It’s Easter weekend — must we egg you on?

Things I might be doing this Easter weekend if my nose wasn’t running like a Delta Tau Chi keg from spring allergies.

1. Paddle at Merchant’s Millpond

Merchant’s Millpond may be man made, but after 190 years the millpond has shed most signs of its civilized past. Today, the 760-acre millpond is much more coastal swamp than center of commerce. The pond’s dark, acidic waters meander through a forest of bald cypress and tupelo gums dripping with Spanish moss. Cooters, snapping turtles. water snakes and a host of vocal frogs add to this aquatic adventure, which is as easy as plunking down $5 for a canoe (for the first hour, $3 each additional hour). Easy paddling, no previous experience in a boat required.

More info, call (252) 357-1191 or go here.

2. Hike the Blue Ridge Parkway

The 469-mile scenic parkway connecting the Shenandoah’s in Virginia with the Smokies in North Carolina is known as a motorist’s dream. But there are hundreds of miles of hiking trail just off the parkway that offer the same guarantee of scenic satisfaction. A favorite trail: Bluff Mountain in the Doughton Park area. This 7.5-mile trail never wanders far from the parkway, yet it manages to escort you far from civilization. Start at Brinegar Cabin, a restored home from 1880s, hike through a mature white pine stand, stand atop Wildcat Rocks and check out the old Caudill Cabin far below and von Trapp your way through a high mountain meadow on your way to Bluff Mountain.

More info, go here.

3. Pedal the Railroad Grade Road

The Blue Ridge Brutal is a 100-mile bike race over some of the most brutal climbs in mountains of northwestern North Carolina. But there’s a 10-mile stretch of the BRB that even a tot on training wheels could do: Railroad Grade Road. This retired two-lane paved blacktop parallels the New River offering lots of scenery for precious little sweat. The road runs between Fleetwood and Todd, and runs atop an old railroad grade. Pick up the trail in Todd just off N.C. 194 (park at the Todd General Store, look for the red caboose near the church for the trailhead) or in Fleetwood off N.C. 221 just past the Fleetwood School.

4. Paddle the French Broad

Think of paddling in the mountains and you think of whitewater. Yet one of the most placid, peaceful stretches of river in the state is the headwaters of the French Broad near Rosman. Put in at Headwaters Outfitters on U.S. 64 and take a 3-, 4- or 7-hour paddle down the cozy French Broad. Need a canoe? Headwaters can put you in one, starting at $35 for the 3-hour trip. Shuttle service available if you have your own boat.

More info, call 828.877.3106 or go here.

5. Visit a theme park

A theme park? Isn’t this column about people power, not people being powered? Indeed, which is why this theme park — the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte (pictured) — is the perfect place to burn calories. Mountain bike on 14 miles of singletrack trail, take a leisurely paddle on the Catawba River, take a non-leisurely paddle on class II-IV rapids at the center’s man-made water park, climb at the massive man-made outdoor climbing center (including a 46-foot spire), take a hike or run on 14 miles of trail. Do it all for a $49 one-day pass ($29 for the 4-10 set); less expensive passes available for individual activities.

More info, call 704.391.3900 or go here.

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