Tag Archives: Grandfather Mountain

GetOut! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure

Yeah, there’s a little rain in the forecast for the weekend. However: 

  1. It’s a forecast, which is essentially an educated guess, which is subject to not being accurate;
  2. There do appear to be some less wet spots in the forecast; and,
  3. Why should that keep us from having a little fun at least planning for the weekend?

That said, here three ideas for getting out and exploring:

B.W. Wells Heritage Day, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Wake Forest. There’s a cool area of Falls Lake State Recreation Area on the east side of the lake that few people know about: the B.W. Wells area. It’s where B.W. Wells, a botany professor at N.C. State and one of the state’s foremost early ecologists lived and peppered his land with a variety of plant life. The area is usually closed, but is open for touring on Heritage Day. Learn more about B.W. Wells here, learn more about B.W. Wells Heritage Day here. read more

This weekend: Polar Plunge, History Hike, Nature Hike

A previous Plunge

Is this the weekend you take your first dip of 2017 in the Atlantic? Perhaps you’re more interested in a hike into history. Or maybe it’s when you take a class and learn not to bark up the wrong tree (so to speak).

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Did you miss the chance to jump into an icy pool — the classic polar plunge — on New Year’s Day? Do you feel your year isn’t off until an official start until you’ve had the wake-up call that only baptism in 55-degree water can confer?

If so, head to Kure Beach Saturday for their 11th Run-N-Plunge at the Kure Beach Pier. Live music by the Prime Time Band, silent auction, costume contest, art, food, and more. Proceeds benefit Special Olympics New Hanover County. And to warm up, there’s also a 5K and 1-mile fun walk. (And yes, the temperature of the Atlantic at Kure Beach is currently 55 degrees.)

Logistics: 11th Annual Polar Plunge, 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run, Saturday, Feb. 11, 11 a.m., Kure Beach Pier. More info and to register, here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny with a high of 60 at plunge time.

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Looking ahead: BNP Trail Jam (3.5-mile, 9-mile and 18-mile races), Saturday, Feb. 18, Brunswick Nature Park, Wilmington. More info here.

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Like a little history on your hikes? Then join the Eno River Association this Sunday on its weekly Winter Hike Series. Each week, the hike visits a separate section of the Eno River Valley: this week, it’s the Pump Station Area, home to Durham’s first public drinking water source. Much of the brick structure remains, which makes for some great exploring. Adds the ERA: “Portions of the hike will be off-trail, some sections may be steep, muddy, or on rough terrain. you may want a walking stick, and sturdy shoes are a must.”

The hike will cover about 1.5 miles and last two hours.

Logistics: Eno River Association Winter Hike Series: Pump Station Trail, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2 p.m., Eno River State Park, Pump Station Access off Rivermont Road. Learn more here.

Sunday forecast: Mostly sunny, high of 78!

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Looking ahead: Polar Plunge Splash-n-Dash, Saturday, Feb. 18, Randolph-Asheboro YMCA, Asheboro. More info here.

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Can’t tell an oak from an ironwood in winter. Leaves do make a difference, but so do bark, limb, bud and branching pattern. Learn to read the more subtle signs that identify our trees on a Winter Tree ID Hike Sunday at 1 p.m. At Grandfather Mountain State Park. Specifically, the hike will cover the lower reaches of Grandfather Mountain, departing from the Profile Trail parking lot and stick to the lower reaches of the mountain.

The hike will cover 2 miles and last about two hours.

Logistics: Winter Tree ID Hike, Sunday, Feb. 12, 1 p.m., Grandfather Mountain State Park, Banner Elk. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 61, chance of rain.

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Looking ahead: National Trails Day Hike to Mt. Craig, Saturday, June 3, 11 a.m., Mount Mitchell State Park. 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 read more

Your weekend: Paddle, run, learn 

The standup paddlers takes to the chilly waters of the Intracoastal Waterway, runners take to the trails of the National Whitewater Center, and nature lovers learn a thing or two at Grandfather Mountain. There may be a little rain in the forecast, but that’s no reason to stay inside on an active North Carolina weekend.

