Weekend plans? Three suggestions … or find your own

A run, a hike and a sunset are three of the numerous ways you can get out and explore this weekend.


It can be hard to find a foot race once sweltering summer settles in — but it’s not surprising that if there’s a race to be found, it’ll be at the coast. A breeze (hopefully) coming off the water and a flat course help compensate for the heat. Two reasons you might consider the 28th Annual Tri Span 5K and 10K Saturday in Wilmington. Starts at the Wilmington Hilton on Water Street, goes through downtown, hangs a right across the Memorial Bridge to US 421, crosses back over the 3rd Street Bridge to Front Street and eventually back to the finish. $30 for either race. More details here.
Oh, and another reason to run: the 7:30 a.m. start time beats the heat.


Looking to escape the heat? Or at least a little bit of it?
The Chargers and Rechargers hiking club will, in its own words, not be charging up Rich Mountain from Trout Lake near Blowing Rock on Saturday. “This will not be an ‘aerobic’ hike,” cautions hike leader Danielle Catoe, “if you wish to race up the mountain, please do not come on this hike. This 8-mile roundtrip hike is rated easy to moderate, gaining a little over 600 vertical feet on the way from scenic Trout Lake up to Rich Mountain.
Departs from the Trout Lake parking lot at 9:30 a.m. Contact Catoe at 828-898-3072 or dmcatoe@aol.com for more specifics. (For more about the club, go here.)


Years ago a group of ex-pat Aussies would gather every so often at Jordan Lake to watch the sun set. The reason? It was one of the few places in the region where you could savor a long sunset unobstructed by rolling hills covered with trees. Another place: Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area in Hillsborough, where long-abandoned quarry operations sliced away a west-facing portion of the mountain making for — long sunsets unobstructed by rolling hills covered with trees.
Saturday evening at 8, join a ranger for a short hike to this blight-turned-vista to watch “the big orange ball in the sky disappear behind Hillsborough.” Because the event is limited to 15, pre-registration is required, by calling the park office at (919) 383-1686.

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Care to choose your own activity? Check these statewide calendars.


Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Coast Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.

Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine

Primary focus is the Crystal Coast (North Carolina’s coastal midsection).


Asheville Citizen-Times
From the main page, click on “Outdoors,” then WNC Outdoors calendar.

Blue Ridge Outdoors
Searchable calendar lets you extend your reach to events throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast (or you can just limit it to North Carolina). Also lets you search a boatload of categories, ranging from Hiking, Mountain Biking and Climbing to Trail Running, Triathlon and Road Walking.

The Mountain Times
From the main page, click on “Calendars,” then Main Events.



Charlotte Observer events calendar
Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including Nature, Recreation, Recreation & Wellness, Running.

Charlotte Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.


Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

Piedmont Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.


Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including: Birding, Boating, Cycling, Nature, Rec & Wellness, Recreation, Running, Swimming, Tennis, Yoga.

Carolina Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

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