Your weekend: Hike NC!

Boardwalked trail at Carolina Beach State Park. Photo courtesy carolinabeach.org
Boardwalked trail at Carolina Beach State Park. Photo courtesy carolinabeach.org

It’s been — and continues to be — a rough week for a lot of folks in North Carolina, especially down east. For the weekend, we recommend the best therapy we know: a walk in the woods. Today, we pull hikes from Hike NC!, our statewide hiking collaboration with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. For more information on Hike NC! go here.

Coast | Coastal Plain

Somehow, Carolina Beach State Park near Wilmington managed to escape the full wrath of Hurricane Matthew and quickly reopen. Saturday, the park will host a hike on the Sugarloaf Trail, which passes through a variety of habitats, from its start along the banks of the Cape Fear River, to its inland passage through a pine savanah, to its climb up a 60-foot dune festooned with a maritime forest.

The hike is listed at 2 miles and rated Easy.

Logistics: Saturday, Oct. 15, 2 p.m., Carolina Beach State Park. To register for this hike and for more information and to register, go here.

Saturday forecast: High of 73, mostly sunny.

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Looking ahead: Night Hike at Halyburton Park in Wilmington, Oct. 28, 6 p.m. More info here.

Piedmont

SONY DSC

Of the five Hike NC! hikes in the Piedmont this weekend, we’re especially excited about the one on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along the Haw River Sunday because we’re leading it. Our hike starts out of Glencoe, an old mill village, and heads downstream for a couple of miles, taking in the river’s rich history as home to roughly two dozen textile mills, back in the day. We’ll get up close and personal with both the Haw River’s natural and human history.

Logistics: Sunday, 1 p.m., MST out of Glencoe. For more information and to register, go here.

Sunday forecast: High of 75 and sunny.

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Looking ahead: Climb to the Clouds, “meet an Environmental Educator at the Moore’s Knob Observation Tower and learn to identify the surrounding landmarks, wildlife, and vegetation visible from the park’s peak closest to the clouds,” Saturday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m. More info here.

Mountains

Rumbling Bald (cliff face to the right) in the Hickory Nut Gorge. (Photo courtesy VisitNC.com)
Rumbling Bald (cliff face to the right) in the Hickory Nut Gorge. (Photo courtesy VisitNC.com)

Think of Chimney Rock and you tend to think of its touristy side: the gift shop, the lounge and deli, the elevator that takes you do the top. But Chimney Rock State Park also has its kinder, gentler and wilder side, which is the side Hike NC! will explore early Saturday morning (not too early: 8 a.m., to be exact). On our 1.5-mile hike, we’ll hike the base of Rumbling Bald Mountain and its stark cliff face and its huge boulder fields. (On this hike, you might get up close and personal with rock climbers who especially love the cliffs southern exposure in cooler weather.)

Logistics: Saturday, 8 a.m., Chimney Rock State Park. For more information and to register, go here.

Saturday forecast: High of 71, mostly cloudy.

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Looking ahead: The Life and Death of Elisha Mitchell, Sunday, Oct. 30, Mount Mitchell State Park. More info 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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