Make this weekend a Labor of fun

There’s a nice cross-section of events going on this Labor Day weekend, from a 5K in Wilmington to a paddle in Charlotte to hiking in the high country.


September kicks off the fall running season in North Carolina, and they’ll be kicking it off in Wilmington with the March of Dimes 5K Run for Healthier Babies. GGNC is particularly fond of this race because in addition to the 5K ($30 race day) and Family 1-Mile Run/Walk ($10), they also have the Sleep Walk/Sleep In category — don’t show at all, contribute $25 to a good cause and you still get a nifty race T-shirt. Zs rule!

The race begins at 8 a.m. at the TrySports in Wilmington (925 Town Center Dr.). More info here.

Also, if you were planning to hit a state park at the coast this weekend, check ahead. As of Wednesday night, the following remained closed for post-Irene cleanup: Dismal Swamp, Goose Creek, Hammocks Beach, Merchants Millpond and Pettigrew.


There’s something about fall and the return to school to learn new things that never entirely leaves you, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve formally matriculated. Fulfill your fall learning instincts by learning to kayak, with the Reedy Creek Nature Center’s Kayaking 101. “We will go over the basic paddle strokes and safety before launching the boats on Dragonfly Pond where you can get familiar with the gear and experience nature in a new way,” say the organizers. Suitable for ages 12 and up, $12 per person. If you’ve never kayaked, the return on sweat investment is one of the greatest you’ll experience in the adventure sports arena: Get your stroke technique down and you can glide through some of the most restorative natural areas around.

The 737-acre Reedy Creek Nature Center is a Charlotte gem. For more on the program, go here.


Sunday, the Carolina Mountain Club will hike Cold Mountain. What’s intriguing about this hike is this note on the CMC Web site: “Trails are poorly designed and rough. Allow much more time than for a comparable trail.” Sounds like the kind of trail you’d only want to be on with someone who knows where they’re going.

This 8.8-mile hike involves a carpool from Asheville. Contact hike leader Ted Snyder at 864.638.3686 or details. Go here for a description of the hike.

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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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