This weekend: Take a coastal hike, learn about Grandfather, go on one vine run

Mallard Creek (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)

Mother’s Day means time spent with mom — preferably in the great outdoors. Take mom on a coastal hike, unravel the mysteries of Grandfather Mountain, or run with her through a vineyard. Whatever you do, it’s bound to be memorable.


Nothing says Mother’s Day outing more, to us, than a relaxed ramble through a coastal wetland. Which is no doubt what the folks at Goose Creek State Park outside Washington on the Pamlico Sound had in mind when they scheduled Sunday’s Mallard Creek Hike. “Enjoy a fresh breath of air and experience nature at its best. The hike will be an easy 1.5 miles and taken at a pace which will allow you to relax and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of nature.” Hallmark couldn’t have said it better.

Logistics: Hike commences at 2 p.m. Sunday, meet at Parking Lot #3 (the last lot inside the park). More info at the park Web site or by calling 252.923.2191.

Sunday forecast: High of 75, mostly cloudy.


Here’s something for the whole running family, especially mom and dad: Saturday’s Running of the Vines 10K on the grounds of the Yadkin Valley’s Shelton Vineyards. No mention of wine tastings at the aid stations, but each runner age 21 or older does get two free tickets to a sunset concert that evening. Besides, running through a vineyard? Every barefoot runner’s dream.

Logistics: $35, race starts at 8 a.m. Saturday. Race day registration from 7-7:45 a.m. Free kids fun run at 9:30 a.m. Benefits the Mount Airy and Surry County parks and rec departments. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 75, clear early.

Photo courtesy Grandfather Mountain


You always hear about how ecologically diverse Grandfather Mountain is, but just how diverse is it? There’s no better time to find out than on this, the Grandfather Mountain Naturalist Weekend. A spring bird count and owl prowl on Friday; wildflower hike, birds of prey, crayfish research, “Nature on the Edge,” and trees and shrubs on Saturday; and geology, birding along the profile trail, a NASA climate workshop, animal tracking, flora disease and more on Sunday. All with the price of admission.

Logistics: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, park admission ($18 for adults, $15 for seniors $60 and up, $8 for kids 4-12) gets you into all events. More info here.

Weekend forecast: Dry weekend with highs in the upper 60s.

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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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