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This weekend: Penetrate a preserve, paddle & picnic on a lake, hike the AT

This weekend’s offerings are proof that adventure in North Carolina knows no seasons. Coast Every once in a while, the Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge opens its roads allowing the public in to better explore this 8,219-acre refuge in Currituck County. To explore its low-lying freshwater and brackish marshes, it’s upland and lowland eastern pine hardwood forests. And this time of year, to be treated to a variety of migrating…

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Find your new favorite hike

Last week, we revealed a miracle holiday health salve guaranteed to get you through the holidays unscathed — walking. A daily walk, we noted, could alleviate a mountain of seasonal stress and keep you from gaining weight to boot. Of course, we acknowledged, it is the holidays; the demands of the season might make it tough to get out every day. Realistically, we asked, how many days a week could…

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Five places you like to walk (six, if you include your own neighborhood)

A week ago, we issued a challenge: Walk once a day through the end of the month and you might just survive this holiday season. Less stress, improved mood, you won’t emerge from the holidays 15 pounds heavier— pretty good deal for walking just 30 minutes a day. Of course, being realists we acknowledged that finding 30 minutes a day might not be feasible during the typically hectic holidays. From…

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90 Second Escape: Paddling Bush Creek at Jordan Lake

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 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 fluorescent bulb. Today’s…

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Like us on Facebook and get even more outdoors and fitness news

When I wrote for newspapers, about a tenth of the information I gathered in any given day made it into print. There was limited space in the paper and I was competing with other reporters for that coveted real estate. Thus, lots of interesting stuff wound up on the cutting room floor. Then along came blogs and just like that I had a home for all my news that didn’t…

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‘Tis the season to save your sanity by getting out

This weekend, avoid alligators, avoid trails, but don’t avoid the first big weekend of the Southeast ski season. Coast Remember the old Peter, Paul & Mary hit, “Where Have All the Reptiles Gone?” No, wait. That wasn’t PP&M in the 1960s. That’s Lake Waccamaw State Park this Sunday at 2 p.m., when a ranger explains why the park’s alligators are no longer on the prowl, why the turtles aren’t out…

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Footing the bill for a truly happy holidays

Happy holidays! Here’s hoping you survive them! If you’re looking for a time of year that’s hardest on your body, you’d be hard-pressed to beat the one that kicked off with pants-unbuckling Thanksgiving and ends with a cold pack on your head New Year’s Day. Think about the damage alone done by the one-two punch of Thanksgiving and Black Friday. Thanksgiving: overeating. Estimates place the typical holiday meal at 3,000-plus…

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90 Second Escape: Walking Lake Johnson

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 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 fluorescent bulb. Today’s…

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This is one weekend where you better have plans to move

In a post turkey-mashed potatoes-giblets-and-gravy-with-cranberry sauce-sandwich world, you gotta move. Here are some options. Coast In our quest to find not-as-demanding active benefit events (see Tuesday’s Tour de Toys post), we bring you Saturday’s Jingle Bell Walk in Pine Knoll Shores. This two-mile walk through the Beacon’s Reach area of Pine Knoll Shores is sponsored by St. Francis by the Sea and benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of Coastal…

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Turkey and a 10K?

I was reclining in the endodontist’s chair yesterday afternoon, my mouth going mercifully numb, awaiting a surprise root canal and eavesdropping. “Did you get lunch?” one dental hygienest asked the other. “No,” answered the second. “I bought a dress that’s a size too small and, well … .” She went on to explain that she’d bought if for an event on Friday — the day after Thanksgiving. “ ‘at’s a-mer-a-ble,”…

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