It’s a good weekend to plan ahead

Flesh-eating plants at the coast, the perfect three that vanished in the Piedmont, fall color in the mountains. Take your pick.


Are we recommending this weekend’s back-to-back Carnivorous Plant Hikes just so we can use a picture of Seymour’s carnivorous creation?


But you’ve got to admit, there’s a good deal to recommend a search for the unusual sundews, bladderworts, butterworts, pitcher plants and Venus fly traps that make Carolina Beach State Park a curious destination, especially if you’re intrigued by the unusual in nature.  This free program is offered both Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.

More info on the park here, more on the program by calling 910-458-8206. Meet at the Nature Trail parking lot.


Photo courtesy American Chestnut Foundation

Speaking of unusual plant life, how about the perfect tree. That’s what the first Europeans to invade this country called the American chestnut, a mammoth, ramrod straight tree that once flourished in the Appalachians and had numerous uses. Yet despite being “perfect,” the tree vanished from the landscape more than a century ago.

What happened? And will we ever see its kind again?

These questions and more answered Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Crowders Mountain State Park Visitor Center. Afterward, hike the land once abundant with chestnuts.

More on the park here, more on the American chestnut here.


Who wants some fall color? The Carolina Mountain Club, apparently, which is why this Sunday’s hike will be its 11.6-mile Noland Divide hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which starts at the Deep Creek Campground outside Bryson City at about 1,750 feet of elevation and climbs to 5,900 feet. You’re bound to see the gamut of fall color on this day-long hike.

Hikers will shuttle from Asheville; because of the length of the drive and need to establish how many cars are needed, hikers are asked to register with hike leader Mike Knies ASAP, at either  828.628.6712 or

Check out the hike 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.

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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