First time hanger in NC
Hey - I've been lurking some time on this and a few other forums. Trying to get back into wilderness camping after a 25 year break. I'm just looking for some suggestions on a few break-in target areas. I've done plenty of car camping with the family all over western NC over the years, but I'm looking for this to be a mild wilderness experience. I'm accumulating gear (hammock, bag, stove, water purifier, etc) and need to try it out in a solo, low-moderate risk situation. Eventually I want to go back down into Linville and really explore that area. But for now, I would like:
- foothills or Piedmont of NC (driving from the Triangle)
- a short hike (easy retreat to the car if something serious fails)
- a natural water supply
- and two trees roughly 15 ft apart :D
Welcome from PA. Good luck, start with areas that you can bug out from is things don't go as planned. I would recommend becoming a donating member for great information on your gear that isn't directly related to hammocks.
Welcome from Greensboro. The Uwharrie National Forest is nice and not a bad drive from the Triangle. There is a group hang coming up soon there. It is a great place to get some ideas from more experienced hangers. Lots of fun and good company and eating!
My first overnight as a backpacker and hammocker was in the Birkhead National Forest, which is in the Uwharries. Plenty of creeks there for water and good setup for hammocks. I think it would suit your needs very well.
Paul - I've been to Stone and Doughton quite a bit. Stone's an interesting option.... is camping really limited to the Widow's Creek trail? And I've car camped at Doughton (blah), but wasn't aware of any wilderness camping there. Great links - your write ups help quite a bit.
Hikn - Uwharrie has been on my mind a bit - I've taken the Jeep in there a couple of times, but I don't know much about it at all - except the proximity is about perfect - an hour or so from Chapel Hill.
The Uwharries are not really known for their spectacular vistas, but it is a nice place. I thought it was a great place for my first trip.
Originally Posted by Knoxes
As far as Stone Mtn., the Widow Creek Trail sites are the only primitive/backpacking ones. I have camped in a regular site in December when some areas were closed for the season, but access to trees can be tough if you don't get there to spot a site with some trees. We found a site with trees on the back side right along a creek. The primitive sites are available all year whereas some of the other areas are closed for the winter.
Glad to help.
Agreed, Widows Creek is the only backpacking trail in Stone Mountain.
Another option is South Mountain... I've been there but haven't backpacked yet.
I should also mention... The options I've given so far aren't high on privacy - I see that on your criteria. Not that I found people camping on top of each other... The Doughton primitive area, for example, allows 6 parties in at a time... It is a big group of trees that can easily hold this... just be aware you might not be alone.
So it's the usual cast of characters, I guess. With the exception of Uwharrie, I've spent quite a bit of time in all of those - climbing, fishing or camping. Familiarity is probably wise and in my favor for a first time out. I suppose I ought to take advantage of it.
Thanks for the warm welcome, guys. Very helpful info, too. And a great forum.
Welcome from Raleigh. Both Raven's Rock and Eno River have hike in "easy retreat" sites that are suitable for early solo hikes in my opinion. Also this time of year traffic should be sparse so it will seem wilderness lite possibly.