Tag Archives: Hammocks Beach State Park

GetOut! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure

After a dang cold week we’re heading into a darn nice weekend, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures, brace yourself, reaching 60.

So if you’ve been hibernating so far this winter, now’s your chance to emerge from your den for an adventure. An adventure such as: read more

GetOut! Your Friday Nudge to Weekend Adventure

Due to technical difficulties (dern iEquipment) we don’t have an inspiring video to encourage you to get out this weekend, but we do have some encouraging events, courtesy your local N.C. State Park.

=&0=&Saturday night, Haw River State Park (8 p.m.) and Pettigrew State Park (8:30 p.m.). If it’s August it must be the Perseid meteor showers. Grab your camp chair or a blanket, sit (or lay) back and watch the best light show around. Remote Pettigrew, located in the remote coastal plain, an area with minimal light pollution, seems an especially good bet for a night of brilliant sparklers. More info here.

=&1=&. The dog days of August: the perfect time to be on the water. Here are three opportunities:

  • Canoe the Mayo, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Mayo River State Park, Mayodan (Triad). A rate opportunity to test drive a canoe on an intimate river. Canoe, paddles, personal flotation device provided; you need to provide a shuttle to get back to your car. More info here.
  • Kayak Tour, Sunday, 8:30-11 a.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro (coast). Follow a ranger and explore the marshland and ecosystems around this coastal state park. Kayaks, paddles, pfds provided. Free, but preregistration required, by calling 910.326.4881.
  • Tubing at the Park, Sunday, 1 p.m., New River State Park, Connelly Springs (mountains). With paddling, you’re above the cool water, with tubing part of you is in it. More info here.
  • read more

    This weekend: Hop like a bunny — there’s lots going on

    The view north from Elk Knob

    Hey, like the headline says: find your adventure (below) and hop to it.

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    Fess up: how many plastic bags of shells to you have from beach foraging sessions past? Lots, no doubt.

    Did you know there are things you can do with those shells? Crafty things, things you might not have thought possible that you could use to spruce up your home or office? Better still, for those long week beach vacations, things that could keep the kids busy for an afternoon or two.

    Learn “about some of the unique beach findings and what crafty ways can be applied with them” on a free clinic at Hammocks Beach State Park Sunday afternoon. Come before the 2 p.m. start, gather some fresh stuff, then discover how to craft a creation with it.

    You will get a chance to build your own craft to take home.

    Registration is required by contacting the park office: 910-326-4881.

    Logistics: Coastal Craft Series, Sunday, April 16, 2 p.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro.  Free, but registration is required, by calling 910.326.4881. More info here.

    Sunday forecast: High of 80, sunny.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Nature Designs Art Festival and Earth Day Celebration, April 22, Raven Rock State Park, Lillington.

    =&1=&

    Are you a citizen scientist? Then use your skills for the forces of good over the next several days by representing the Triangle in the nationwide City Nature Challenge.

    Says the sponsoring N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, “This competition pits several American cities against each other to see who can document the most biodiversity on the iNaturalist app over a 5-day period. We’re going up against cities that are a lot bigger than we are (Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and others), but North Carolina’s amazing biodiversity and the great urban wildlife we see every day can help us win!”

    It won’t be easy. “We likely need over 15,000 submissions to have a shot of taking home the gold, so we need YOUR help snapping photos of Triangle Area plants, animals, or fungi, April 14-18, and submitting them to iNaturalist by April 30. We’ve got prizes for the top three local contributors as a thank you, too!”

    Intrigued? See Logistics, below, for how you can participate.

    Logistics: City Nature Challenge, April 14-18, Triangle area. For more info, visit here or call 919.707.9800.

    Weekend forecast: Highs around 80 under sunny skies.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Walk, Run Bike for Umstead, Saturday, April 22, Umstead Coalition fundraiser for Umstead State Park in Raleigh. More info here.

    =&2=&

    We have a thing for Elk Knob State Park, and that thing is the view from atop Elk Knob. From its 5,520-foot summit you can see a wide swath of the northern North Carolina mountains and appreciate the unusual northern hardwood forest that dominates the region. It’s an especially great place for a guided hike, which is the plan Saturday, when a park ranger leads a 1-mile hike and discusses the park’s natural history along the way.

    Logistics: Nature Hike, Saturday, 2 p.m., April 15, Elk Knob State Park, Todd. More info here.

    Saturday forecast: High of 70 with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon, May 6, Waynesville. More info here.

    * * *

    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

    This weekend: Sunshine returns

    Huggins Island (photo courtesy N.C. Coastal Federation)

    The raindrops falling on many of our Tarheel heads (speaking of which, “Go Heels!”) as the work week draws to a close should dry up by the weekend. This week’s weekend recommendations come from the comprehensive events calendar kept by our friends at the N.C. Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs. See the calendar section below for more info on the NCOEEPA.

    =&0=&

    One of our favorite hikes in the N.C. State Park system — and there’s stiff competition — is the Huggins Island History Hike at Hammocks Beach State Park. Hammocks Beach S.P. is a curious park: while the Visitor Center is on the mainland, its recreational anchors are islands accessed via the Intercostal Waterway. There’s Bear Island, for instance, served by ferry much of the year and easily the park’s most popular asset. Then there are lesser-known bodies, such as Huggins Island.

