This weekend: Three cures for your cabin fever

We know, you’re about to go crazy from being held hostage by the cold and ice. As of today, your main hope for reclaiming at least some of your sanity is Saturday, when temperatures are expected to warm into the 40s and 50s, and the prospects for precipitation are low (as opposed to Sunday, when it looks like we’ll either be drenched with rain or graced with more snow, depending upon your elevation).

With the current forecast in mind, here are some possibilities for Saturday (though be sure to call ahead and check websites before heading out, since some venues remained closed as of noon Thursday).

Coast

Who wants to go first? (Photo courtesy wilmingtongivesback.org)

Who wants to go first? (Photo courtesy wilmingtongivesback.org)

Here’s something suited to the current weather that isn’t likely to get canceled: the 11th Annual Polar Plunge at Kure Beach. There’s also a 5K, live music, silent auctions, food and more, all benefiting Special Olympics New Hanover County. Plus, the water will likely seem not nearly as cold as it is.

Logistics: Saturday, Feb. 21, 11 a.m., Kure Beach Pavilion, Kure Beach. $20-$40. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Mostly cloudy, high of 55.

Piedmont

clip-art-woody-woodpecker-731742“February is for the Birds” really is the name of a program, not commentary on current meteorological events. It’s at Eno River State Park, at the Fews Ford Access, which reopened midweek, and is a great opportunity for a learning experience for your kids, who had precious few learning opportunities this week. Feed a bird, learn its name. Aw.

Logistics: Saturday, Feb. 21, 3:30 p.m., Piper Cox House, Fews Ford Access, Eno River State Park. Free, but call to register (space is limited) at 919.383.1686.

Saturday forecast: High of about 40 at 3:30, with a slight chance of rain.

Mountains

A snowy Summit Trail. (Photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)

A snowy Summit Trail. (Photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)

If this one isn't canceled and you can get there, Saturday’s Winter Hike at Elk Knob State Park should be a memorable one. Currently, Elk Knob has about five inches of new snow on the ground, today’s high should hit 1, the overnight low, 8 below. Saturday, 1-3 inches of snow is expected. The road to the park is open, four-wheel drive is advised. So are “traction devices” for your feet.

The Summit Trail is largely protected by a tight northern hardwood forest, save for the exposed 5,502-foot Elk Knob summit. The trail is less than two miles long, so it’s not epic winter hiking, but a nice taste thereof.

Logistics: Saturday, Feb. 21, 1 p.m., Elk Knob State Park, Todd. More info: 828.297.7261

Saturday forecast: Temperature around 30 and snow, with accumulations up to 3 inches, at hike time.

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

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

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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