Don’t let Mother Nature rain on your weekend

Tweety would probably love a peanut butter 'n' bird seed ball.

Sure, it’s supposed to rain almost everywhere in North Carolina this weekend. But that doesn’t mean you need to stay home and sulk.


After warm and sun during the week, it figures that we’re looking at rain for the weekend, approaching a 50 percent chance along the coast. So, how about retreating to the dryness of a classroom to learn something about the outdoors world. Like how to supplement our feathered friends’ diet come the Spartan days of winter? Sunday at 2 p.m. you can learn how to make treats your bird buddies will love, at Dismal Swamp State Park tucked up in the far northeast corner of the state.

Logistics: Program starts at 2 p.m. and it’s free. Learn more about the park (including how to get there) here.

Weekend forecast: Clouding up throughout the day, highs in the low 50s.

Rod Broadbelt breaks for lunch during last year's February 20-miler at Umstead State Park.


Eleven months of the year, Rod Broadbelt leads a marathon hike at Umstead State Park (on the 12th month, November, he doesn’t rest; he goes on the road to Raven Rock). The hikes are shorter during the dog days of summer, but get longer as the weather cools. February is the distance grandaddy: a 20-miler that heads out the Company Mill Trail, picks up the Sycamore Trail, takes a quick detour onto Potts Branch Trail before hitting Sal’s Branch Trail, then looping back on the same trails to the start. Plenty of opportunities to shorten the hike, but this is such a good bunch to hike with that the 20 miles will fly by before you realize how bushed you are.

Logistics: Starts at 8 a.m. sharp from the Umstead parking lot off Harrison Avenue and I-40. More info by emailing Rod at, or calling him before 7 p.m. at 919.363.6611.

Weekend forecast: 40 percent chance of rain (only thunderstorms stop the hike) and a high of 56.


The Snowbird Mountain area of western North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest is one of those areas you may have seen on a map, but likely haven’t explored. For good reason: it’s a rugged area, the trails are not well-maintained and it’s an easy place to get lost. Which is why you should jump on Sunday’s opportunity to hike it with the Carolina Mountain Club. Sunday’s hike is a strenuous 11-miler, an out-and-back on the Snowbird Creek Trail featuring Middle and Upper falls. To get a sense of the area, check out the CMC’s hike description here or grab the McDaniel Bald topo map.

Logistics: The group will be carpooling from the Wendy’s in Robbinsville at 10 a.m.  To sign on, make contact with the aforementioned hike leader, Brent Martin, at 828.371.0347 or

Weekend forecast: 60 percent chance of rain, highs in the mid-50s.

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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.

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.
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.

Todd’s Calendar



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.


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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