It’s a weekend with challenges

This could be you and three people you may or may not know if you participate in Saturday's Charlotte Challenge.

Benefit the land this weekend with ride at the coast or a hike in the mountains, benefit yourself with a crazy 5K scavenger hunt in Charlotte.


You don’t get many chances to take a group ride at the coast, so when you do it’s wise to act. Saturday is one such chance, when the N.C. Coastal Federation holds its Cycle for the Coast fund raiser. Ride options of 20K, 40K and 80K are available, on a route that takes in Emerald Isle, Salter Path, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Atlantic Beach along bike-friendly NC 58.

If you belong to the Federation — the N.C. Coastal Federation, not the other Federation — it’s $35 to ride, $50 for those of you outside the federation. Begins and ends at the Salter Path Public Beach Access (milepost 10.5 on NC 58), with the 80K riders heading off at 8 a.m., the smaller K riders thereafter.

More info, call the Federation at 252-393-8185.


The Charlotte area is overrun with 5K races this weekend, but only one of the races promises to “test your brains as much as your legs.” That would be the Charlotte Challenge, an urban adventure race that requires you to “solve tricky clues, strategize the best route, and explore undiscovered corners of the city.” Costumes are encouraged (to the extent there are two $50 prizes for best costume), and if you come in fourth or fifth you win a $50 bar tab. (First place, btw, gets $300 in cash.) Speed is important, but so is the quick thinking required to solve 12 clues to navigate the course.

Race begins and ends at StrikeCity at EpiCentre, 210 E Trade St. Packet pick-up is 11:30-12:45 , the races commences at 1 p.m. The Challenge is one of 37 being held nationwide this year.

More info here.


Here’s another rare opportunity you shouldn’t pass up: a guided hike on mountain land that few people know about and that hasn’t changed much in 80 years. That opportunity comes Saturday when the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy hosts a 3-mile hike into the Swannanoa Mountain Range. According to the SAHC, “hikers will begin passing through a gorgeous stand of poplars before entering the oak-hickory forests with some very large, tall trees and even areas of virgin old growth forest. Numerous wet coves also provide for a very rich and diverse herbaceous layer home to various rare plant species.” Note, too, that there’s about 850 feet of elevation gain on this hike, scheduled to run from 10 a.m. -2 p.m.

For details on the hike, including where to meet, contact Rich Preyer at or visit 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.

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