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Think of it as a race and go for the cash prizes, think of it as a tour and get a wintry view of Wrightsville Beach by water.

It’s time again for the Cold Stroke Classic out of the Blockade Runner at Wrightsville Beach. The race begins on the protected waters behind the beachfront Blockade Runner and takes a meandering loop on the Intracoastal Waterway. The Short Course is one lap, the Long, two. There’s a $1,250 cash purse for the Long course, $5,000 in prizes for both the Long and Short. And, this year they’ve added a Run What You Bring (shouldn’t it be “Brung”?) category: “ … surfskis, outrigger canoes, unlimited paddleboards, kayaks, etc. If you can paddle it, you can race it.” Water temperature as of Thursday morning: 54 degrees.

Logistics: Ninth Annual Cold Stroke Classic, Saturday, 10 a.m., Blockade Runner, Wrightsville Beach, $55 Short Course ($25 kids), $75 Long ($25). More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 67, storms developing in the afternoon.

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Looking ahead: N.C. Birding Trail Hike, Feb. 16, Halyburton Park, Wilmington. More info here.

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If you’re a runner, it’s nice to establish a baseline at the beginning of the year (translation: your times can only get better from here). We can’t think of a better place to start than the Charlotte Running Company Trail Race Saturday at the National Whitewater Center. Haven’t been running much? Do the 4-mile race. Gotten the year off to a pretty good start, training-wise? Perhaps you’re up to the task of the 9-miler. Feeling particularly bold? There’s a 13-mile option as well. All on the well-groomed, nicely rolling trails at the whitewater center.

Logistics: Charlotte Running Company Trail Race, Saturday, 9 a.m., National Whitewater Center, Charlotte, $50, $55, $65. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 66, 13 percent chance of rain at race time.

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Looking ahead: Cupid’s Undie Run, Saturday, Feb. 11, Uptown Charlotte. More info here.

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It’s one thing to ID a tree by its distinctive leaves, quite another to identify it by its more subtle bark and limb patterns. That’s why we recommend you head to Grandfather Mountain State Park Sunday for its Winter Tree ID Hike on the Profile Trail. “Participants will learn how to identify local trees without the aid of leaves by learning differences in bark, limb, bud and branching patterns.”

Expect to hike a mile and a half over about two hours.

Logistics: Winter Tree ID Hike, Sunday, 1-3 p.m., Profile Trail, Grandfather Mountain State Park. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 52, pretty good chance of rain.

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Looking ahead: Winter Boat Tour, Feb. 4, Lake James State Park, Nemo. More info here.

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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 read more

Your weekend: Three very different hikes

Carvers Creek (photo courtesy NC State Parks)
Carvers Creek (photo courtesy NC State Parks)

Hike in a canoe, hike in a creek, hike in the dark.

Coast

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.

Vital stats: Sunday, Aug. 21, 6 p.m., Carvers Creek State Park, Spring Lake. Free, but limited to the first 10 to sign up, by calling 910.436.4681. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 92 at put-in, sunny.

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Looking ahead: Go Jump in the Lake Running Race, Sept. 3, 8 a.m., Spring Lake. $15 – $35. More info here.

Piedmont

On a steamy weekend, few things sound better than frolicking in a creek.

Saturday, roll up your chinos and join a ranger from Mayo River State Park for a journey up Falls Creek to Falls Creek Falls in search of “what is swimming around in the creeks at Mayo River State Park.” Two hours of time travel back to your inner 8-year-old. Starts at 1 p.m.

Vital stats: Creek Creep, Saturday, Aug. 20, 1-3 p.m., Mayo River State Park, Mayodan. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 87 with a chance of thunderstorms.

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Looking ahead: Stokes Stomp Festival on the Dan, Sept. 10, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m., Hanging Rock State Park. More info here.

