This weekend: Forecast of fun

Hike the coast, hike one of the most rugged areas along the East Coast. Or go for a run — for as long or as short as you want.

Options? You got ‘em this weekend.


WP.Coast_1Sunday, it’s one of our favorite guided hikes at Fort Fisher State Recreation Area. At less than a mile in length, the Basin Trail offers about as much bang for the hiking boot as any trail around. The park’s website says it best: “Fort Fisher provides a glimpse of the dynamic ecosystem known as a barrier spit where the only constant is change. Sixteen threatened and endangered species can be found at Fort Fisher depending on the time of year.”

From beach to maritime forest to Spartina salt marsh, there’s so much nature to appreciate. The trail is also rich in human history, passing a bunker built as park of Camp Davis in World War II and later adopted as home by the Fort Fisher Hermit. A worthy hike on several levels, a hike best enjoyed when lead by a knowledgeable ranger, which will be the case this Saturday. The hike is sponsored by the Cape Fear Sierra Club.

Logistics: Sunday, Nov. 22, 1 p.m., Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, Kure Beach. More info by calling 910.769.1145

Sunday forecast: Sunny, high of 55.

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Looking ahead: Turkey Trot 4-Mile Trail Run, Carolina Beach State Park, Sunday, Nov. 29. More info here.


FEATURES Running shoes. Photo by Juanito Garza, staff. 5/5/05.
FEATURES Running shoes. Photo by Juanito Garza, staff. 5/5/05.

Here’s a race concept we can get behind: run as much, or as little, as you like.

That’s the game plan for Sunday morning’s Cozy Toes Fun Run at Cary Towne Center. Bring “gently used clean running shoes, and new hats and gloves for the homeless,” then run, jog, walk, kibbitz for 90 minutes. Prizes for Most Miles, Fastest Mile, Greatest Negative Split, Youngest Miler, and Oldest Miler.

Great way to recycle those running shoes that may have outlived their running life, but still have plenty of shoe life ahead.

Logistics: Sunday, Nov. 22, 9 a.m., Cary Towne Center, Cary. $15-$20, plus those gently used shoes and new hats and gloves. More info here.

Sunday forecast: Mostly sunny with a high of 50.

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Looking ahead: Winter Bird Walk, Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, Southern Pines, Saturday, Dec. 19. More info here.


LG.GorgeFallsLinville Gorge is one of those places that sound like a great place to explore … then when you start heading down Babel Tower, Pinch In, Sandy Flats or the other trails leading into the gorge, you begin having second thoughts

Linville Gorge is, after all, a designated wilderness area and one of the wildest places on the East Coast. The good news: you needn’t drop into the gorge to appreciate its rugged beauty. That’s the beauty of Saturday’s Linville Falls Hike sponsored by the Woodfin YMCA in Asheville. The group will hike in from the civilized Linville Falls entrance to the gorge and take the day to hike 3.8 miles and savor the gorge’s beauty.

Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 21, 8:45 a.m. – 4 p.m., Linville Falls (meeting place is the Y, at 40 N. Merrimon Ave. in Asheville). Free, but chip in $5 if carpooling. More info: Blanca Miller 828.658.0047,, or go here.

Saturday forecast: High of 48, mostly sunny.

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Looking ahead: Fox Den Loop Trail hike, at Lake James State Park, Nebo, Dec. 26, 2 p.m. More info here or call 828-652-5047.

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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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