Blue Cross NC and North Carolina State Parks Bring Back Free Outdoor Hiking Program Across the State for Fall

DURHAM, N.C. — After already helping more than 2,000 North Carolinians enjoy our state’s hiking trails, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) and the North Carolina State Parks are launching more free, guided hikes across the state. The hikes are part of Blue Cross NC’s Hike NC program, which is celebrating its first year this fall. As temperatures cool and leaves burst into color, the more than 60 free, guided hikes will make hiking easier and more accessible for North Carolinians this fall.

Hike NC is part of Blue Cross NC’s efforts to promote health and well-being among North Carolinians. Regular physical activity is shown to help control weight, improve mental health, increase stability and lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.[1]

“Since Hike NC debuted in the fall of 2016, thousands North Carolinians have signed up for a guided hike through the program,” said Kathy Higgins, Blue Cross NC’s vice president of Corporate Affairs. “Hike NC’s success shows how eager North Carolinians are to get outdoors and explore our beautiful state, which inspired Blue Cross NC to keep the program going.”

The program offers something for everyone, with hikes designed for all ages, fitness and experience levels. All hikes are free and led by a trained guide or park ranger. The guided hikes will help participants:

  • Try a new form of physical activity individually or with friends and family members
  • Take a break from busy fall schedules to enjoy the natural wonders of North Carolina
  • Experience changing foliage in North Carolina’s state parks and nature preserves

Explore the outdoors with convenience and ease without the need for any special equipment

The program kicks off again Labor Day weekend and runs through December. North Carolinians can learn more about hikes in their area by viewing the full list at gohikenc.com. Visitors can find hikes by region and sign up for a hike that’s 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 hike.   

Hike NC is a collaboration between our state’s leading hiking experts. All Hike NC hikes are guided by employees from North Carolina State Parks and Joe Miller, author, avid hiker and Chief Exploration Officer at GetGoingNC.com. Hike NC is also supported by Friends of North Carolina State Parks, North Carolina Recreation & Park Association and Great Outdoor Provision Co., Mast General Store.

Blue Cross NC’s Commitment to Keeping North Carolina Healthy

Hike NC is part of Blue Cross NC’s broader Get Outside North Carolina! (GO NC!) program. GO NC! launched in 2012 to encourage North Carolinians to get outside and get active by creating new opportunities for outdoor recreation. As part of GO NC!, Blue Cross NC has also:

  • Launched North Carolina’s first bike-sharing program, B-cycle, in Uptown Charlotte
  • Expanded the art park at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh by adding a two-mile “Blue Loop” walking and biking trail
  • Completed the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail that connects Wrightsville Beach to downtown Wilmington with a paved biking and running trail
  • Added 1.4 miles of trails, additional outdoor learning space and a Walk of the Week educational program at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham
  • Introduced PlayPrints, a series of colorful ground markings and game installations across North Carolina parks
  • Funded the extension of the Middle Fork Greenway between Blowing Rock and Boone

To learn more about Hike NC, visit gohikenc.com. Join the conversation online by following #HikeNC.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities by providing innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.74 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. We have been recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute every year since 2012. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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[1] The Benefits of Physical Activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2015. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/