This weekend: Family adventure, a Fat day for Dad, high hikes in the Roan Highlands

Looking for an adventure with the kids? Look to Brunswick Nature Park near Wilmington. Looking for some mountain biking adventure? Look to the annual Triangle Fat Tire Festival. Looking for some spectacular hiking? Look up, about as high as you can, to the Roan Highlands.

Coast

F.A.R. Out mountain biking leg (photo courtesy F.A.R. Out Family Adventure Race

F.A.R. Out mountain biking leg (photo courtesy F.A.R. Out Family Adventure Race

WWJDD?

What Would John Denver do if he were still alive and living in the Wilmington area? We reckon he’d be taking part in Saturday’s F.A.R. Out Family Adventure Race at Brunswick Nature Park.

A total of four challenges —  trail running, mountain biking, “team challenges” and optional kayaking —of which family teams need only complete two. You get a map at the mass start, the rest is up to you. Courses differ by age category and are color coded. Plus food, vendors and more.

Logistics: Saturday, June 20, 9 a.m., Brunswick Nature Park, Winnebow. Race day registration starts at $75 (plus $8 if you need a one-day U.S. Adventure Racing Association membership). More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 90, chance of thunderstorms.

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Looking ahead: Into surfing — or at least surfing-curious? Check out the O’Neill/Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest July 17-19 at Wrightsville Beach. Details here.

Piedmont

Little dudes, start your teeny-tiny engines! (photo courtesy TORC)

Little dudes, start your teeny-tiny engines! (photo courtesy TORC)

What does the adventurous dad truly want for Father’s Day? To spend some fat time with his kids.

And that’s just what he’ll be doing if you take him to Lake Crabtree County Park in Morrisville on Sunday for this year’s edition of TORCFest, a k a the Triangle Fat Tire Festival. Put on annually by the Triangle Off Road Cyclists, this is a day of mountain biking fun. There’s a time trial (including categories for kids 12 and under and ages 13-17), group rides, bike demos, BBQ and a skills clinic (and knowing these folks, possibly a BBQ skills clinic). Plus, join TORC and get a free chiropractic adjustment!

Logistics: Sunday, June 20, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Lake Crabtree County Park, Morrisville. More info and to sign up, here.

Sunday forecast: Sunny, high of 98.

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Looking ahead: A night triathlon? There’s one in Cary, on June 28. Check it out here.

Mountains

From Round Bald looking east: Jane Bald, Grassy Ridge and beyond.

Roan Highlands (Three Balds area)

Would dad mind celebrating Father’s Day a day early? Not if it’s as part of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s June Jamboree in the Roan Highlands.

Five hikes are planned as part of the Jamboree. Don’t quite have your full hiking legs under you? Try the Roll n’ Stroll in the Rhododendron Gardens atop Roan Mountain (11 a.m.). More interested in something the kids would dig? Try the Salamander Scavenger Hunt at 11 a.m. at Hampton Creek Cove. Something a little more ambitious? How about the Ed Schell Memorial Hike from Carver’s Gap to Grassy Ridge (9 a.m.). And for those of you seeking a true challenge, there’s the Challenge Hike starting at 8 a.m. from Hughes Gap and ending 15 miles later at Hampton Creek Cove. This hike includes the longest contiguous stretch of grassy balds in the world.

Read more about the Jamboree in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Logistics: Saturday, June 20, hikes start at 9 a.m. in the Roan Highlands area. Free. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 83, chance of thunderstorms.

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Looking ahead: Celebrate your independence this July 4 with a mountain run in Lenoir — the Firecracker 10K, 5K and fun run. Details here.

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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 coastal 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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