Throw water on the heat this weekend

It’s something of a conundrum: It’s the weekend, you want to get out, you ache to get out — yet it’s so debilitatingly hot out! (Lordy, I was heading out for a run this morning and it was already 85 by 9 a.m. I’m usually not one to hide in the air conditioning, but … .)

We have two options to help you beat the heat and a third that doesn’t. (That third one is more than worth the sweat investment.)


In these days of 100 degree heat and matching humidity, is there any other option, really, than something on/in/under the water? I think not. That’s why we’re recommending Sunday’s Bear Island Kayak Tour at Hammocks Beach State Park. Start at the mainland park, then take the 2.6-mile canoe trail out to Bear Island. It’s an easy paddle, navigating marsh and sound. You bring the bug spray, sunscreen, snacks, water and camera, the park supplies the kayaks, paddles and life jackets. It’s free, but space is limited and preregistration is required, by calling the park office at 910.326.4881. Commences at 8:30 a.m., runs about 3 hours.


I’m going to take one last opportunity — because it’s your last opportunity — to plug Ultimate Hike, a fundraiser for CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. CureSearch helps kids with cancer — there are currently about 40,000 undergoing treatment currently — ensure that they get hooked up with the best treatment possible, no matter where they live. Ultimate Hike is a new way that CureSearch is raising money to fund itself. And now, about Ultimate Hike: It’s a one-day, 28.3 mile hike on a section of the Foothills Trail straddling the mountainous section of the North Carolina/South Carolina border. The hike is Oct. 1, but you don’t just show up Oct. 1 to hike 28.3 miles.

Ultimate Hike’s coaches — of whom I’m one — have crafted a training schedule intended to take a non-hiker and in 12 weeks make said non-hiker capable of covering 28.3 miles in one day (a day, by the way, that starts with a 3 a.m. wakeup call). The training schedule is graduated to build you up to epic hiker level, in part through a series of increasingly longer hikes every other Saturday.

I mention this today because Saturday is the last day for hikers in the Triangle to sign up. (Charlotte area hikers have two more opportunities: tonight at the Pineville REI at 6:30 p.m. and July 30 at 9 a.m. the U.S. National Whitewater Center). Saturday at 9 a.m. we’ll hold our last information/sign-up at Historic Yates Mill Park in Raleigh. Come, find out more about the hike, then join us for a 2- to 3-mile hike around the park.

More info here and here. Or leave a question below (others may be wondering the same thing).


Nothing cools you off quite like getting flipped out of a whitewater raft bouncing through a Class III rapid on a cold mountain river. Not that that happens. Often. But on most raft trips there’s usually at least one occasion to voluntarily depart the boat and float a calm stretch of cool river (sometimes there’s even a small cliff you can leap from into a deep pool).

If you’ve been thinking about packing the family into the Suburban and heading to the hills for a day of whitewater rafting, this could be the perfect weekend. In part because of the heat, in part because fellow guidebook author and outdoors writer Karen Chavez wrote a most helpful piece in yesterday’s Asheville Citizen-Times about how to chose a whitewater rafting trip.

Read it — when you’re done here, of course — then book a trip.

* * *

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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