Your Weekend: Learn your snakes, spot eagles, whitewater

You have no excuse not to learn about snakes the next couple of months, thanks to Lake Waccamaw State Park. Meanwhile, on Sunday morning there’s a good chance to spot eagles at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, for enthusiasts of wicked whitewater, there’s a release this weekend on the Cheoah River.

Coast: The Snakes of North Carolina

Copperhead (photo courtesy WUNC.org)
Copperhead (photo courtesy WUNC.org)

Lake Waccamaw State Park hosts this series daily through June 18. Learn about snakes in general, the snakes found in North Carolina, and about the differences in the 37 species native to our state, such as which ones lay eggs and which ones have live births. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Weekend forecast: The event is indoors. But this weekend it will be on the chilly side; perhaps a light jacket is in order.

Vital Stats: The Snakes of North Carolina, daily at 10 a.m., Visitor Center, Lake Waccamaw State Park, Lake Waccamaw. Contact lake.waccamaw@ncparks.gov or 910.646.4748 for more information, or go here.

Looking ahead: Hike at Fort Macon State Park, exploring the natural side of the park. Meet at the Visitor Center at 10 a.m., Thursday. April 28. More information here.

Piedmont: Eagle Count at Jordan Lake

Bald eagle nesting at Jordan Lake (photo courtesy FrogHollow Adventures)
Bald eagle nesting at Jordan Lake (photo courtesy FrogHollow Adventures)

Join Ranger Steve McMurray at the Poplar Point Recreation area Sunday morning to spot as many eagles as you can. There is no required skill level for this event; beginners to experts are welcome. New Hope Audubon Society counts the eagles four times a year at Jordan Lake; your help will be greatly appreciated in this exercise of citizen science.

Sunday forecast: About 34 degrees during the count; it will, however, be sunny.

Vital Stats: Eagle Count at Jordan Lake (Poplar Point Recreation Area), Sunday, 7-8:30 a.m. Contact: Steve McMurray at 919.362.0586 ext. 219. steve.mcmurray@ncparks.gov More information here.

Looking ahead: Mother’s Day Bird Walk — Bean Shoals Canal Trail on May 8, Pilot Mountain State Park. Pinnacle. More information here.

Mountains: White Water Rafting Adventure on the Cheoah River

Fast times on the Cheoah (photo courtesy Graham County)
Fast times on the Cheoah (photo courtesy Graham County)

Graham County on the southern edge of the Smokies, is home to one of the most challenging and physically demanding rivers for whitewater rafting and kayaking. The dammed Cheoah River has unique features that contribute to some of the best Class IV and IV+ paddling. On Saturday and Sunday, the Cheoah River Release is taking place. You can take part in a guided trip, or purchase a river bracelet and tackle the river on your own. If you can’t make it this weekend, there will also be releases April 16-17, April 23-24, and May 14-15.

Weekend forecast: Saturday: High of 51, low of 29 with winds blowing NW at 25 mph. Sunday: High of 66, low of 42.

Vital Stats: Cheoah River Put-in in Yellow Creek, Saturday and Sunday. River pass bracelets can be purchased at O’Henry’s or Outland Expeditions (800.827.1442). More information here.

Looking ahead: Annual Passholder Spring Sunrise Breakfast, Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock, May 7, 5-7 a.m. RSVP by May 3 to secure your spot. For more information, go 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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