Into The Woods

Into The Woods: PBS North Carolina’s latest program highlights the trails of North Carolina
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In August, PBS North Carolina released Ten to Try: Trails, a documentary that follows a variety of paths around the state, including hiking, biking, boating, and more. It’s the second installment of the network’s Ten to Try series, a program that features a variety of adventuring opportunities in the state. The documentary’s theme was chosen to align with North Carolina’s Year of the Trail, an initiative designed to celebrate the area’s network of trails, greenways, and blueways.

“Our goal was to showcase the variety of trails in North Carolina,” explains Jeremiah McLamb, the show’s director. “Within that, too, we really wanted to highlight some stories as well,” he continues. Rather than have a single narrator for the documentary, the team instead found local experts and enthusiasts to guide the crew along the different pathways. Each has their own history with the area, and by learning from so many different people, Ten to Try: Trails showcases the cultural diversity found within the state. 

Of the 10 pathways shown in the documentary, three are located in Western North Carolina: the Daniel Boone Scout Trail on Grandfather Mountain, Spearfinger at Fire Mountain Trails in Cherokee, and Three Waterfalls Hike in DuPont State Forest.

Daniel Boone Scout Trail  » Hiking
Preeminent author and outdoorsman Randy Johnson takes the audience to the top of Grandfather Mountain to see breathtaking views. It’s a moderately strenuous hike and features ladders and cables, but if you can make the journey, the view from Calloway Peak is well worth it. Park in the Boone Fork Parking Area and follow the Tanawha Trail south for 0.6 miles to access the trailhead.

Spearfinger at Fire Mountain Trails » Biking
Follow along this out-and-back, 1.1 mile bike trail with Laura Blythe, program director of the Cherokee Historical Association, and Jeremy Hyatt, secretary of operations of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and land manager of Fire Mountain Trails. Built by the EBCI, Spearfinger pushes 500 feet in elevation, and its downhill experience is perfect for all levels of riders. Park at Fire Mountain’s trailhead and follow Lazy Elk trail to access Spearfinger.

Three Waterfalls Hike  » Hiking
Also known as Triple Falls, Three Waterfalls has quite a claim to fame, since it’s been featured in many cinematic hits, including The Hunger Games and Last of the Mohicans. Vivianette Ortiz Caraballo, executive director of Latinx hiking club Latinos Aventureros en las Carolinas, hikes along the four-mile trek to see three of the area’s most stunning waterfalls. Start from either High Falls Access Area and Hooker Falls Access Area to reach each point on this 2.2 mile journey.