It’s little surprise that there’s lots going on in the great outdoors this Earth Day weekend. Saturday alone (the actual Earth Day), the N.C. Office of Environmental Education lists more than 50 events on its calendar. Lots to choose from; here are some we especially like.
Weird weather (Friday snow in the mountains?) precedes a mellow, springlike weekend. A weekend good for so many adventures, from heeding the advice of Edgar Winter and taking a free ride to gazing into the night sky.
A satellite view of the eastern seaboard at night is startling not so much for the artificial light that illuminates the region, but for the one spot that remains dark: far eastern North Carolina. A blink here and there, but mostly darkness. One night around 11, lying on a gravel road just outside Columbia, we saw the Milky Way with nearly the clarity I’d seen it years earlier camping at 9,000 feet in the Rockies.
Another gorgeous fall weekend is on tap, one good for a night hike, a fun run or a mountain road ride with the best in the cycling business.
As daylight continues to dwindle, so, we assume, do our opportunities for outdoor adventure, especially during the work week. But did you know that not all of the natural world goes to sleep when the sun goes down? In fact, for some, sunset means it’s time to rise and shine.
Hike in a canoe, hike in a creek, hike in the dark.
What’s the best hike when temperatures are in the 90s and the humidity isn’t far behind?
A Canoe Hike.
Like the one they’re having Sunday at Carvers Creek State Park.
And when’s the best time to have a Canoe Hike?
When the sun is easing and the temperature with it, around 6 p.m., which is when Sunday’s Canoe Hike is scheduled.
So much adventure to be had this Fourth of July weekend! Good thing you have three days to fit it in!
Coast and coastal plain
One of the best adventure deals going: Merchant Millpond State Park’s periodic Canoe The Pond program. Join a ranger on a canoe trip on this 760-acre millpond that dates to the early 1700s. Paddle amid the bald cypress and tupelo gum that have since infiltrated the pond; learn about the area’s history, too. All from the comfort of a beginner-friendly Discovery Old Town 158 canoe.