This weekend: Paddleboard, yoga hike, or take a mile-high hike with us

Cold Mountain, as seen from the MST west of Mount Pisgah.

You could explore standup paddleboarding at Wrightsville Beach this weekend, you could take a  yoga hike near Charlotte. Or, you could join us on a GetGoingNC/NCHikes-sponsored, day-long hike along the mile-high portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail through the Pisgah National Forest.


You keep hearing about standup paddleboarding,  you keep meaning to find out more about it. You won’t find a much better opportunity than Saturday’s NC Surf to Sound Challenge & Paddleboard Expo In Wrightsville Beach. On tap: a pair of races — Elite & Intermediate Standup Paddling categories — and a Waterman’s Expo from noon to 6 p.m. featuring products, supplies and accessories for water sports including SUP, surfing, kayak, fly fishing, sailing, boating, and much, much more! (Sorry. Got carried away with our used car salesman pitch there.)

There's a fair amount of water along the MST.

The Expo is free, ya gotta pay to race. More info here or by calling 910.256.2545. And for a refresher on what standup paddleboarding is about, go here.


Yoga Hike: sounds a little … off, at first. But if you think about why you hike (in part, to free your mind) and why you do yoga (in part, to free your mind), well … .

Judge this combination for yourself Saturday at 10 a.m. at Latta Plantation Nature Center when yoga instructor and Carolina Mountain Club member William DeGrauw leads a yoga hike through the 1,351-acre preserve. The hike, according to the sponsor, will “begin and end with a yoga sequence and incorporate poses along the trail as we stretch our body and mind.” Sounds good. “Further explore the fundamentals of meditation and mindful meditation as we discover the change of seasons within ourselves.” Huh.

$10. 704.8751391 to register, go here for more information on the Mecklenburg County preserve, at 6211 Sample Road in Huntersville.


Middle Prong Wilderness.

Thirty miles of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail — in the mountains — in one day? Who in their right mind would organize a trip like that?

That would be me. On the heels of two 28-mile Ultimate Hikes in the past month and a half, the urge to go long remains. So Saturday, at least three of my long-hiking brethren — Robert Williams and the Jons Cochran and Holiday — and me will set off from the Pisgah Inn and hike west to Bearpen Gap on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. You’re welcome to come along.

This is a scenically stunning hike. There’s high ridge hiking, there’s waterfall hiking, there’s Graveyard Fields, there’s a brush with the Shining Rock Wildneress, a climb through Black Balsam, and a nice stretch through the Middle Prong Wilderness. Much of the hike is above 5,000 feet; it tops out just below 6,214-foot Black Balsam Knob. And the forecast for Saturday couldn’t be better: a low of 41, daytime high of 55 and nothing but sun.

If you’re not up for all 30 miles, feel free to meet up with us along the way. The route follows the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers several meeting points. By my rough estimate, we’ll pass just south of Wagon Road Gap around 8:15 a.m., Tunnel Gap at 9:30 a.m., hit the Black Balsam Forest Service parking area around 11:30, cross NC 2:15 around 1:30, emerge at Haywood Gap around 3 and finish up at Bearpen Gap around 5. (Follow along using the Trails Illustrated Pisgah Ranger District map from National Geographic.) If you’re interested in meeting up with us, leave a message below and I will make arrangements to put you on our contact list.

Scenic hike, great weather — it’s a can’t miss. And if you can’t make it, you can hike vicariously: I’ll be Tweeting along the way, where cell coverage allows; follow along at JoeAGoGo.

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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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