This weekend: Sunshine returns

Huggins Island (photo courtesy N.C. Coastal Federation)

The raindrops falling on many of our Tarheel heads (speaking of which, “Go Heels!”) as the work week draws to a close should dry up by the weekend. This week’s weekend recommendations come from the comprehensive events calendar kept by our friends at the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs. See the calendar section below for more info on the NCOEEPA.

Coast

One of our favorite hikes in the N.C. State Park system — and there’s stiff competition — is the Huggins Island History Hike at Hammocks Beach State Park. Hammocks Beach S.P. is a curious park: while the Visitor Center is on the mainland, its recreational anchors are islands accessed via the Intercostal Waterway. There’s Bear Island, for instance, served by ferry much of the year and easily the park’s most popular asset. Then there are lesser-known bodies, such as Huggins Island.

On this hike, the next edition of which is Sunday, you’ll boat out to the island and explore both the island’s natural attributes and its human history, from the folks who have tried to tame the island to its role during the Civil War.

Logistics: Huggins Island History Hike, Sunday, April 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. Free, but space is limited and registration is required, by calling the park office at 910.326.4881.

Sunday forecast: Sunny and 71.

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Looking ahead: Wilmington Earth Day Festival, Saturday, April 22, Hugh MacRae Park, Wilmington. More info here.

Storied meadow at Horse Shoe Farm Park

Piedmont

Our state is filled with little gems of nature, gems embedded in some of the most unlikely places, yet right under our noses. Gems we often have no idea exist, even if they exist right down the road.

One such gem is the Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve, which sits in a 146-acre tear of land created by an oxbow in the Neuse River, in Wake Forest. Part of Raleigh Parks & Rec, it’s a wonderful nature nook just off US 401. It’s a nice spot for a quiet escape, or to learn about nature, the latter being the case this Sunday. “Meadow Story and a Nature Walk” is just that: start with a story about a meadow, then walk about the meadow that dominates the preserve. Help propagate the local wildflower community along the way.

Logistics: “Meadow Story and a Nature Walk,” Sunday, April 2, 2-3 p.m., Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve, 2900 Horse Shoe Farm Road, Wake Forest. Free, but registration is required, by going here. More info by dialing 919.870.2871.

Sunday forecast: Mostly sunny, high around 73.

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Looking ahead: Durant Family Campout, Saturday, April 22, Durant Nature Park, Raleigh. More info here.

Farm dreaming?

Mountains

We’re all about active lifestyles here at GetGoingNC. We advocate movement of all sorts, from hiking and backpacking to mountain biking and paddling. Every once in a while, though, we realize we are only skimming the surface of what an active life is about. An hour or two or three a day? Ha! Try 18. As in farming.

Perhaps during the recent Farm-to-Table-fueled resurgence of the local farm, you’ve wondered if you have the right stuff to go all “Green Acres.” More so, you’ve likely wondered how on earth one gets into farming, and what it entails. Spend Saturday in Asheville and find out.

From 10 a.m. To 4 p.m., Lenoir Rhyne University sponsors “Farm Dreams? An Exploratory Workshop for Farm Dreamers.” Say the sponsors:

Discover and assess your resources, skills and farming intentions. Begin to develop an educational plan toward farming. Connect with regional training opportunities and support networks. Prioritize your next steps toward your farming goals. Hear from experienced farmers running successful farms in WNC.” 

Logistics: “Farm Dreams: An Exploratory Workshop for Farm Dreamers,” Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Lenoir Rhyne University, 36 Montford Ave., Asheville. $55. More info and register here

Sunday forecastMostly sunny and 63.

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Looking ahead: “Spring Wildflower Hike,” Saturday, April 22, Hendersonville. 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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