Tag Archives: Jordan Lake

GetOut! Your Friday Nudge for Weekend Adventure

Jordan Lake

Consider the coming weekend as preparation for the winter ahead: high temperatures throughout much of the region won’t get out of the 40s. That makes it an opportune time to dig out your cold weather gear, see what works, see what needs replacing. Make good use of this test-run weekend and you’ll be ready for the winter months ahead! read more

This weekend: Fun in the parks

Chalk Banks, Lumber River. Photo courtesy N.C. State Parks

This week’s offerings all come courtesy North Carolina State Parks, where on any given weekend (and on a lot of days throughout the week) you’ll find an array of interesting — and usually free — programs. Check out the State Parks curriculum here, and read on for suggestions on how you can live and learn in the great outdoors this weekend.

Coast

The Lumber River doesn’t get the attention it deserves for one simple reason: it’s not near any of the state’s major population areas. But time on the river is time well spent (especially in light of the no money spent).

Saturday, Lumber River State Park sponsors a guided canoe trip down the Lumber. It’s a two-hour float, originating from the Chalk Banks Access at 10:30 a.m. All gear — boat, paddles, pfds — are provided; you just need to bring water, snacks and plenty of sunscreen. And although it’s free, you need to reserve space in advance (see below).

Logistics: Saturday, June 21, 10:30 a.m., Lumber River State Park, Lumberton. 910.628.4564.

Saturday forecast: High of 95, chance of thunderstorms.

Piedmont

Just the other day we were talking about great places to paddle in the Piedmont and the Weaver Creek sub impoundment at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area came up. Main reason it’s better than the rest of Jordan Lake for paddlers? No power boats.

Main reason to paddle it Sunday? Jordan Lake Ranger Steve McMurray is leading canoe trip of the impoundment. Ranger McMurray’s enthusiasm is exceeded only by his knowledge of the area’s natural attributes. A trip with Ranger McMurray is time well spent with a paddle. And if you’ve ever wanted to see a bald eagle in person, paddling with Ranger McMurray usually does the trick.

Logistics: Sunday, 10 a.m., Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, Apex. All gear provided and it’s free, but you need to preregister to save a space: 919.362.0586, x-219.

Saturday forecast: High of 87 with a foggy start to the day.

Mountains

Ever admire the work of the great plein air artists and wondered, “How do they do that?”

Sunday’s Painting the Mountain class at Mount Jefferson State Natural Area doesn’t promise to turn you into a Winslow Homer, but it does guarantee an hour of fun with tempera on canvas. And, again, the only investment required is your time.

Logistics: Sunday, June 22, 2 p.m., Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, West Jefferson. 336.246.9653 to reserve a spot.

Sunday forecast: High of 76, thunderstorms.

* * *

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 costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority read more

This weekend: Sun, warmth and the return Daylight Saving Time

Paddling the millpond (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks)

Tired of the cold, wet and gray? This weekend promises at least a respite from our wearying winter. Plus, the outdoor adventurer’s old buddy, Daylight Savings Time, returns, gracing us with an extra hour of end-of-day daylight.

Get out and take advantage: You never know how long it will last.

Coast

This may be hard to believe because of our ongoing cold, but the time is rapidly running out for an enjoyable hike in a coastal wetlands. Once temperatures start climbing into the mid to upper 60s, all kinds of critters begin to emerge that can take some of the fun out of exploring a forested wetlands.

Thus, with temperatures expected to stay in the 50s Sunday, we suggest you check out the Wonder Wetlands hike at Merchants Millpond State Park near Gatesville. On this two-mile hike on established trail into a wild forest, a ranger will talk about the park’s wetlands and how they affect plants, animals and people.  In addition, we recommend you get there two hours early, rent a canoe ($5 first hour, $3 every subsequent hour) and explore the millpond.

Logistics: Sunday, March 9, 3 p.m. Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville. Learn more about the park here, for more info on the hike, call 252.357.1191.

Saturday forecast: High of 59, partly sunny.

Piedmont

Running or biking on the American Tobacco Trail, we usually stop on the bridge section over White Oak Creek and contemplate the waterway’s path. Downstream, we know that the creek empties into Jordan Lake. But upstream, where exactly does the creek go? And how much farther can you paddle up it?

Find out the answer to these and other White Oak Creek questions Saturday, when Jordan Lake Ranger Steve McMurray leads a three-hour paddle up White Oak Creek. The trip commences from the Crosswinds Boat Ramp, paddles a stretch of open water on Jordan Lake, then probes White Oak Creek. Recommended for experienced paddlers only.

Logistics: Saturday, March 8, 1-4 p.m. Crosswinds Boat Ramp at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. For more information on Jordan Lake, go here, for information on the paddle trip and to register, call 919.362.0586, ext. 219.

Saturday forecast: High of 65, partly sunny.

Mountains

DuPont State Forest between Hendersonville and Brevard has nearly 100 miles of trail, a sizable number for a tract of land just over 10,000 acres. With so many trails to choose from, picking a circuit can be a challenge, both from the standpoint of optimizing your scenic return and from the standpoint of suddenly realizing you have no idea where you are.

