This weekend: Summer’s waning; make the most of what’s left

Jones Lake (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)Yikes! Do the kids really start back to school in a little over a week? Summer 2012 is drawing to a close, my friends. You can’t afford to fritter away another weekend.

Coast

It’s been a long week, so we’re going to invoke playlay — sorta like the pirate’s parlay — which allows us to begin the weekend a little early, say, Friday afternoon at 3 p.m.? Which is convenient because that’s when a ranger will be leading a guided canoe trip on the coastal plain’s Jones Lake at the state park of the same name. You have to be able to swim; otherwise, no experience necessary. Canoes and equipment provided.

Logistics: 3 p.m., free but because of limited space preregistration is required, by calling 910.588.4550.

Saturday forecast: High of 90, 20 percent chance of rain.

Piedmont

Bats at dusk.

Pressed for time on the weekend? Got some stuff around the house you really need to get done? Then do it, and afterward head up to Haw River State Park for Bats at Dusk, an evening program that involves hanging out on a boardwalk as daylight begins to wane and watching the bats come out. Learn about bats and get a hike in down to the Haw. And if you get there before the program, you can check out this, one of the state’s newest state parks, which includes a semi-rustic conference facility, which includes an outdoor pool.

Logistics: Starts at 7 p.m., meets at the main lodge. 336.342.6163 or here for more info on the park.

Saturday forecast: High of 81 with a 60 percent chance of rain.

The Breakaway

Mountains

I like a good mountain event that embraces all levels of cyclist, from the casual recreational greenway rider to the aspiring George Hincapies. Which is what we have in Saturday’s Blue Ridge Breakaway, a ride out of the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Haywood County that offers a 105-mile century-plus, a 65-mile metric century, a 40-mile ride and a 24-mile ride.

Logistics: All rides commence at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, onsite registration runs from 6-6:30 a.m., $54 for the 105-, 65- and 40-mile events, $35 for the 24-miler. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 75 with a 60 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.

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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