An avid outdoorsman, Carl Shane Kistel is also a North Carolina native who has spent the majority of his free time since childhood in nature. He believes his state is one of the best in the entire country for recreational activities and explains why below.
North Carolina is the 28th largest state by area and the 9th-most populated in America, and it’s gained a reputation for offering some of the best recreation around. Native Carl Shane Kistel explains that this is mainly due to the variety of terrain and the mild weather throughout the year.
“People who like to spend time outside usually like to experience many terrains and all four seasons if they can,” says Carl Shane Kistel, “and that’s exactly what North Carolina has to offer.”
The state has a clear summer, spring, fall, and winter and delivers sunshine and clear skies as well as occasional snow and thunderstorms. People who live in or visit the state can rent cabins in the mountains or find lodging on coastal sandy beaches. North Carolina’s mountains often act as a shield to block the low temperatures and storms coming in from the Midwest so that the weather remains mild.
Carl Shane Kistel is a professional tour guide who regularly takes guests on hiking trails through forests, along rivers, and up mountains to witness all the sights North Carolina has to offer. In his excursions, he connects guests intimately with nature and takes them past local landmarks hiding off the beaten path.
“There’s so much to enjoy out here, whether it’s lakes and rivers or hills and mountains–plus all the lush fields and forests you can imagine,” says Carl Shane Kistel. “There are about 40 state parks and recreation areas throughout North Carolina and plenty of land to explore a variety of recreational activities.”
In the state, people can partake in activities such as camping, trail hiking, swimming, fishing, picnicking, rock or mountain climbing, boating and kayaking, and much more. There are even dozens of annual events and programs in the various towns across the state that natives and visitors alike can participate in.
“Some North Carolina state parks include clear rivers to boat down and impressive rock formations to climb, says Carl Shane Kistel. “Rock climbing, bouldering, and rappelling are allowed at places like Chimney Rock, Crowders Mountain, Hanging Rock, Pilot Mountain, and Stone Mountain state parks, and almost all the bodies of water are free for exploration.”
Certain activities may only be open or available to the public during specific months (such as lakes and rivers being temporarily off-limits for the winter season). Kistel advises checking in with the official North Carolina Parks and Rec websites to learn on and off times for recreational activities.
“We have a little slice of everything here in North Carolina while most states only offer people bits of recreation,” says Carl Shane Kistel. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be, and millions of others agree with me.”