This weekend: New trail, high trail or hightail it to Wilmington

Eno Quarry (photo courtesy Chris Underhill)

New trail opens along the Eno River, there’s a hike on some of the state’s highest trail and there’s a run on battleships at the coast.


We don’t normally recommend ribbon cuttings, but when that ribbon cutting is part of a chance to hike 1.5 miles of virgin Mountains-to-Sea Trail, which connects with another 8 miles of what might be the sweetest hiking on the Eno River — coupled with what’s forecast to be a lovely fall weekend — well, we’ll make an exception.

Chris Underhill, one of our moles in the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, tells us that the 1.5-mile link has been made between the Cabe Lands section of Eno River State Park and the Pleasant Green Access upstream. Says Chris, “ … the new trail has more of what you love on the Cabe Lands to Pump Station section: surprisingly steep and rugged terrain, quick uphills alternating with a couple of lowland pieces along the river, abundant mountain laurel and even some rhododendron.” And, “For connoisseurs of trail engineering, there’s also some really fine  rock work and dirt fills to smooth out several ugly little dips along the way.”

Great hiking and trail engineering? Who can resist? The ceremony is Saturday at 9 a.m. (followed by a trail workday, if you’d like to stick around and expand the trail farther). Go here for more on hiking in the area and for a map of how to get to the Cabe Lands Access.


Saturday, the Chargers & Rechargers Hiking Club is doing one of my favorite hikes: Carver’s Gap to Grassy Ridge. This six-mile hike will top three balds — Round, Jane, Grassy — and offers some of the best views in the state. And, the first weekend of November there’s always a chance for wintry weather on this hike that tops out above 6,000 feet. 
More info: Bill Barksdale, 828.898.6977 or


I love a race with a hook — like starting and finishing at a battleship. If you’re of similar bent, then hightail it to Wilmington for Sunday’s Battleship North Carolina Half Marathon and Port Land Grille Battleship 5K. Reports the event’s website: “The course crosses two bridges over the Cape Fear River, goes through historic downtown Wilmington, tours beautiful Greenfield Lake, and returns to the Battleship via the Memorial Bridge.” Entrants in both races get a free ticket to tour the battleship.

$67 to race in the half marathon, $35 for the 5K. Register for both 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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