This weekend: walk the coast, paddle the Piedmont, get educated in the mountains

Start the weekend with a Friday evening paddle at Jordan Lake.

The headline says it all. Without further adieu … .


Last year we drove through Elizabeth City on the way to New Jersey. We stopped, walked around for about an hour, wished we had more time. We vowed to look for a reason to return, a reason such as this Saturday, when there’s not one, but two walks, both of which provide an opportunity to explore Elizabeth City, stretch your legs and help a good cause.

The Great Strides 4th Annual Walk for a Cure for Cystic Fibrosis is billed as a “leisurely” 2-mile walk at Charles Creek Park. The leisurely is underscored by the fact the walk is from 9 a.m. until noon. The incentive is underscored by the fact there’s free locally handmade pizza for lunch. Call 252-340-5425 or email for more information.

Meanwhile, down at Waterfront Park, the Waterway 5K Run/Walk will take walkers — and runners, if you so choose to be — down Rivershore Road to River Road and back. Registration begins at 6:30 a.m., the 5K at 8 a.m. (there’s also a 10K, which also goes at 8 a.m.) $25 for the 5K, $35 for the 10K. More info here.


We don’t often get to invoke the, The-Weekend-Technically-Begins-Friday-at-5 Rule, but we do this weekend.

Start your weekend off Friday evening at Jordan Lake paddling “the sub impoundment” — a k a Weaver Creek — off Beaver Creek Road / SR 1008, three miles south of U.S. 64 (just past Pea Ridge Road). Ranger Steve McMurray leads this paddle, which should take in a fair amount of wildlife including, if you’re lucky, bald eagles. Bring your own binos; all paddling gear is provided (though if you’ve got your own canoe/kayak, you’re welcome to bring it). Paddle begins at 6 p.m. and will run until 8 p.m.

More info: Call Ranger McMurray at 919.362.0586, ext 244, or email him at It’s free, but preregistration is requested.

How good is the view atop Mount Jefferson? Slaves could see freedom from its summit.


It’s a two-fer this weekend as well at Mount Jefferson State Natural Area near the twin cities of Jefferson/West Jefferson.

Saturday, there’s an Underground Railroad Hike exploring the role Mount Jefferson played in helping slaves escape to the north in the 1800s. That program starts at 2 p.m. at the picnic area.

At 2 p.m. Sunday, at the 2nd Overlook, there’s a Vista Viewing program. Check out three states “while learning the oral tradition associated with Mount Jefferson and its surrounding mountains.”

Both programs are free. Go here for more info.

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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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