Free Outdoor Hiking Program Back In Area

The return of spring is the perfect time to get outside and check out what’s blooming around the Triangle and across the state. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross) and North Carolina State Parks announced the return of Hike NC, the free hiking program that makes it easier for participants to hike and enjoy nature regardless of age or experience level.

Hike NC’s spring season offers a series of more than 60 guided hikes throughout the state. Hikes give North Carolinians who might otherwise be hesitant about exploring the outdoors an opportunity to be active and focus on their health and well-being. Hike NC debuted in fall 2016 and is back because of overwhelming participation across North Carolina.

Hike NC makes hiking convenient and achievable for all North Carolinians. There’s something for everyone, with hikes designed for all ages, fitness levels and hiking experience. All hikes are free, and each hike is led by a trained guide or park ranger. The guided hikes help participants:

• Try a new form of physical activity individually or with friends and family members

• Take a break from busy schedules to enjoy the natural wonders of North Carolina

• Experience spring beauty in North Carolina’s state parks and nature preserves

• Explore the outdoors with convenience and ease without the need for any special equipment “Hike NC’s fall launch was a success, with more than 800 people across the state signing up for a guided hike,” said Kathy Higgins, Blue Cross’ vice president of Corporate Affairs. “We want North Carolinians to discover what spring has to offer on the trails with friends and family. Hike NC not only gets people outside and active but also allows them to explore their breathtaking state in a unique way.”

Hike NC is part of Blue Cross’ efforts to promote health and wellbeing among North Carolinians. Regular physical activity is shown to help control weight, improve mental health, increase stability and lower the risks of heart disease and cancer.

Spring hikes run through mid-June. Residents can learn more about hikes in their areas by viewing the full list at gohikenc.com. Visitors can find hikes by region and sign up for hikes that are right for them, based on distance, time, location and level of trail difficulty. After people sign up online, they’ll simply need to show up, meet their guide and begin hiking.

Hike NC is a collaboration with leading hiking experts across the state. Guides from N.C. State Parks will lead hikes and foster memorable experiences for hikers.

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