This weekend: There’s much merry to be made (if you don’t mind a little rain)

The Carolina Mountain Club pays a visit to Mount Sterling in the Great Smokies this weekend.

Rain is in the forecast for much of North Carolina, but don’t let that douse your plans. Dress appropriately (you do have a Gore-Tex tweed jacket, don’t you?) and you’ll be fine.


Silence is golden. Especially when you’re eavesdropping. And particularly especially when you’re eavesdropping on nature.

That’s the theme of Saturday’s Silent Hike at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park on a high bluff overlooking the Neuse River southeast of Goldsboro. “On the silent hike you will use your senses to discover what nature has to say,” reports the park on its Web site. If you can’t zip it, then this isn’t the hike for you. But if you leapt from the couch and gave a silent cheer when “The Artist” got Best Movie, then make plans to be in the coastal plain Saturday afternoon.

Logistics: Starts at 3 p.m. Saturday. Free. More info on the park here or by calling (919) 778-6234.

Weekend forecast: High of 77, 70 percent chance of rain.

Mum's the word on Saturday's hike at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park.


Remember how simple bicycling was before the turn of the century? The turn of which I refer would be the 20th century, before the car had been invented and invaded our streets. It’s too late to roll back the calendar all the way, unfortunately, but Saturday’s Triangle Tweed Ride promises to come close. How close? “A tweed ride is a metropolitan bike ride with a flair of ‘old world’ style and merrymaking,” according to the ride’s bow-tied boosters. “The ride is intended to be slow-paced and sociable.” “Slow-paced” to the extent it will take two hours (beginning at noon) to cover 10 municipal miles (lots of that merrymaking to be had along the way, presumably). Begins at City Market in downtown Raleigh and visits nearby neighborhoods. Period dress is encouraged, but not mandatory.

Logistics: Rider check-in is from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning, the ride begins at noon. Food donations (the ride benefits the Raleigh Rescue Mission) accepted. More info here.

Weekend forecast: High of 73 but a 70 percent chance of rain. Bring your bumbershoot.

Ye olde tweed ride is Saturday.


The Carolina Mountain Club has a great hike on tap for Sunday in the Smokies: a 12-mile loop that takes in Cataloochee and Mount Sterling. On the human history side, explore several buildings left from Cataloochee’s hey day 100 years ago and top out in a balsam forest atop 5,842-foot Mount Sterling. There’s a goodly amount of elevation gain — 3,500 feet total — which earns the hike a “Strenuous” rating. But much of the hike is on old roadbeds; aside from the slog up to Mount Sterling it’s not as onerous as you might think.

Logistics: Carpool departs Asheville at 8 a.m. Contact hike leader Mike Knies at 828.628.6712, or More on the route here.

Weekend forecast: High of 66, 60 percent chance of rain.

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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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