This weekend: All paths lead to good times

Leave the driving to a park ranger on a boat trip up the Scuppernong River, hike Hanging Rock with GetHiking! Triangle, or hike into history in the Swannanoa Valley.

Not the boat you'll be touring the Scuppernong, but a boat with keen significance to the area.

Coast

Pettigrew State Park offers frequent tours of the Scuppernong River. Usually, those tours are by canoe, a great way to experience the Scuppernong but not everyone’s cup of tea-colored water. Saturday, the park lets you leave the paddling to others on its afternoon Scuppernong River Tour.  One advantage: without having to deal with navigation you can focus on the waterway’s abundant wildlife and natural beauty.

Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 23, 1:30 p.m. Free, but space is limited and preregistration is required, by calling 252.797.4475.

Saturday forecast: High of 54, 40 percent chance of rain.

Curious about the boat pictured? Learn more here.

Piedmont

Our GetHiking Triangle! hikers wind up their fall season with a 10-mile hike at Hanging Rock State Park north of the Triad. We’ll start with the 4.3-mile Moore’s Wall Loop Trail, pausing for the great views atop Moore’s Wall. Upon returning to the trailhead at the park’s Visitor Center, we’ll head out for Hanging Rock and Wolf Rock, about a 5-mile loop before returning to the Visitor Center. Finally, we’ll do a short hike to Upper Cascades Falls.

All hiking abilities welcome; our hikes are led from the rear, making it impossible to get dropped

Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 23, 9 a.m., Visitor Center at Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 54, 30 percent chance of rain.

Mountains

Among its programs, the Swannanoa Valley Museum in Black Mountain sponsors various hikes throughout the year. No surprise, the hikes focus on the region’s rich cultural and natural history; as such, they often take advantage of long-established paths that were once the I-40s of their day. Saturday’s Swannanoa Creek and Tunnel Hike is just such a hike, following a route that intially served as a key Native American trade route, later as a route used by Gen. Griffith Rutherford in the Revolutionary War, and after that served as a popular stagecoach route.

Saturday’s hike is four miles and described as “mostly downhill, very rough and rocky in places.”

Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 23, 9:30 a.m. Hike departs from the Swannanoa Valley Museum, 223 W. State St., Black Mountain. Free, but pre-registration is required: info@swannanoavalleymuseum.org or 828.669.9566.

Saturday forecast: High of 54, 60 percent chance of rain.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed 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

Great Outdoor Provision Co.
Calendar includes three weekly events for each of its seven markets: Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Search by market.

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.

U.S. National Wildlife Refuges
Rundown, by month, of regular activities at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuges in North Carolina.

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