Tag Archives: Stone Mountain State Park

GetOut! Your Friday Nudge for Weekend Adventure

Holy moly! If there were ever a good weekend to visit a North Carolina State Park, this is it! As we ease into fall, you’ll find celebrations aplenty at a park that’s likely near you. Among them:

50th Anniversary Art & Eco Festival, Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Raven Rock State Park, Lillington. Come celebrate the park’s 50th year of existence with crafts, guided hikes, live music, food and more. Learn more here. read more

GetOut! Your Friday Nudge for Weekend Adventure

There is still good fall color to be had, and based on the forecast, it’s to be had against a backdrop of crisp baby blue skies. That said, some thoughts on the weekend ahead.

  • Fall Foliage Hike, Saturday, 1:30 p.m. Haw River State Park, Browns Summit. What we said above about the forecast should make the colors pop even more. Learn more here.
  • Fall Tree ID Hike, Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap. When was the last time you slow down enough on the trail to learn a thing? Can’t recall? Then this could be the most informative half mile you’ll come across this year. Learn more here.
  • Weymouth Goes to the Dogs!, Sunday, 3 p.m., Weymouth Woods Sandhills Nature Preserve, Southern Pines. Learn more here.
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    GetOut! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure


    Finally, some fall-like weather! The weather unpleasantness that blew through late in the week has been replaced by seasonable temperatures. Meaning if you head out for a hike early Saturday, you better be packing fleece — it could be in the upper 40s.

    That said, a few thoughts on the weekend ahead:

    GetHiking! Triangle Fleece Hike at Horton Grove, Saturday, 9 a.m. Horton Grove Nature Preserve, Bahama. We aren’t about to pass on our first opportunity of the fall to hike in fleece! Expect a temperature around 50 when we hit the trail on this 6-mile hike. Starting from the old white barn on Jock Road we’ll hike a loop composed of the Jordan, Walker, Peaks, Holman, Hart and Justice trails. Because of its elevation and location on a high plateau, it should be comparatively immune from the drenching rains of Michael. Learn more and sign up here.

    Big Canoe Program, Saturday, 2 p.m., Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville (northeast corner of the state). We’re intrigued by the simple program description: “Come to the visitors center at 2:00 p.m. for a canoe program in large canoes.” Large canoes … hmm. It’s free, and while these are large canoes, seating is limited, preregistration is required, by calling 252.357.1191. Not much more information here.

    =&2=&, Sunday, 1 p.m., Stone Mountain State Park, Roaring Gap (west of Elkin, which is northwest of Winston-Salem. If you’re new to hiking, this is a great starter hike: from the Lower Trailhead Parking Area, it’s a short hike (a half mile overall) to the Hutchinson Homestread, long enough to see some emerging fall color, learn about the homestead, and see the massive moon face of Stone Mountain (and likely some climbers working their way up the smooth face). Moreyinfo here.

    More options

    You can find more opportunities this weekend here:

    • North Carolina State Parks have a variety of adventures planned for the weekend. Check those options here.
    • North Carolina Environmental Education Centers has an extensive calendar of what’s happening at its affiliates; check it out here.
    • You can also find more adventures right here, at GetGoingNC.com.

    And if you’re interested in exploring the two areas featured in our video, you can find more info by clicking the link below:

    Little River Regional Park
    Mountains-to-Sea Trail, Falls Lake

    Day-Hike Section S read more

    Your weekend: It’s not just about fall hiking

    ppd_b2b_2015_swim

    You’ve likely heard about all the great hikes trying to capitalize on peak fall color. But leaf peeping isn’t the only game in town.

    Coast

    Rarely do we recommend a spectator activity, what with GetGoingNC being about active, adventurous living and all. But today’s recommendation is spectating that could lead to sweating.

    Saturday, it’s the annual running of the Beach2Battleship Iron Distance Triathlon. That’s a 2.4-mile swim (in Banks Channel at Wrightsville Beach), followed by a 112-mile bike ride out to the White Lake area and back, followed by a marathon. We’re not necessarily suggesting that watching an Ironman will make you want to do an Ironman, but it likely could inspire you to, initially, do a shorter tri (they come in in a variety of smaller sizes; to learn more, visit here).

    And then, who knows?

    Logistics: Beach2Battleship Ironman Distance Triathlon, Saturday, Oct. 22, 7:15 a.m. into the evening, Wrightsville Beach. More info here.

    Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 65.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Surf-to-Sound Challenge, stand up paddleboard race, Nov. 4, Blockade Runner Resort, Wrightsville Beach. More info here.

