Hike, spike, bike this weekend in North Carolina

Resolve to be more active in 2011 by checking out one of these three events this weekend.

Mountains

Frankly, I can’t think of a better way to get the juices flowing the second week of January than on a hike, a mountain hike. A 9.8-mile mountain hike that gains 2,000 feet of total elevation, flirts with an elevation of one mile, takes in frozen waterfalls and promises great winter views in the Shining Rock area. That’s what the Carolina Mountain Club has in mind for this Sunday when it takes on the Seniard Ridge Loop in the Pisgah National Forest west of Asheville in the Looking Glass Falls area. Because of the potentially dicey footing, trekking poles and YakTrax (or a similar traction device) are recommended.

Hikers will meet to carpool in Asheville at 8:30 a.m. with a pickup in Pisgah Forest at 9 a.m.  More info here or check with Mary Beth Gwynn at 828.545.6487 or mbgcmc@gmail.com.

Piedmont

Need some incentive to support that New Year’s resolution to be a healthier, happier, more active you? There’ll be incentive aplenty this

If recent weather patterns hold, cross-country skiing may be a part of Saturday's Kickoff to a Healthy New Year.

Saturday on the American Tobacco Trail as Wake County Parks, Recreation and Open Space team with Rex UNC Hospital and the Triangle Off-Road Cyclists for Kickoff to a Healthy New Year. Guided nature hikes, a scavenger hunt, geocaching, chair massage, information on running programs and yoga, free health screenings and a bike ride led by TORC. Hot chocolate and marshmallow roasting, too.

The event is from 1-4 p.m. at the southern trailhead to the American Tobacco Trail, a 22-mile rails-to-trails project that runs from downtown Durham south to New Hill and the aforementioned trailhead off New Hill-Olive Chapel Road.

More info here.

Coast

Let’s say you and three buds were musing about resolutions on New Year’s Eve and someone hit on the idea of forming a competitive — or not — four-person volleyball team. One thing lead to another and before long your bubbly-inspired team was traveling to exotic locales across the state participating in 4-on-4 volleyball tournaments. Then Dick Clark croaked that it was midnight, you broke a couple lamps and thoughts of 2011 volleyball glory faded as you searched for a vacuum cleaner.

This weekend you can live your New Year’s Eve dream at the Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Community Center gym when the first of two 4 x 4 Coed Volleyball Tournaments kicks off (the second is Feb. 5). Play begins at 8 a.m., you have to bring your own ball and you may have to officiate other games when you aren’t playing. And, there’s prize money: of the $55 team entry fee, the winners take home 70 percent, second place 30 percent. Who knows, you may play well enough to pay for those lamps.

Preregistration is required. To do that or for more info, contact Laurie Morris at lmorris@emeraldisle-nc.org or 252.354.6350.

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Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, below.

Coast

CapeFearCoast.com
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 Cost 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.

NCCoast.com
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).

Mountains

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.

Piedmont

Charlotte

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.

Triad

GoTriad.com
Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

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

Triangle

Triangle.com
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.

Statewide

Office of Environmental Education
One calendar for the numerous Environmental Education Centers statewide.

North Carolina State Parks
Lets you search for programs at the state’s parks, recreation areas and natural areas by location, by month, by topic. To reach the calendar from the home page, click on “Education,” then “Fun & Free Programs at Parks.”

National Forests in North Carolina
From the home page, click on Carolina Connections for news updates on the state’s four national forests as well as hints on recreational opportunities and a detailed rundown of recreation areas and the amenities at each.

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