Good reasons to sign up for Sunday’s 12-mile hike sponsored by the Carolina Mountain Club. Attractions along the way: Lake Imaging, Grassy Falls, Thomas Cemetery, Wintergreen Falls, Stone Mountain and “the old firing range.” And because it’s the first day of Daylight Savings Time, you’ll have an extra hour of sunlight to savor the scenery.

Logistics: Sunday, March 9, 9 a.m. For more information and to register, contact hike leader Jan Onan, janonan@bellsouth.net, 828.698.3237. For more information on the route, go 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 costal 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 read more

This weekend: Cool adventure

Carolina Beach S.P., along the Cape Fear River. Photo courtesy N.C. State Parks

 

Winter is approaching, but the temperatures this weekend will be more autumnal. Perfect, in fact, for getting out and shaking the lethargy of a Thanksgiving feast. Carolina Beach State Park gives you good reason to head for the coast, there’s a rare opportunity to explore a Jordan Lake tributary in the Piedmont, and in the mountains, the trail less traveled could be the one yielding the biggest reward.

Coast

Winter is the best time to be at the coast. The beach crowds have scattered, replaced by overwintering waterfowl. The skies are crisp, the air bracing. If you like exploring, this is the time to do it along the coast. Sometimes, though, you need a little push.

Saturday, Carolina Beach State Parks offers such a nudge with its one-hour Biological Wonderland program. It’s a popular program at the park, giving visitors a quick overview of this incredibly diverse area, an area best known for its rare, carnivorous plant life. Come early, familiarize yourself on the park’s six miles of trail, then swing by the Flytrap Trail parking lot and get enlightened.

Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 30, 2 p.m., Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Partly cloudy, high of 61.

Piedmont

We have two weak spots when it comes to paddling. One, the winter, when a naked canopy makes it easier to peer into the woods surrounding you. Two, exploring new, exotic places.

Maybe the White Oak Creek area of Jordan Lake doesn’t strike you as exotic, but every time I’ve biked over it on the American Tobacco Trail I’ve been intrigued by its swampy feel, by where it comes from, where it goes. Saturday presents a rare opportunity to determine both when Jordan Lake Park Ranger Steve McMurray leads a paddle trip from the lake up White Oak Creek. A sense of adventure is guaranteed.

Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 30, 1 p.m., Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. Free, but preregistration required. You can do that, and get more information, by contacting Ranger McMurray at at 919.362.0586, ext 219, or at steve.mcmurray@ncparks

Saturday forecast: Partly cloudy, high of 48.

Mountains

Don’t your ears tend to perk when you hear of a hike described as using “a rarely used trail”? That means that even on a gorgeous late fall day you won’t likely encounter other hikers, and because the trail is rarely used — and under-maintained, most likely — there’s what I like to call on the hikes I lead, a heightened opportunity for adventure (translation: a good chance of getting lost). The latter isn’t likely in this case, as Sunday’s 7.5-mile hike on the rarely used Rough Creek Trail in the Pisgah National Forest is being lead by savvy Carolina Mountain Club hike leader Lenny Bernstein.

Logistics: Sunday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m. (carpool meeting time from Asheville). Contact Carolina Mountain Club hike leader Lenny Bernstein, at 828.450.1325, lennybernstein41@gmail.com. Learn more about the hike here.

Sunday forecast: Partly cloudy, high of 48.

* * *

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 costal 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

Piedmont

Charlotte

Charlotte Observer events calendar read more

90 Second Escape: A Father’s Day Paddle

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 fluorescent bulb.

Today’s 90-Second Escape: A Father’s Day Paddle.

Hana and I have a longstanding Father’s Day tradition: we take the Old Town Loon 138T out for a paddle.

I don’t recall how or exactly when this tradition began; like most traditions, I’m guessing it didn’t begin with establishing a tradition in mind. I bought the boat in the late 1998 thinking it was perfect for me and my then 3-year-old daughter. And it was: When her little arms grew tired of paddling, the boat was small enough that I could easily power it on my own. As the years passed, that became less and less a concern. What was a concern was that some day we would outgrow the boat; in anticipation I bought a used canoe a couple years back. By and large, though, we stick with the Loon 138T.

Perhaps what I love most about paddling together is that the confined space, the natural setting, the easy pace (we stick to flat water) combine for a good conversation. Nothing heavy, necessarily, more an opportunity to catch up on the smaller matters that help give a sense of the big picture. Yesterday’s trip was especially nice in that regard: Hana leaves for Western Carolina (go Catamounts!) in the fall and, if personal history is any indication, those conversations will become increasingly difficult to come by. So …

Background properly set, tag along for 90 seconds worth of our most recent Father’s Day Paddle, yesterday at Jordan Lake.

* * *

Like us on Facebook and get health, fitness and outdoors news throughout the day.

GetGoingNC.comPromote Your Page Too