Tag Archives: paddle

GetOut! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure

We’re finally in full leaf-out and had our first taste of summertime temperatures. Some thoughts on how you can get out and enjoy.

16th Annual Paddle for the Border, Saturday, 8 a.m., Dismal Swamp State Park, South Mills. Picture one of those races where they release hundreds of tiny rubber ducks into a stream. Now, instead of tiny ducks, picture hundreds of paddlers. Crazy, no? That’s the craziness you’ll find this weekend as hundreds of paddlers make their way from the park up the Dismal Swamp Canal to the Virginia border. About a 7.5-mile paddle. Check it out here. read more

This weekend: Fun with Dad 

Learn the mysteries of Merchants Millpond

Show dad how much he means to you by taking him into the great outdoors.

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So many mysteries contained in Merchants Millpond, the nearly 200-year-old, 760-acre water assemblage that spreads throughout the State Park bearing its name. Is it a pond or a swamp (sure seems like the latter)? What are those weird, prehistoric fish you occasionally see near the surface? Are there alligators?

These questions and more answered Saturday afternoon on a 2-hour guided canoe trip on the pond. Canoe, paddle, pfd and guide provided free; you bring the sunscreen and questions.

Logistics: Canoe the Pond, Saturday, June 17, 1 p.m., Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville. More info and sign up — it’s free, but there are a limited number of canoes — by going here.

Saturday forecast: High of 85, chance of afternoon thunderstorms.

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Looking ahead: Black Bears of Pettigrew State Park, Saturday, July 1, Pettigrew State Park, Columbia. More info here.

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Wondering what to get Dad for his big day, Father’s Day, which is Sunday? You know what he’d love, don’t you?

A big ‘ol hike!

For instance, the Father’s Day Jomeokee Hike at Pilot Mountain State Park. It’s the perfect hike for darn near any dad: it’s a mellow distance — just under a mile — and he’ll learn all sorts of facts that he can pepper his conversations with for years to come. Facts like where the trail got its name, how the Pilot Mountain pinnacle got its distinctive shape, why birds of prey are always circling overhead.

Logistics: Father’s Day Jomeokee Hike at Pilot Mountain State Park, Sunday, June 18, 10 a.m., Pilot Mountain State Park. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 85, chance of a thunderstorm.

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Looking ahead: Basic Orienteering, Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve, Saturday, July 16, Southern Pines. More info here.

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You do the Sunday morning Father’s Day hike at Pilot Mountain and Dad emerges really jazzed about the outdoors. His sense of adventure kindled, suggest that you drive the hour and a half to New River State Park for the 2 p.m. paddle trip on the New River. You needn’t have paddling experience; you’ll get basic canoe instruction at the start. Then, enjoy a couple hours on this mellow mountain river.

Logistics: Guided Canoe Trip, Sunday, June 18, 2 p.m., New River State Park/US 221 Access. Free, but boats are limited; call 336.982.2587 to reserve a spot.

Sunday forecast: High of 77, chance of a thunderstorm.

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Looking ahead: Night Hike, Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, Friday, July 7, West Jefferson. 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

Your weekend: Horse around, run through the night, canoe a mountain river

WP.Coast.nccoastchamber

We’ve got another hot summer weekend on tap. Some options: spend it on a barrier island checking out the horse scene; take a run through the cool(er) night; paddle a mountain river.

Coast / coastal plain

One of the reasons you love to head into the wild is the opportunity to see wildlife. For a lot of us, the bigger the wildlife the better. Swimmers at the coast love the opportunity to be near dolphins, scuba divers savor a shark encounter, hikers live for a bear sighting. And when it comes to exploring the Cape Lookout National Seashore, it’s the wild horses that inhabit the island that draw our attention.

This year, as part of Cape Lookout’s 50th Anniversary and the National Park Service’s Centennial celebration, the park is holding periodic Horse Sense and Survival trips. Wildlife Biologist Sue Stuska leads this outing, which provides “an exciting and enlightening glimpse into the relationships, behavior, and survival of these wild animals. Participants will gain an appreciation of all that can be gleaned while watching from a distance. They will understand how to determine an appropriate position and distance for watching that doesn’t affect the horses’ natural behaviors.”

Sounds like a great way to spend a day at the coast, a day like this Saturday.

Vital Stats: Saturday, July 9, 1:30-4:30 p.m., meeting at the Harkers Island Visitor Center. There’s a ferry fee to the island of $16 for adults, $9 for kids 11 and under. More information by calling 252.728.2250 ext. 3001, or going here, where you can also learn when additional sessions are scheduled.

Saturday forecast: High of 92, mostly sunny.

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Looking ahead: Soundside Hike, every Tuesday at 9 a.m., Jockey’s Ridge State Park. More info here.

Piedmont

We recently promoted a Bootlegger 5K, in Charlotte, and while we hate to go back to the well too often, we can’t resist promoting this Saturday’s Bootlegger in Pleasant Green, near Greensboro.

In part, that’s because of the course, following the popular high school and college 5K course at Hagan Stone Park. It’s a nice run in daylight, even better at night — especially when the day time temperature will reach into the mid-90s: by race time of 8:55, the mercury will have dipped to a not-quite-brisk-but-certainly-more-tolerable 81. A flashlight or headlamp is required of all runners. Post-race refreshments include two moonshine drink tickets for participants 21 and older.

Vital Stats: Saturday, July 9, 8:55 p.m., Hagan Stone Park, Greensboro. $43. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Race time temperature of 81 under dark skies.

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Looking ahead: Canoe the Mayo, Mayo River State Park, Saturday, Aug. 27, 10 a.m. More info here.

Mountains

Not many adventures sound more adventurous than a mountain canoe trip. Immediately, it conjures images of deftly negotiating a string of rapids and drops amid a froth of whitewater and a cacophony of whoops!

And if that’s what your friends choose to think when you tell them you took on the New River near Laurel Springs this Sunday, who are you to tamper with their perception of you as a devil-may-care, buckskin-clad paddler. In reality, though, this paddle on the New through New River State Park is one relatively placid water with great views! And, you’ll be led by a park ranger, who will offer basic canoe instruction along the way.

Vital Stats: Guided Canoe Trip, New River State Park, Wagoner Access, Sunday, July 10, 1 p.m. Free, but space is limited; 336.982.2587 to reserve a spot.

Sunday forecast: Sunny skies, high of 81.

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Looking ahead: Elk Knob Community Headwaters Day, Elk Knob State park, Todd, Saturday, Sept. 10. 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 read more

90 Second Escape: Content on Contentnea

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: Content on Contentnea

It’s the Fourth of July and we are off! We’re paddling today, so it seemed appropriate to dig into the archive and share with you one of our favorite paddles past — on Contentnea Creek, in the coastal plain.

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90 Second Escape: Sunset on the water

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: Sunset on the Water

One of the joys that indoor lighting has robbed us of is watching day fade to night. The gradual disappearance of light is a phenomenon that is different every day: clouds, length of day, humidity — any number of factors influence the sun’s last hurrah. Sunset is especially captivating over water.

With the opportunities for catching sunset after work diminishing by the day (the sun sets today in Raleigh at 7:44 p.m.; it sets a week from today at 7:34), here’s a little incentive to get out and take advantage when you can. Here’s a September sunset from four years ago.

Enjoy!

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