‘Tis the season to save your sanity by getting out

Gone for the winter (good news for your hike around Lake Waccamaw).

This weekend, avoid alligators, avoid trails, but don’t avoid the first big weekend of the Southeast ski season.

Coast

Remember the old Peter, Paul & Mary hit, “Where Have All the Reptiles Gone?” No, wait. That wasn’t PP&M in the 1960s. That’s Lake Waccamaw State Park this Sunday at 2 p.m., when a ranger explains why the park’s alligators are no longer on the prowl, why the turtles aren’t out catching some rays … basically why the entire reptile population is laying low. A great opportunity to learn a little something, then take a long (Lakeshore Trail, 5 miles) or short (Sand Ridge Trail, 0.75 mile) hike to look for the reptiles that aren’t supposed to be there.

More about the park, including directions, here.

You won't need no stinkin' trails Saturday at Crowders Mountain.

Piedmont

Trails are good, but off trails are better. At least when you’re in the company of someone who doesn’t need a blaze and solid tread under foot to find his way. Saturday, tag along with a ranger to explore the lesser-known nooks of Crowders Mountain State Park. These rare excursions give you a chance to get to reknow a place you might have thought you knew, plus, especially in the case of popular Crowders Mountain, a chance to escape the trail-bound crowds.

Saturday’s off-trail hike starts at 3 p.m from the visitors center. Sturdy hiking boots and clothes you don’t mind getting ripped (briars) are recommended. Here for more information.

Mountains

Snow guns a blazin' at Appalachian (though the Boone ski area doesn't plan to open this weekend).

Not only has cold weather in the North Carolina high country gotten the ski areas’ snow guns going, but they’ve had the real thing as well — four inches total the past couple of days at Beech Mountain! Thus, you can add skiing/riding to your list of options this weekend. Beech, Sugar and Cataloochee all expect to be open this weekend, according to SkiSoutheast.com. How much of each mountain will open remains to be seen; we suggest checking SkiSoutheast.com Friday evening before making definitive plans.

* * *

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.

Todd’s Calendar

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *