Vacation. Holiday. w00t!
On Wednesday, I took the opportunity to head down to Raven Rock State Park to do some light hiking. Gorgeous morning. Crisp. Empty park, when I got there. I only started getting a bit warm, with my jacket on, right before I got back to my car. Took a few pictures.
I'm always amazed when I tell people in the RTP area about Raven Rock, and so few people have heard about it. It's about an hour from the triangle. A nice park with a few miles of hiking trails, most of which take you down to the Cape Fear river. The main place to go is Raven Rock itself, which is a cliff on the river, which you get to via a long set of steps. There's some rocks to climb on for the kids.
North Carolina has a pretty good state park system, with a functional web site listing the parks by name, location via a map, current park conditions, and nice printable PDFs of the individual parks.
Raven Rock is pretty tame, itself, though I took my walking stick, and was able to (=forced to) put it to good use a few times negotiating steps on the trail, and rocks off the trail. For the more adventurous, Hanging Rock provides a fantastic view with a moderate hike. Stone Mountain is one of my favorites; walking stick required, and the landscape at the top of the mountain is strange and gorgeous. Both of those parks are a few hours from the triangle, but worth the trip.