This weekend: A grand opening, a world premier 

The view from atop Elk Knob

It is one gala weekend in North Carolina, from the grand opening of the new Discovery Room at Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve to the world premiere of the Hanging Rock State Park Players’ “A Town Without Spiders.” Dress for both, you’ll be relieved to hear, is hiking casual.

Coast | Coastal Plain

Who doesn’t like a grand opening, especially when it involves the world of discovery (as opposed to the world of retail).

Saturday, Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve in Southern Pines unveils its new Discovery Room, which features all sorts of hands-on ways to learn about the outdoors. Bring the kids for a day of nature games, tinkering with a kid-friendly microscope, drawing with sidewalk chalk, making crafts, watching birds up close and more. Plus, the opportunity to win a door prize!

Afterward, plan a hike on Weymouth Woods’ 4-mile trail network.

Logistics: Grand Opening of the New Weymouth Woods Sandhills Discovery Room, Saturday, July 29, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve, Southern Pines. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Mostly sunny, high of 85.

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Looking ahead: Every Wednesday, join volunteers from Lake Gaston Outfitters for a mountain bike ride at Medoc Mountain State Park. 6-8:30 p.m., Medoc Mountain State Park, Hollister. More info here.

Discover Weymouth Woods

Piedmont

There are lots of reasons to visit Hanging Rock State Park: the plethora of views, the passel of waterfalls, the preponderance of paths. This Saturday, add to that list a theatrical performance.

Introducing the Hanging Rock State Park Players and the premier of “A Town Without Spiders,” a parable about a world — or at least a town — without spiders. Think the presence of spiders is scary? TWS envisions just how scary a world it would be without spiders. Watch what happens when a “well-intentioned, but misguided effort to ban arachnids goes terribly awry … .”

This is an evening performance, in the campground amphitheater, allowing time for a preperformance hike.

Logistics: “A Town Without Spiders,” performed by the Hanging Rock State Park Theatrical Troupe,” Saturday, July 29, curtain rises at 7:30 p.m., Campground Amphitheater, Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Chance of afternoon rain, high of 80.

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Looking ahead: First weekend of every month, the trails at the Vader Mecum addition to Hanging Rock State Park are open. More info here.

Mountains

Two weeks ago, we had the privilege of taking a group from SAS Institute on a hike at Elk Knob State Park. The hike was up one of the most well-designed trails in the state, the 2-mile Summit Trail, which links the main parking area with the 5,520-foot summit. Along the way was a cornucopia of flora, some edible, some poisonous, some rare, some exotic. Along the way, you couldn’t help wondering what was which.

Saturday, get a chance to learn about the plant life along this high-altitude trail on a ranger-led Summer Wildflower Hike. Learn a thing, then enjoy one of the best views in the state from the summit.

Logistics: Summer Wildflower Hike, Saturday, July 29, 2 p.m., Elk Knob State Park, Todd. More info here .

Saturday forecast: Mostly sunny, high of 70.

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Looking ahead: Elk Knob Community Headwaters Day, Saturday, Sept. 9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Elk Knob State Park, Todd. More info here.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below. 

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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