Technically, it may still be summer (fall starts a week from Friday, on Sept. 22), but the weather suggests the season is well underway. Sunny skies, dry air, temperatures in the 70s and low 80s: weather that beckons with a seductive come-hither finger to come outside and have some fun.
This week, hikes and a paddle with something extra.
Coast | Coastal Plain
Exploring is great. Exploring with a party thrown in, even greater!
That’s the situation Saturday at Lumber River State Park, site of the Lumber River Day Festival 2017. There’s exploring, in the form of free canoe rides on the Lumber River. And there’s fun stuff in the form of bluegrass music, pony rides, a casting contest (for kids), miniature train rides, a bouncy house, food (including ice cream) and more.
It’s Cliffs of the Neuse State Park’s turn to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the North Carolina State Parks system this weekend, with everything from a paddle to a fun run to an interpretive hike. Or, you can forage in a forest or take a dive.
Take advantage of the wonderful weather statewide this weekend with a summer carnival in Cherokee, a hike at the coast (and earn prizes), or learning about the state’s birds of prey in Charlotte.
Coast: Hike at Merchants Millpond State Park
On Saturday a park ranger at Merchants Millpond State Park in Gatesville will lead a 2-mile hike on the Track Trail-certified Coleman Trail. Take a brochure on the hike, follow its directions, accumulate information, then enter the information on a website following the hike. Get enough entries and earn patches, note pads, backpacks and stickers! Not to mention the opportunity to get some exercise on a beautiful trail. Wear sturdy shoes and plan on the hike taking about 2 hours.
Wings Over Water dominates the statewide outdoors scene with a bevy of events running through Sunday. Meanwhile, the fall migrants are on the move at Lake James while fall color enjoys one last big weekend in the mountains before focusing on the Piedmont.