This weekend: Run, ride, hike wet

Explore Wilmington — quickly — by foot; explore the Triad at 18 mph by bike; or take a mountain hike frequently interrupted by plunges into a cool mountain pools. Those are but three of your options for getting out and exploring North Carolina this weekend.


Downtown Wilmington is a swell place to take in the sights: the Cotton Exchange, the waterfront, the historic homes built for sea captains. Imagine how many more sights you’ll take in if you’re wearing a pair of running shoes on a route prescribed in part for its esthetic appeal, in part for the fact it’s precisely 3.1 miles long. Saturday, your historic running tour of Wilmington takes place under the auspices of the 29th Annual Tri-Span Race. (True history buffs eager to absorb more of Wilmington may want to do the 10K alternative.) Starts and ends at the aforementioned Cotton Exchange (and at the end, your carrot will be “fresh local melons”). Both races begin at a heat-beating 7 a.m. $30 for the 5K, $35 for the 10K. More information here.

If you’re wondering why people run in the first place,  you must have missed Wednesday’s installment on Why You Should Run.


I love a group ride that focuses on “FUN” (the leader’s ALL CAPS, not mine). That, we’re told, is the goal of the every-Saturday-during-the-summer Revolution Ride, sponsored by the Greensboro bike shop of the same name. Based on the ride’s tag line of “Explore the Triad on bike!” I gather that every week’s ride is different, exploring a different part of the Triad. As for how the ride leaders define “FUN”, well, it’s a relatively fast breed of fun, averaging 18 miles per hour and what that requires s bit of endurance, covering 50 to 65 miles.

Cue sheets provided. Show up at the Revolution Cycles shop ready to roll at 8 a.m. More info here.


Thinking back to the memorable summer hikes of my youth, they inevitably involved two things: mountains and waters. That’s the focus of Sunday’s youthful hike by the Carolina Mountain Club of the Horsepasture River. This 8-mile adventure in the Gorges State Park area begins with a downstream hike to Windy Falls near Lake Jocassee, then a return with stops at Rainbow, Turtleback, Drift and Stairway falls; “Several swimming breaks will be taken.” Total elevation gain for the hike is about 2,000 feet.

The plan is to meet and carpool from the Westgate Shopping Center in Asheville at 8 a.m., with a second pickup point at the Bi-Lo in Pisgah Forest at 8:35 a.m. For more info on the route, go here. For more information on Sunday’s hike, contact Kathleen Hannigan at 828-230-4883 or

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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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