Let Mother Earth move you this weekend

While fitness and health experts would like you to get an hour’s exercise a day, they’ll tell you that, above all, the key thing is to just move. With that in mind, here are a number of Earth Day “just move” events this weekend. (Yes, technically Earth Day isn’t until Thursday. But Thursday doesn’t fall on a weekend, this Saturday and Sunday happen to.)

Most involve a short hike, followed by a little talk, maybe another short hike a little more talk. They are not strenuous. They will, however, get you moving.  And if they get you moving to the point you want to move more, I’ve included an option for doing that as well. Events are free unless otherwise noted.

For even more events, visit the state Office of Environmental Education web site.

Friday

Star gazing at the Boulders
Crowders Mountain State Park
Kings Mountain (Charlotte area)
8 p.m.

Doesn’t the weekend technically begin at 5 on Fridays? Which slips this event at the lone bouldering area in the state parks system under the deadline. Meet at the parking area, take a short hike (bring a flashlight or headlamp for the hike out) and check out the constellations.
Move more: You’ll have to come back Saturday to check out Buzzards Roost, where climbing on low rocks without anchors and other protection is allowed. Also: the 6.2-mile Ridgeline Trail, which will take you northeast to King’s Pinnacle, southwest into South Carolina.
Directions here, more info here.

Saturday

2010 Piedmont Earth Fair
Wake Forest University
Winston-Salem
10 a.m.-5 p.m.

There’s no specific physical component to this event (although there are directions for biking to the fair), but you’ll easily put on some miles visiting the 100-plus exhibitors and teaching tents, rambling over to hear the live music (six bands representing everything from Old Time music to “Appalachian Punk”) and checking out the kids exhibits. And yes, while there’s the temptation of food, “The food vendors at the Fair are trying to use as much local produce as possible …” which should translate to fresher and healthier than normal fair fare.
Move more: Stay longer.
Directions here, more info here.

Hike to Sandy Cliff Overlook
Lake James State Park
Nebo
10 a.m.

What better incentive to hike than a vista at trail’s end? This half-mile hike (one mile roundtrip). A ranger shows you the way and shares insights about the lake.
Move more: Lake James has two longer trails, the 1.5-mile Lake Channel Overlook Trail and the 2.2-mile Den Loop Trail.
Directions here, more info here.

Nature Journal Hike — Spring Animal Tracks
Lake Waccamaw State Park
Lake Waccamaw
2 p.m.

The chance to record what you find in the wild — another good incentive that might take your mind off a potentially hot, potentially sweaty hike. Focus of this month’s monthly journal hike is on animal tracks.
Move more: Nothing makes an aspiring walker feel better than racking up the miles, and nowhere is it easier to rack them up than on flat trails, such as the 3/4-mile Sand Ridge Nature Loop, the 2.5-mile Pine Woods Trail or the mile-long Loblolly Loop.
Directions here, more info here.

Environmental Education Week Nature Hike
Mount Mitchell State Park
Burnsville
2 p.m.

In contrast to racking up the flat miles, there’s a certain cache in being able to say you climbed the highest peak east of South Dakota’s Black Hills, something you can say that after attending this 1.5-mile hike on the crest of the mighty Black Mountains.
Move more: Definitely don’t visit Mount Mitchell without heading out on the Black Mountain Crest Trail to 6,637-foot-foot Mount Craig and 6,568-foot Big Tom (the view from which can be seen above). They aren’t far, less than two miles, but it’s challenging hiking.
Directions here, more info here.

Wildflower Walk
Reedy Creek Nature Center
Charlotte
1 p.m.

Pretty things — another reason to hike. Take a “liesurely walk” with a naturalist and discover the story behind all those wildflowers poking through the forest floor.
Move more: In addition to nature, you’ll find an 18-hole disc golf course, two volleyball courts, a basketball court, a playground and swing garden, two softball fields, a soccer field — if you can’t find a reason to move more here, you aren’t looking hard enough.
Directions here, more info here.

Celebrate Earth Day: Get Your Green On
White Deer Park
Garner
9 a.m.-3 p.m.

One of the newest parks around (it opened in November), there’s lots to do here to celebrate Earth Day. Then, play on the new playground, or walk the greenway,  or — just go here to see some of your options.
Move more: Did you watch the video?
Directions here, more info here.

Sunday

Spring Tree ID, Ribbet-ing Frog Calls
Cliffs of the Neuse State Park
Seven Springs
1 p.m., 4 p.m.

Older nature lovers will like the short hike to check out the trees in bloom this spring and for the younger ones who appear glued to the video screen it’s hard to resist the prospect of tromping around in a creek and getting muddy.
Move more: Four hiking trails, all less than a mile, snake out from the parking area.
Directions here,  more info here.

High Shoals Falls.

The 10 Essentials
South Mountains State Park
Connelly Springs (south of Morganton)
2 p.m.

Afraid to go on even a short hike in the woods because you don’t know what to take and how to dress? Learn the 10 essentials from a ranger, then …
Move more: South Mountains is covered with trails; test your mettle on the High Shoals Falls Loop, which goes up and around an 80-foot waterfall. Lots of climbing but you won’t feel a thing thanks to the scenery.
Directions here, more info here.

6 thoughts on “Let Mother Earth move you this weekend”

  1. Thanks for the shout out Joe! I noticed the link to our site was not active. The calendar and events list (can be searched by location and and/or topic) is on the main website, and can be directly at http://bit.ly/fWVMi

    There’s still plenty going on through the weekend (24th & 25th), and even into May. Our last EE Newstips blog post http://eenewstips.blogspot.com/ tells all about them.

    One to note with a fitness connection is the 5K Race for the Planet at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, and there plenty hikes and walks around as well!

  2. Blue Jay Point County Park
    Saturday, April 24, 2010
    9 a.m.–3 p.m.
    Bring your family to a FREE, daylong Songbird Celebration at Blue Jay Point County Park in recognition of International Migratory Bird Day 2010. A great outing for families, Scouts and other youth groups, celebrate the return of our migratory songbirds while you enjoy bird-related activities throughout the park. New classes and activities each year!
    Go to website for more details…
    http://www.wakegov.com/parks/bluejay/whatshappening.htm

  3. Blue Jay Point County Park
    Saturday, April 24, 2010
    9 a.m.–3 p.m.
    Bring your family to a FREE, daylong Songbird Celebration at Blue Jay Point County Park in recognition of International Migratory Bird Day 2010. A great outing for families, Scouts and other youth groups, celebrate the return of our migratory songbirds while you enjoy bird-related activities throughout the park. New classes and activities each year!
    Go to website for more details…
    http://www.wakegov.com/parks/bluejay/whatshappening.htm

  4. Blue Jay Point County Park
    Saturday, April 24, 2010
    9 a.m.–3 p.m.
    Bring your family to a FREE, daylong Songbird Celebration at Blue Jay Point County Park in recognition of International Migratory Bird Day 2010. A great outing for families, Scouts and other youth groups, celebrate the return of our migratory songbirds while you enjoy bird-related activities throughout the park. New classes and activities each year!
    Go to website for more details…
    http://www.wakegov.com/parks/bluejay/whatshappening.htm

  5. Thanks for the shout out Joe! I noticed the link to our site was not active. The calendar and events list (can be searched by location and and/or topic) is on the main website, and can be directly at http://bit.ly/fWVMi

    There’s still plenty going on through the weekend (24th & 25th), and even into May. Our last EE Newstips blog post http://eenewstips.blogspot.com/ tells all about them.

    One to note with a fitness connection is the 5K Race for the Planet at the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher, and there plenty hikes and walks around as well!

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