Fall Hiking Essentials

With cooler weather and changing leaves, it’s the best time of year to explore North Carolina! So, where should you head to this weekend? The Appalachian Mountains and Blue Ridge Parkway might be your first thought, but there are hidden trails all across the state. Here are a few remarkable fall hikes in the North Carolina that you wouldn’t think to explore:

Less than an hour from Raleigh, Raven Rock State Park provides winding trails that overlook the Cape Fear River. The east side trail will lead you to the iconic 150 foot bluff, which makes Raven Rock a popular hiking destination. But if you head west on the 5 mile Campbell Creek Loop, you will wander into a forest full of fall color. The west side’s rocky trails rate moderate in difficultly, but the creek side hike makes for a beautiful day in Raven Rock.

After an hour and half drive towards Halifax County, you will find a trail that is a hidden gem - Medoc Mountain State Park. “Out of sight, out of mind” is said to be their motto, since it is close to towns that many are not familiar with. But, during this time of year it’s “a picture chock full of reds and yellows from the sweet gum, river birch, ironwood and alder that dominate the lowlands.” Take a hike to the top of the bluffs to overlook Little Fishing Creek, visit the giant white oaks, and see what remains of one of the nation’s first vineyards. Begin at the main meadow parking lot to start at Discovery Loop, then head to Summit Loop for the most exposure to the park’s best attributes.  

A beach trip in fall? Yes, Carolina Beach State Park is full of Turkey Oaks – some of the most colorful trees during fall. Overlooking Cape Fear River, Sugarloaf Trail is lined with these and others to provide you a scenic hike on the coast. The trail climbs the 50 foot Sugarloaf Dune, a vital post during the Civil War, passes several ponds, and travels through a pine forest with a white carpet of sand. Before leaving, take the half-mile detour to Flytrap Trail to check out their iconic Venus flytrap. So, although the coast isn’t your first idea of a fall hike, add Carolina Beach State Park to your list to catch the beginning of fall color along the Carolina coast.

Pick a destination and create an adventure this weekend! And don’t worry we have everything you need at Apex Outfitter with new arrivals from Patagoina, Mountain Hardwear, Kuhl, The North Face, and more. Here are our go to pieces for versatility while hiking and creating adventures this fall:

Patagonia Better Sweater ¼ Zip Pullover: Once you put it on you will understand why this is an essential. A jacket that combines the easy case of fleece with the warmth of wool, the Better Sweater collection from Patagonia is great for layering during fall. At Apex Outfitter, we are all about versatility and this pullover is one you will wear out to dinner, just as much as you’ll wear on weekend hikes. The sweater-like appearance looks just as good with jeans, as it does with Kuhl Ryder pants for a day on the trails.

Maybe you need more warmth for a weekend long adventure. Then you’ll want to check out our collection of Nano jackets from Patagonia. The new technology of synthetic down provides warmth without bulk and the DWR coating allows you to get caught in an afternoon storm. The Nano Air’s catch phrase of “Put it on, Leave it on” describes the breathability the jacket gives, while the stretch and technicality of the seams allows for movement during all day treks. With windier conditions, Patagonia’s Nano Puff jacket is the better option – both water and wind resistant. The Nano Puff is filled with PrimaLoft Gold insulation that is ideal as an outer layer in colder climates. Trap heat, even when wet this season in Patagonia’s Nano Air or Nano Puff jackets.

What to wear under your jacket? Fjord Flannels are our favorite fall essential at Apex Outfitter. The soft, warm flannel is ideal for grabbing drinks, hiking trails, or hanging by the campfire. Available for both men and women, you will want the Fjord Flannel in multiple prints and solids for the cooler weather that’s sneaking in. Check out our selection online before they are gone!

And for all the adventurous guys - Take one look at Kuhl Ryder Pants and you’ll realize they are much tougher than the denim in your closet. The anatomical design follows your natural movements, allowing for ultimate fit and comfort. Whether you are chopping firewood, walking the dog, or climbing boulders Kuhl’s Ryder pants will take you from one adventure to the next.

Don’t forget your accessories. At Apex Outfitter you can grab last minute necessities that you probably forgot. From knives and water filters to Yeti coolers and Hydroflasks, we have the small things that make a big difference outdoors.

So, pack your bags and explore new trails this weekend! And make sure to tag us in your adventures with #apexoutfitter #notyouraverageoutfitter.
Kyle Denis
Kyle Denis


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