    On this hike, the next edition of which is Sunday, you’ll boat out to the island and explore both the island’s natural attributes and its human history, from the folks who have tried to tame the island to its role during the Civil War.

    Logistics: Huggins Island History Hike, Sunday, April 2, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. Free, but space is limited and registration is required, by calling the park office at 910.326.4881.

    Sunday forecast: Sunny and 71.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Wilmington Earth Day Festival, Saturday, April 22, Hugh MacRae Park, Wilmington. More info here.

    =&1=&

    Our state is filled with little gems of nature, gems embedded in some of the most unlikely places, yet right under our noses. Gems we often have no idea exist, even if they exist right down the road.

    One such gem is the Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve, which sits in a 146-acre tear of land created by an oxbow in the Neuse River, in Wake Forest. Part of Raleigh Parks & Rec, it’s a wonderful nature nook just off US 401. It’s a nice spot for a quiet escape, or to learn about nature, the latter being the case this Sunday. “Meadow Story and a Nature Walk” is just that: start with a story about a meadow, then walk about the meadow that dominates the preserve. Help propagate the local wildflower community along the way.

    Logistics: “Meadow Story and a Nature Walk,” Sunday, April 2, 2-3 p.m., Horseshoe Farm Nature Preserve, 2900 Horse Shoe Farm Road, Wake Forest. Free, but registration is required, by going here. More info by dialing 919.870.2871.

    Sunday forecast: Mostly sunny, high around 73.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Durant Family Campout, Saturday, April 22, Durant Nature Park, Raleigh. More info here.

    =&2=&

    We’re all about active lifestyles here at GetGoingNC. We advocate movement of all sorts, from hiking and backpacking to mountain biking and paddling. Every once in a while, though, we realize we are only skimming the surface of what an active life is about. An hour or two or three a day? Ha! Try 18. As in farming.

    Perhaps during the recent Farm-to-Table-fueled resurgence of the local farm, you’ve wondered if you have the right stuff to go all “Green Acres.” More so, you’ve likely wondered how on earth one gets into farming, and what it entails. Spend Saturday in Asheville and find out.

    From 10 a.m. To 4 p.m., Lenoir Rhyne University sponsors “Farm Dreams? An Exploratory Workshop for Farm Dreamers.” Say the sponsors:

    Discover and assess your resources, skills and farming intentions. Begin to develop an educational plan toward farming. Connect with regional training opportunities and support networks. Prioritize your next steps toward your farming goals. Hear from experienced farmers running successful farms in WNC.” 

    Logistics: “Farm Dreams: An Exploratory Workshop for Farm Dreamers,” Saturday, April 1, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Lenoir Rhyne University, 36 Montford Ave., Asheville. $55. More info and register here

    Sunday forecastMostly sunny and 63.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: “Spring Wildflower Hike,” Saturday, April 22, Hendersonville. More info here.

    * * *

    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 read more

    This weekend: Winter returns 

    Huggins Island

    More seasonal temps descend this weekend. It will still be nice for a hike at the coast, and you’ll be able to hit the slopes in the mountains. Meanwhile, in the Piedmont, you can take it inside for a chance to try a cool sport associated with the cold.

    =&0=&

    You stand on shore, you look out to any number of islands and think, “I wonder what’s out there?”

    Saturday is your chance to find out, when a park ranger from Hammocks Beach State Park takes a boatload of folks from the mainland over to Huggins Island for a couple hours of exploring. “You will get a chance to see and explore one of the Atlantic coast’s better-preserved earthwork fortifications and how it played a role in the American Civil War. We will look at the different groups of people that have utilized the island over the years- including the Native Americans and early European colonists- and talk about their role in shaping the island.”

    Sounds like a hike worth driving a spell for.

    Logistics: Huggins Island History Hike, Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. Free, but space is limited and reservations are required, by calling 910.326.4881. More info here.

    Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 54.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Polar Plunge, 5K and 1-mile Fun Run, Kure Beach Pier, Kure Beach, Feb. 11. More info here.

    =&1=&

    Directions on how to dress for an event sometimes seem bizarre and silly. Sadly, they are typically based on experience. With that in mind, here’s how the folks at Triangle Curling suggest you dress for their two-hour Try Curling session:

    • “No raised heels or flip flops.
    • “Pants that offer easy movement are important as you will be required to stretch and get into positions that tight pants and jeans are not necessarily appropriate for.”

    All of which will help you enjoy the sport of really cold places that much more when you give it a try Saturday morning at their Durham Curling Center.

    Logistics: Try Curling, Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m., Triangle Curling Center, 2310 So Hi Dr., Durham. $25. More info here.

    Saturday forecast: It’s inside.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Astronomy Program at Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle, Feb. 18, 6-10 p.m. More info here.

    Mountains

    According to he Asheville Citizen-Times Outdoors section, “WNC ski areas that closed for an extended time due to some of the highest average January temperatures on record are set to reopen Jan. 27.”

    That’s Friday, btw.

    Figure out which lift line you’ll be in when the ropes drop by checking out the latest Southeast ski conditions at SkiSoutheast.com.

    Weekend forecast: Overnight lows in the low 20s (perfect for snowmaking), daytime highs in the mid-30s (perfect for skiing), with snow moving in Sunday afternoon.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Underground Railroad Hike, Feb. 5, Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, West Jefferson. More info here.

    * * *

    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