This weekend: Trick or treat? Pedal or paddle?

There are lots of ways to celebrate Halloween this Saturday. You can go the traditional route by dressing as your favorite explorer (Alferd Packer?) and shaking down the neighbors. Or, you can dress up for a paddle race at the coast or a bike ride (or two) in the mountains.


WP.CoastHave you been wondering how to combine your love of music, your paddling and Halloween? Probably not. But if you have, consider Saturday’s Spooky Sound PaddleFest 2015 in Wrightsville Beach.

Music: the event is sponsored by, and benefits, the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra. Paddling: the event itself is a non-competitive paddle open to canoes, kayaks, standup paddleboards and “other non-motorized craft,” starting and ending at Wrightsville SUP, with a turnaround at Palm Tree Island. Halloween: it’s on Halloween, with awards for best costume and strangest craft. If living to you requires a paddle in your hands, then this looks like a good way to launch your Halloween celebration.

Logistics: Spooky Sound PaddleFest 2015, Saturday, Nov. 31, 10 a.m. (check-in begins at 8:30 a.m., clinics and demonstrations at 9 a.m.), Wrightsville SUP, 96 W. Salisbury St., Wrightsville Beach. $15 ($5 for raffle tickets).  More info here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 69.

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Looking ahead: 5th Annual Surf to Sound Challenge, Nov. 6-8, Blockade Runner, Wrightsville beach. More info here.


Medoc Mountain

Another thought you may or may not have pondered: as you’re walking down a trail, have you ever wondered about all the living creatures, flora and fauna, visible and non, around you?

Saturday at Medoc Mountain State Park near Hollister (which is northeast of Louisburg, which is not far from Wake Forest) follow a ranger on a 1.5-mile hike along Bear Swamp Creek to learn what’s in the creek, what’s along the creek, and what’s all the way up to the adjoining ridge … . Really, to learn about everything around you. Or as much as you can learn in an hour or so.

Logistics: Bear Creek Swamp Hike, Saturday, Oct. 31, 2 p.m., Medoc Mountain State Park, Hollister. Free. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 64.

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Looking ahead: Eno Quarry History Hike, Eno River State Park, Saturday, Dec. 26. More info here.


A Pumpkin Peddlar Past (photo courtesy ashevillealetrail.com1000)
A Pumpkin Pedaller Past (photo courtesy ashevillealetrail.com1000)

Or, perhaps you’ve wondered if it’s possible to co-celebrate cycling and Halloween. Yes, Casper, it is possible. If you don’t mind heading to the high country.

The Asheville area has two such celebrations Saturday. Saturday morning, there’s the Bookwalter Binge Charity Gran Fondo in Black Mountain, with ride options of 30, 62 and 83 miles, while Saturday evening it’s the 9th Annual Asheville on Bikes Pumpkin Pedaller, a 9-mile ride in downtown.

Intrigued? Learn more in this article by Karen Chavez of the Asheville Citizen Times.

Logistics: Both rides are Saturday; again, for details consult Karen’s article, here.

Saturday forecast: Partly sunny with a high of 62, dipping down to 50 for the evening Pumpkin Pedaller

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Looking ahead: Naturalist Niche: Survival Skills, Saturday, Nov. 21, Chimney Rock State Park. More info here.

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

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.
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).


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



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.

Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

Piedmont Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

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.


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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