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This weekend: A tri, a TACO, a wildlife education

Cross “sprint triathlon” off your 2014 list in Wilmington, Take a Child Outside at a state park, celebrate hunting and fishing with the family in the mountains: it’s another diverse weekend outdoors in North Carolina. Coast A triathlon isn’t something you’d ordinarily do on a lark, certainly not an Olympic length (0.9-mile swim, 25-mile bike and 6.2-mile run) or longer. A sprint tri, on the other hand … . Face…

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Sylvan Sleuths Explore, Explain Southern Forests

A few years back I was nearing the top of the Mount Mitchell Trail when I came across a group of youngsters intently examining the balsam firs that begin appearing above 5,500 feet. As they probed about, an older fellow explained what they were seeing. The gentleman had a professorial look; not surprising, I soon discovered, considering these were forestry students from N.C. State. I lurked in the shadows and…

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A reporting first

In more than two decades of writing about health, fitness and outdoor adventure, last night I did something I’ve never done before. I covered an activity without participating in it. The activity? Parkour. Parkour, as one of the dads at Enso Movement in North Raleigh told me, is a “young man’s game.” I’ll be writing about parkour in the next week or two for The News & Observer. For our…

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90 Second Escape: Neighborhood Wilderness

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a…

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Lake James: Emerging nexus of outdoor adventure

Scott Carpenter has a vision that may seem myopic at first. Hear him out, though, and your adventurous self can easily see what he’s talking about. Carpenter’s vision is this: Lake James, the 6,800-acre lake currently best known as the gateway to other adventurous places (Linville Gorge, Wilson Creek, the Pisgah National Forest) is the next Nantahala Outdoor Center, an all-encompassing outdoor playground that’s day-tripable from North Carolina’s major population…

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This weekend: A learning experience

A good time for adventure planning at the coast, a great time to get to know a creek in the Piedmont, and a hike that proves you don’t have to go that extra mile for great scenery in the mountains. Coast If you live in the Greenville area and bemoan the lack of organized outings in the region, take note of a new Meetup in the region: GetExploring! Greenville. Just…

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90 Second Escape: GetBackpacking! Along the Eno

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a…

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Cool & wet: NetFlix or TrailFix?

Cool, cloudy, chance of rain. Some people see that as a forecast for a Netflix weekend. We see it as a trail fix weekend. Three weeks ago, we spent a cool, wet Sunday hiking 12 miles on the Tanawha Trail at the base of Grandfather Mountain. Perhaps a little wetter than we would have preferred, but one thing is for sure: for the 25 or so folks on the hike,…

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This weekend: September is for State Parks

From paddling the Great Dismal Swamp to a morning hike to a mysterious hole to a mountain-top celebration, there’s a lot to in North Carolina’s State Parks this weekend. Coast The notion of paddling in a swamp is at once intriguing and slightly terrifying: People go into swamps and never come out, don’t they? Those would be the folks who go into the swamp without a guide. Imagine the Monday…

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90 Second Escape: GetHiking! Into Fall

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a…

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