Kowabunga! It’s a great weekend to be outdoors

He makes it look so easy.

This weekend, there’s inspiration by the surf, less perspiration in an evening run, more inspiration (not to mention answers to vexing questions of the great outdoors).


Sometimes watching can be as inspiring as doing. Case in point: This weekend’s 7th Annual Reef/Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest at Wrightsville Beach. Some of the best pro and amateur surfers in the world will descend on Wrightsville in one of the largest surfing competitions on the East Coast (OK, so the East Coast of the Atlantic ain’t exactly the North Shore).  The action begins on Friday, runs through Sunday and includes an art and music festival at Wrightsville Beach Park on Saturday.

Some, get caught up in the fun, watch some great surfing and who knows, you sign up for surfing lessons before you head home.

More info here.


Obviously on a daytime run. Running in the evening would boost his spirits.

The notion of a summer 5K that begins at 7 in the evening — as the temperature is cooling rather than climbing — would seem incentive enough to sign up for Saturday’s Beat the Heat 5K in Winston-Salem. Add to that the fact the race is the USATF 5K Championship race for North Carolina and will attract the running world’s elite (seeking $2,500 in prize money) and there’s even more incentive. But wait, there’s more! The race uses the “novel WAVA age and gender handicapped scoring system [that] allows all 5K runners to judge their performance with the fastest runners in the field.” AND, instead of yet another T-shirt, the top 50 WAVA finishers get a Beat the Heat coffee mug!

So, who to make the check out to? That would be the Twin City Track Club, for $30 if you register at the race, which begins and ends at Wake Forest University’s BB&T Field, $25 if you register online by Friday through Active.com.


I always wind up with more questions than answers when I go for a hike: What kind of tree is that? What’s that frog I’m hearing in the distance? Should I take it personally that a bird just pooped on my head?

Getting in touch with his inner waterbuffalo.

Expect to have a lot of those questions answered at this Friday and Saturday’s 8th annual Mountain Wildlife Days, based out of the Sapphire Valley Community Center. Friday offers several hike options: 9 a.m. Bird Walk, 10 a.m. hikes at both Panthertown Valley and the Devil’s Courthouse along the Blue Ridge Parkwy, and a Green Salamander field trip; 9 p.m. Owl prowl with “Eagle Lady” (see below). More questions answered at presentations held Saturday by  Freeman Owle, Rob Gudger, Kate Marshall and Doris Meager (a k a the aforementioned Eagle Lady).

More information about Mountain Wildlife Days here.

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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.

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.

Todd’s Calendar



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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