The passage of Labor Day means the crowds are starting to thin from the coast, making it safe to go back in the water. Meanwhile, while the calendar may say fall is officially a couple weeks off, Labor Day signals, to us, the start of the fall hiking season. We’ve got great options for the latter in both the Piedmont and mountains.
Ah, that first post-Labor Day weekend at the coast, when the crowds have thinned and it’s safe to go back in the water. For, say, a bit of competitive standup paddle boarding!
Sunday is the Second Annual Carolina Beach SUP Challenge benefiting Ocean Cure, a non-profit that provides free surf camps and lessons to medically-fragile at-risk youth and adults. The Challenge includes two races — 3 and 6 miles — on the Intracoastal Waterway.
Been paddling for a while and like a good challenge? Race organizers say this event is for you you. New to SUPing? Again, grab your board and paddle and come on down. Really new to the sport? There’s a 1-mile Family Fun Race in which pets are encouraged to participate. (Pets? We can see a dog digging the surf scene, but a cat? A ferret?)
Logistics: Sunday, Sept. 13, 8 a.m., Carolina Beach Yacht Basin and Marina, 216 Canal Dr., Carolina Beach. $25. More info here.
Saturday forecast: High of 85, chance of afternoon thunderstorms.
* * *
Looking ahead: Curious about the coastal environment? On Sept. 25 join UNC Wilmington faculty from the departments of biology, marine biology, geology and geography for a Campus Nature Tour. More info here.
Fall means the return of hiking to the Piedmont, and our GetHiking! crew is rarin’ to go.
Saturday at 1 p.m., we’ll hike a section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail along Falls Lake, from the Upper Barton Creek boat ramp to NC 98 and back. We’ll hike 2.1 miles out, 2.1 miles back, through a rolling riparian woodland. At the turnaround is one of the biggest white oak trees around. For a preview, check out this description of the hike on the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail website.
Sunday at 1 p.m., we’ll head to northern Durham County to explore the 708-acre Horton Grove Nature Preserve. Here, the Triangle Land Conservancy has built eight miles of trail exploring bottomland forest, mature hardwood forest, deep ravines and Piedmont prairie. Our hike will cover about five miles.
Logistics: For more information on both hikes and to sign up, visit our GetHiking! Triangle Meetup site.