This weekend: Curl up with a smooth stone

Curling is one option this weekend. So are running and hiking.


Runners, on your mark ...
Runners, on your mark …

If you need a reason to run, you won’t find a much better one than Saturday’s Run, Roll & Stroll 5K, 10K and 1-mile fun run in downtown Wilmington. The reason? The race benefits Purple Heart Homes, whose goal is to “help reintegrate veterans into the community, and to proudly acknowledge the sacrifice they have made on our country’s behalf. Whether it is adapting an already owned home, building a home from the ground up, or adapting and modifying a foreclosed home, Purple Heart Homes is committed to guiding the veteran through the entire process.”

There are other reasons, including the fact the races are in scenic downtown Wilmington (including the waterfront) and that at race’s end, all participants of age will be treated to a cold one by Front Street Brewery. Another plus: if you’re an avid runner with a non-running spouse/partner/accomplice, it should be pretty easy to talk them into the one-mile fun run, considering the cause.

Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 7, 9 a.m. (fun run is at 9:15), The Diligence in downtown Wilmington (Water Street between Princess and Grace streets). $40 for the 10K, $30 for the 5K, $25 for the fun run. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Temperature of 73 at race time, with a chance of thunderstorms later in the day.

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Looking ahead: Kayaking the Creeks, BHI Conservancy, Bald Head Island, Saturday, Dec. 5, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. More info here.


Chubby curls
Chubby curls

Every four years, it intrigues us. Sure, the Super G, hockey and figure skating may get the lion’s share of attention when the Winter Olympics roll around, but face it, what you really look forward to is that oddball sport from the far north that involves only two pieces of equipment, both of which are remarkably simple: a broom and some polished rocks.

Yup, we flip open a Hamm’s (the beer refreshing) and watch transfixed as one person propels the shinny stone down a sheet of ice while two bebroomed teammates about 150 feet away sweep like mad to bring the stone home. And after the second or third Hamm’s (from the land of sky blue water), we are want to proclaim, “Shucks, I could do that!”

Could you?

Find out Saturday when the good folks at Charlotte Curling hold an Open House at their facility at 6525 Old Statesville Road. Try your hand, ask questions, hang out afterward.

Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 7, 1-2 p.m., Charlotte Curling Association, 6525 Old Statesville Road, Charlotte. Free. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 70, but rain all day.

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Looking ahead: Thanksgiving Day hikes, at your North Carolina State Parks. Find one near you, here.


WP.MountainsWhat do you do on a sunny, 55-degree fall day in November in the Southern Appalachians? You take a hike.

And if you choose to tag along with the Carolina Mountain Club this Sunday, you’ll be hiking an 8.5-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail between Sams Gap and Devils Fork Gap. Sunday’s hike takes in High Rock, Rice Gap, Lick Rock and Sugarloaf Gap as well. All, as we mentioned, under sunny skies and temperatures in the 50s.

Logistics: Sunday, Nov. 8, 8:30 a.m., Appalachian Trail off I-26 at Exit 3. Contact hike leader Bob Hysko, 828.243.3630 or for details. Specifics on the route, here.

Sunday forecast: Sunny, high of 55.

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Looking ahead: Sticking with the Carolina Mountain Club, they’ll be hiking a newer stretch of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail on Sunday, Nov. 22, from Good Road to Bald Knob and back. 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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