Your weekend: Water and dark — the keys to beating the heat

The heat, as Glenn Frey once declared, is on. Temperatures this weekend could hit triple digits, meaning one of two things for the outdoor inclined: play on the water or play during the cool of the night.

Carvers Creek: paddle a swamp
Carvers Creek: paddle a swamp

Coast

Forecast high Sunday for Spring Lake in the coastal plain: 101. Lordy!

At 9 a.m., however, it will only be 83, which in our book is good paddling weather. Good enough, certainly, to enjoy the Canoe Hike at Carvers Creek State Park, North Carolina’s newest state park. A novice? No problem. Start with an overview of basic paddling skills, then take your canoes out on the park’s cypress swamp.

Logistics: Canoe Hike, Sunday, June 12, 9 a.m., Carvers Creek State Park, Spring Lake. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Temp of 83 at 9 a.m. (on its way to an afternoon high of 101).

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Piedmont

Lightning bugs in a jar-soft focus diffusion through glass, enhanced with photoshop
Lightning bugs in a jar-soft focus diffusion through glass, enhanced with photoshop

By 9 p.m., the sun has set, the temperature has dropped maybe 15 degrees: a temperature in the low 80s sure beats one in the upper 90s. Exploring in the dark suddenly doesn’t seem like such a weird idea, does it?

Especially when that adventure is coupled with the fun of searching for the first fireflies of the season. Saturday at 9 p.m. that’s what will be going on at Pilot Mountain State park; meet a ranger at the campground amphitheater “for an easy walk around the amphitheater to look for and learn about the unique natural history of fireflies or lightning bugs!” And learn all kinds of things in the process (like why neither name is appropriate; the light they generate is how they “cold” light).

Vital Stats: Firefly Hike, Saturday, June 11, 9 p.m., Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Clear skies and a temperature around 80 by 9 p.m.

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Mountains

Lake James, below Linville Gorge
Lake James, below Linville Gorge

What could be better than a summer paddle that starts at 9 a.m. in 83-degree weather (see “Coast,” above)? How about a paddle that starts at 8 a.m. in 68-degree weather?

Bundle up (or at least bring long sleeves) for Sunday’s Canoe Excursion on Lake James, in the shadow of Linville Gorge’s Shortoff Mountain. Granted, that 68 will quickly evaporate — but won’t it feel good at the start!

Logistics: Canoe Excursion, Sunday, June 12, 8 a.m., Lake James State Park, Nebo. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 68 (at 8 a.m.) and clear.

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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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