Mountains

Most folks fear being on the trail as day turns to night. At Grandfather Mountain, they embrace it.
At least they are on Sunday, when a park ranger leads a sunset hike on the park’s Profile Trail beginning at 7:30 p.m.
“We’ll hope to see and hear nocturnal wildlife and enjoy the woods in that special time of the day,” according to the hike description. “We’ll walk one mile, round trip. Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather.”

Vital stats: Sunday, Aug. 21, 7:30 p.m., Grandfather Mountain State Park, Profile Trailhead off NC 105. More info here.

Sunday forecast: About 67 at hike time, with a chance of thunderstorms.

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Looking ahead: Ascent of the Century, Aug. 26-28, Black Mountain Campground / Mount Mitchell State Park. More info here.

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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 read more

Your weekend: Scout an ultra or hike a hike

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Sometimes you’re intrigued by an ambitious goal — a marathon, for instance, or triathlon —  but are hesitant to commit. If only you could see it in action first … . Well, if you’ve been intrigued by the idea of an ultra — a footrace longer than a marathon — then head to Bald Island this weekend and check out the Third Annual Badwater Cape Fear, where runners will be doing either a 50K or 51.4-mile run, most of it along the lonely coastline between Cape Fear and Fort Fisher.

If you aren’t intrigued, then check out a nature hike at Lake Norman or hike Grandfather Mountain, where the temperature will only hit a spring-defying (spring starts Sunday, btw) 36 — and it might snow!

Coast: Third Annual Badwater Cape Fear

Founders of this 50k / 51.4 mile (runner’s choice) ultra call this “the world’s toughest footrace.” It begins with a 12-mile warm-up on the scenic roads of Bald Head Island, and finishes with either 19 or 39 miles running along the remote sandy coast that runs between Cape Fear and Fort Fisher. The event attracts runners from all over the U.S. and Canada, organizers say, because of it’s southern charm and exquisite natural setting. The race is part of the eight-race Badwater series.

Registration has closed for this year, and 2017 will be opening soon. In the meantime, come out and enjoy Southport, Wilmington and the other coastal towns nearby while cheering on the souls who are racing — and get a feel for whether Badwater should be on your agenda for 2017.

Saturday forecast: high of 66 with a chance of showers

Vital Stats: Saturday, March 19, Bald Head Island, put on by Badwater. Details here.

Looking ahead: Millpond Day 5K Family Fun Run/Walk, Saturday, April 30, Merchants Millpond State Park. More info: Merchants.millpond@ncparks.gov, or 252.357.1191

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Piedmont: Lake Norman Discovery Hike

Join a ranger on a one-mile hike through the life-filled woodlands that surround the Dragonfly and Alder trails at Lake Norman State Park. During the walk hikers will “discover” the plants and animals that are starting to become active once again after the winter months. Hikers will have the opportunity for scenic overlooks. Meet in the Lake Norman State Park Visitors Center at 2 p.m.

Saturday forecast: High of 59 and chance of showers

Vital stats: Saturday, March 19, Lake Norman State Park, 759 State Park Road, Troutman, NC. Contact 704.528.6350 or lake.norman@ncparks.gov for more information. Read more here.

Looking ahead: Volunteer Trail Work Day at Crowders Mountain State Park, Saturday, April 9, 8 a.m. Contact info and more information here.

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Mountains: Guided Centennial Hike at Grandfather Mountain

Come out to Grandfather Mountain State Park Sunday to take part in a leisurely, guided hike that counts toward the Centennial Challenge. The hike will take about 2.5 hours and is 2-3 miles long. Dress appropriately for weather (see forecast below), and come prepared with water and snacks.

Sunday forecast: Spring may stat Sunday, but in Banner Elk the high will only be 36, and snow showers are predicted.

Vital Stats: Sunday, March 20, 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact: grandfather.mountain@ncparks.gov or 828.963.9522.

Looking ahead:: U.S. Open Slalom & Downriver, March 26-27, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Wesser. More info here.

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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 read more