This weekend: Shoot for the shooting stars

photo courtesy the-shooting-star.com

No matter where you are, head out Friday night and take in the Geminid meteor shower at its peak. And during the light of day you’ll find lessons to be learned about snow.

Coast

The Geminid meteor shower is expected to peak Friday evening — and you can have a prime seat at the Dismal Swamp State Park in South Mills. If the conditions are prime, you should be able to see 50 to 100 meteors per hour! This park program starts at 7 p.m.

Logistics: Friday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m., Dismal Swamp State Park, South Mills.

Saturday forecast: Low of 33, mostly cloudy.

Piedmont

The fun begins in the New Hill parking lot.

Sometimes, it’s hard to get the family out on a hike. Sometimes, you need extra incentive. Hidden treasure, for instance. Sunday, there will be incentive aplenty for young hikers on the Winter Scavenger Hunt on the American Tobacco Trail in Apex. Theme: signs of winter.

Logistics: Sunday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m., American Tobacco Trail, meet at the New Hill Parking Area, 1309 New Hill-Olive Chapel Road, Apex. More info: 919.387.4342

Saturday forecast: Hi of 51, 80 percent chance of rain.

Mountains

Snow at Elk Knob (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)

It snowed Tuesday at Elk Knob State Park north of Boone, which not only makes for a lovely winter landscape, it also plays into Saturday’s “Snow” program at the park. “For humans,” says the program description, “snow can be pretty, fun, annoying, dangerous and many other things. What does it mean for the natural world? How does it form such intricate shapes? Cut out a scientifically correct flake and learn how to preserve real ones. Come find more about this magnificent crystalline wonder.”

Then, after the program, hike in the stuff up to the park’s namesake knob.

Logistics: Saturday, Dec. 14, 2 p.m., Elk Knob State Park, Todd. More info on the park, here.

Saturday forecast: High of 39, chance of precipitation.

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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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