother than the recent one at Pilot Mountain! :)

      February 9, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I cannot believe I did not rsvp previously :\

    February 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm hoping to squeeze in and I look forward to the experiences to come. -Laura

    January 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I cannot believe I did not rsvp previously :\

    January 13, 2013

  • Marie

    I'm excited to join in on my first walk! See everyone there.

    January 7, 2013

  • Jennifer

    Sorry to miss change in plans

    January 5, 2013

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