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Hello and welcome to my hiking and traveling site, Take A Hike.  My name is Justin and I love to travel and hike to see new places.  I live in Raleigh, North Carolina, so most of the pages I've created are dedicated to that region.  I made this website to share my adventures with the world through photographs and custom maps of the locations I've visited.  I originally developed this site as a single, central location to keep all of my maps, photos, and information I've collected in my travels.  Now, I hope to share my passion for the outdoors and all things nature and hope some of this information can help others.

Many of the pages are in varying levels of completeness.  This is due to my busy schedule with work as well as spending most of my free time hiking and being outdoors, leaving little time to work on this site.  But as I find some time here and there, I will continue to update and improve the site.  All of the maps and information are as accurate as possible, but sometimes GPS devices make errors and trail routes can change.  I've included links to the official websites for all the destinations so I would encourage any user of my site to check with the official website to ensure no changes have been made.

To navigate the site, click the Locations tab above to bring up a master list of all the locations that I have created pages for.  Or read some of the blog entries from some of my most recent adventures.

  • Pettigrew Hikes Sunday, we woke up and broke camp.  It had rained overnight but was just foggy by morning.  The office is closed on weekends but they have pre-printed stamps for Alex's passport.  Then we followed the Lake Shore boardwalk back to Somerset Place and started hiking the Bee Tree Trail.  In about a half-mile, there was a parking area and a boardwalk went out to a view on the lake.  Looking northeast, I could see the boat ramp where I had watched the sunset the night before.  Back on the main trail, we came to the split shortly and went straight to the Bee Tree Overlook.  Unfortunately, there was construction and the overlook was closed.  So we went ...
    Posted Apr 12, 2019, 4:04 PM by Justin P
  • Jockey's Ridge Hikes Sandy had Saturday off so we took Alex to the coast for some beach hiking and camping.  We left early in the morning, arriving at Jockey's Ridge State Park just before 10.  The first order of business was getting Alex's passport stamped.Then we started hiking the Tracks in the Sand Trail that led through a small maritime forest to the dunes.This area is somewhat of a surreal landscape hiking across the dunes.The harsh environment is mostly devoid of life.  For a moment, it was easy to imagine being in the desert.The short trail turns around at the sound.We saw a pair of ospreys in their nest over the water.The trail led along ...
    Posted Apr 14, 2019, 2:59 PM by Justin P
  • Wildflowers in Cary Sunday, we took Alex to go on some short wildflower hikes near Cary.  Our first stop was at Crowder District Park off Ten-Ten Road.  After parking, we hiked the Outer Loop around the perimeter of the park.  Near the pond, some cherry trees were blooming.Taking the Inner Loop around the pond led to the boardwalk and nice views of Crowder Pond.The pollen was starting to fall and it was all over the pond and paved trail.Back around the pond, we took the unpaved Coopers Hawk Trail and connected back with the Outer Loop to finish up.  Next, we made the short drive to Swift Creek Bluffs Nature Preserve.  This would be the sixth and final hike ...
    Posted Apr 4, 2019, 2:35 PM by Justin P
  • Haw River Trail Sunday, I headed to Burlington to hike a section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail following the Haw River Trail.  I parked at the Indian Valley Drive Paddle Access, the northern terminus of the trail.  The trail followed the river closely then led along Whispering Wind Road and then around the perimeter of a golf course.  After this, it came to Great Bend Park.  The river was really scenic.Further into the park was the Glencoe Mill Dam, a beautiful old dam just upstream of Glencoe.I walked the short Island Trail out to the end and then left the park.  From here, the trail led through Glencoe and then back along the river.  Some pretty bloodroot was blooming along ...
    Posted Mar 24, 2019, 2:19 PM by Justin P
  • Pilot Creek Hike Saturday, we took Alex to get another stamp in his passport at Pilot Mountain State Park.  Since the last time we visited, another trail has opened.  We parked at the Pilot Creek Access off Boyd Nelson Road.  The Pilot Creek Trail leads three miles to the park's campground through the northwest corner of the park.  Right at the start, there were a number of daffodils blooming in an open area.The trail crossed several little tributaries of Pilot Creek on its way to the main part of the park.An old dilapidated cabin was just off the trail about half way.Near the end, we saw the wheels of an old carriage of some sorts.When we reached Grindstone ...
    Posted Mar 20, 2019, 4:48 PM by Justin P
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