Weekend plans? Let a boll weevil spur you to action

Was that a hint of fall we’ve felt early every morning this week? It’s the perfect time to get out and about. Here are three events to get you doing just that. (Events are free unless otherwise indicated.)


Enjoy exploring the coast’s wild areas? You have the Sierra Club to thank, in part, for those wild places remaining wild. Thanks to their efforts to protect and preserve the coast’s many special places, eastern North Carolina has some of the best flatwater paddling in the nation. Help the North Carolina Sierra Club celebrate four decades of protecting these spots at their 40th anniversary celebration this weekend with festivities based out of Washington (N.C., of course). Saturday is more of a listening and meeting day, Sunday is when you’ll find several outings to chose from, including:

  • Garner’s Creek/Devil’s Gut paddle, 9 a.m. 9 miles, geared for more experienced paddlers with their own canoe or kayak.
  • Tar River paddle, 9 a.m., 5.5 miles, open to novice paddles (8 kayaks are available for the boatless).
  • Goose Creek hike, 9 a.m., 2-mile hike with option to hike 5 more.

Go here for more information on specific events and the 40th anniversary celebration in general.


Back in the 1920s, the thought of a festival honoring the boll weevil probably didn’t cross too many minds. The pernicious little creatures, after migrating from Central America found the cotton crop to be a darn tasty treat and years were spent trying to beat the critters into submission. They continue to be a problem, but are largely controlled. Enough so, apparently, to be honored at Saturday’s Boll Weevil Jamboree in Marshville (Union County). As part of the fun, the Metrolina Walkers, a volkssport club out of Charlotte, is sponsoring a walk. 5K and 10K routes are available, you can start any time between noon and 3 p.m.

More info on Saturday’s walk can be found here, more info on the Metrolina Walkers and volkssports here.


DuPont State Forest, at 10,400 acres, is big. Lots to see: if you’re planning a day hike, you’ll only be able to sample a fraction of this unique playground between Hendersonville and Brevard. But if you were to run through the forest, think how much more you’d see? That’s part of our logic in suggesting Saturday’s Hickory Mountain 10K Trail Run. Start and finish at the Guion Farm access, run on single track, double track and fire roads throughout the forest. $40.

More info on the race here, more info on DuPont State Forest, go here.

As for our weekend … You’ll find us running The Miracle Mile in downtown Raleigh Sunday at 2 p.m. Follow the action live on Twitter, at JoeAGoGo.

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Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, below. The comprehensive rundown of regional and statewide calendars covers a range of active, mostly outdoors programs, from educational nature hikes to mellow paddle trips to challenging bike rides. Calendars identified as “Comprehensive” include non adventure-related events; some sifting may be required.

Know of a good outdoors calendar we should include? Pass it along and we’ll plug it in.

Photo: Cedar Rock Mountain, by John Dreir.


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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