    Piedmont

    We love physical activity that doesn’t seem like physical activity. An activity, say, where you walk for two hours, then say, “Wow! I just walked for two hours!”

    That would describe Saturday’s Ghost Walk of Davidson, a two-hour ramble through the town of Davidson, learning about the town’s history and ghostly past. It’s a family-oriented activity, a good way to jump-start the clan’s plans to be up and about.

    Logistics: Ghost Walk of Davidson, Saturday, 7-9 p.m., Davidson. $10 for adults, $5 for the 7-12 set. More info by calling 704.896.7743.

    Saturday evening forecast: High in the mid-50s, darkening.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Canoe Hike, Saturday, Oct. 29, Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. More info here.

    Mountains

    A river runs through Stone Mountain State Park — actually, several do. Combined, they include 20 miles of designated trout waters, making the park a great place to fly fish. And, not coincidentally, a great place to learn to fly fish.

    Sunday, check out Beginner Fly Fishing, a two-hour class led by Ranger Michael Wood that covers rules and regulations, stream sampling, knot tying, casting, and actual fishing instruction. It’s a great introduction to the sport, and it’s free, though pre-registration is required (the class is limited to 10, so don’t dawdle).

    Logistics: Beginner Fly Fishing, Sunday, Oct. 23, 1-3 p.m., Stone Mountain State Park. Free, but preregistration is required, by emailing Ranger Michael Wood at michael.wood@ncparks.gov.

    Sunday forecast: Sunny skies, high of 63.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Senior Trek Hike to Laurel River Trail, Nov. 2,Oakley Recreation Center, Asheville. 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 read more

    Your weekend: Have an adventure that sizzles

    Walking around Smith Creek Lake (photo: SirBikesALot.com)
    Walking around Smith Creek Lake (photo: SirBikesALot.com)

    Another hot summer weekend is on tap. Appropriately, we have some hot ideas on how to spend it.

    Coast / Coastal Plain

    A lot of folks like the idea of going on a group hike or walk. Trouble is, the vast majority are long and geared toward more advanced hikers. The opportunities to test the trail waters on shorter, friendly hikes are few.

    That’s why we like Saturday morning’s Wellness Walk at Smith Creek Park in Wilmington. It’s a friendly distance (1.3 miles) on a friendly surface (pavement) in a most friendly environment. Enjoy the woods and lake, hike with others who aren’t heck-bent on setting a speed record, and discover why walking/hiking is the most popular — and one of the most beneficial — forms of exercise.

    Logistics: Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m., Smith Creek Park, 633 Shenandoah Street, Wilmington. Sponsored by New Hanover County Parks and Gardens. More info by calling 919.798.7275.

    Saturday forecast: Sunny with temperatures in the low 80s at hike time.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Paddle the Millpond, Saturday, Aug. 27, Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville. More info here.

    Piedmont

    We all have that one adventure on our list that, for no good reason, we’ve yet to try. Nope, hard as we try, we can’t figure out why it’s yet to be checked from our list.

    If fly fishing is that thing for you, then check out Saturday’s Stone Mountain Trout Fishing Guide, at — Anyone? Anyone?Stone Mountain State Park. A ranger will discuss trout species in the park’s designated trout waters, and will also discuss seasons, creel limits and bait restrictions. The program is just 45 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to explore Stone Mountain’s scenic — and challenging — 23 miles of trail.

    Logistics: Saturday, Aug. 13, 1:30 p.m., Stone Mountain State Park. For more information, go here.

    Saturday forecast: High of 79, chance of thunderstorms.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Ascent of the Century, climb Mount Mitchell with N.C. State Parks and the N.C. Museum of Natural Science, Aug. 26-28, $75. More info here.

    Mountains

    Are you having a stellar season on the bike? Riding three or four times a week, putting in the miles, crushing the climbs?

    Then you’re probably up for a good challenge. Such as Sunday’s Race to the Rock, at Chimney Rock State Park. It’s a 25-mile bike race that gains 900 vertical feet in the last three miles alone (the grade ranges from 7 to 9 percent), finishing at the base of Chimney Rock. Part of the Lake Lure Olympiad.

    Logistics: Sunday, Aug. 14, 7:30 a.m., Chimney Rock State Park. $45. More info here.

    Sunday forecast: Race time temperature of 81, chance of thunderstorms.

    * * *

    Looking ahead: Asheville Duathlon, 10K off-road run, Sept. 11, 8:30 a.m., Biltmore Estate. More info 828.684.0812, or 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 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 read more