This weekend: surf, night hike give a Hoot

We’re down to our last month of summer before the ceremonial start of fall come Labor Day. Get out and make the most of what’s left of the season.


Two weeks ago we suggested you check out the 6th Annual Reef/Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest at Wrightsville Beach. If you did, we’re guessing you were intrigued by the thought of riding the waves on a long board. Intrigued, but perhaps at a loss as to how to take the first step toward participating in 7th Annual Reef/Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest. Step 1: Enroll in surf camp, specifically the “Get Stoked Surf Camp” offered by Hot Wax Surf Shop in Emerald Isle. The 2-hour class begins at 8 a.m. and includes surfboard rental; all you need to bring are some cool surfing shorts (and water and sunscreen and a rash guard). $70.

Call 252.354.6466 or go here for more info.


It’s supposed to be cooler this weekend, but even in the low 90s you’re not inclined to head out into the mid-day heat. So don’t. Instead, wait until 8 p.m. and take a night hike with a ranger at Eno River State Park in Durham. The forest is a cool place after dark as a whole new contingent of surprisingly vocal wildlife emerges. Your ranger guide can help identify who’s who in this critter cacophony. The hike begins Saturday at 8 p.m. from the main park office. It’s free but participation is limited to 12; preregister by calling 919.383.1686.

More on the park here.


Another way to escape the heat is to head to the mountains. If you’ve got kids, grab ‘em and head up Saturday to the Summer Hoot’Nanny at Beech Mountain (at 5,506 feet it’s bound to be noticeably cooler). Live music from the Corklickers, a wildlife gameshow for kids ages 6-15, a petting zoo, birdhouse-building tent, wildlife demonstrations, face painting, door prizes, raffle, food — there’s plenty to keep you occupied. (And if not, there’s nearby hiking and you can explore neighboring Beech Mountain Resort where there’s summer mountain boarding.)  The festival runs from noon-5 p.m., tickets are $5 for kids, $10 for adults, with proceeds benefiting the Genesis Wildlife Sanctuary in Beech Mountain.

More info: 828.387.2979 or visit the Genesis Web site.

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Those are our suggestions for the weekend. Find an activity of your own from our a collection of event calendars we’ve culled from around the state. Know of a good outdoors calendar we should include? Pass it along and we’ll plug it in.

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.
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).


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.



Charlotte Observer events calendar
Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including Nature, Recreation, Recreation & Wellness, Running

Charlotte Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

Piedmont Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including: Birding, Boating, Cycling, Nature, Rec & Wellness, Recreation, Running, Swimming, Tennis, Yoga.

Carolina Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.


Office of Environmental Education
One calendar for the numerous Environmental Education Centers statewide.

North Carolina State Parks
Lets you search for programs at the state’s parks, recreation areas and natural areas by location, by month, by topic. To reach the calendar from the home page, click on “Education,” then “Fun & Free Programs at Parks.”

National Forests in North Carolina
From the home page, click on Carolina Connections for news updates on the state’s four national forests as well as hints on recreational opportunities and a detailed rundown of recreation areas and the amenities at each.

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