Hike NC, a free hiking program at state parks across North Carolina, launched its spring season this week.
The program, a collaboration between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and North Carolina State Parks, is designed to make it easy for people to hike and enjoy nature, regardless of their age or level of experience, according to a press release. Organizers hope the program encourages people who might not otherwise consider taking a hike to get outside and explore nature.
The program began in fall 2016 and returns thanks to "overwhelming participation" across the state, the release said. More than 800 people signed up for a guided hike in the fall.
The spring series features more than 60 guided hikes across the state. The hikes are free and led by a park ranger.
“We want North Carolinians to discover what spring has to offer on the trails with friends and family," said Kathy Higgins, Blue Cross’ vice president of Corporate Affairs, in the release.
The Hike NC website has more information about some of the upcoming hikes. The site breaks the state up into six regions, allowing users to select their region and find a hike that works for them.