This weekend: It’s spring!!!

Get to know a new place on foot, get to know the season that started Tuesday.

Coast

When I was in high school I had a part-time job on the old Lowry Air Force Base in Denver. I took the job, in part, so I could get inside the inner sanctum of a military installation just to see what it was like. It wasn’t as exciting as I expected; In fact, the only significant difference between it and the outside world was that it was a whole lot cleaner. Still, it was cool being allowed in this land forbidden to mere civilians.

That’s part of the motivation to run this Saturday’s MCAS Cherry Point 13th Annual Half Marathon. The race is open to the public, is flat (another incentive) and “will take runners through a combination of residential neighborhoods as well as many scenic routes aboard MCAS Cherry Point.” If you’ve ever driven past the gate at Cherry Point and wondered what goes on inside, here’s your chance. And maybe it won’t be all that exciting. But at least it’s flat.

Logistics: Check-in is from 6-7 a.m., race starts at 7:30 a.m. $50 for non-military. More info, call Berna Crosby at 252.466.2208 or visit here.

Weekend forecast: High of 79, partly cloudy.

Piedmont

Trout lily — an early sign of spring.

Oh, yeah, it’s spring! (It commenced at 1:14 a.m. Tuesday, in case you missed it.) Among the enticing spring programs this first weekend of the season is Saturday’s Signs of Spring Family Hike at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill. “Who’s singing in the vernal pools?” asks the Garden, presumably through a human interpreter. “What’s blooming up from beneath the fallen leaves? Celebrate the Spring Equinox exploring the gardens and trails for signs that the natural world is waking from its winter slumber.” A great place to welcome spring.

Logistics: The program is from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. $15 per family ($10 if you belong to the Botanical Garden); “parents/caregivers must remain with their child at all times.” More info by calling 919.962.0522 or visiting here.

Weekend forecast: High of 75, 70 percent chance of rain.

DuPont State Forest's Triple Falls

Mountains

DuPont State Forest in the Brevard area has close to 100 miles of trail; knowing where to go can be a challenge. That’s one of the advantages to Saturday’s DuPont 12K Trail Run, which starts and ends at Guion Farm on Sky Valley Road, and follows what promises to be a scenic and challenging 7.4-mile route. Race begins at 10 a.m.

Logistics: Entry fee is $30, online here or in person at the sponsoring Jus Running in Asheville. Race begins at 10 a.m.

Weekend forecast: High of 68 with fog early and a 20 percent chance of rain.

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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.

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.

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