This weekend: Get wet

Classique paddling on the French Broad.

The weather’s warming, it’s time to hit the river trail.


We’re getting into prime paddling season at the coast: Not too hot, not too cold — really, just Goldilocks right. Making this a prime time to get in on Saturday’s kayak trip through the Roosevelt Natural Area at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. This trip takes in the tidal flats and mellow waters of Bogue Sound, between the aquarium and the mainland. A naturalist will explain this cool environment and explain why it smells like it does.

Logistics: $25, sign up at 252.247.4003. Starts at 9 a.m. More info on the Roosevelt Natural area here.

Saturday’s forecast: High of 79, 20 percent chance of rain.

Approaching Cliffs of the Neuse. (Photo courtesy WRAL/N.C. State Parks)


Ever wonder how Lewis & Clark might have felt as they rounded a bend on the Missouri River in Montana and saw a massive bluff looming ahead? You can get a sense of that “Holy Moly!” feeling Saturday on a guided canoe trip on the Neuse River at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park. In addition to the 90-foot bluff towering above the south bank you’ll pass numerous springs, historic spring houses and some pristine riparian landscape. This trip isn’t offered often and it’s limited to 10 participants. Act fast.

Logistics: The trip is free, starts at 10:30 a.m. and preregistration is required, by calling the park at (919) 778-6234. Check the weather beforehand and dress appropriately, and bring a spare set of clothes, just in case. More details when you call to register.

Saturday forecast: High of 74 with a 30 percent chance of rain.


A good reason to head to Asheville for the weekend: the French Broad River Classique Canoe & Kayak Race. The experts tackle an 18-mile stretch of the French Broad in Henderson County on Saturday, a 16-mile leg in Buncombe County on Sunday. Racing Saturday starts at 11:30 a.m., Sunday at 10:30 a.m. Also on Sunday: it’s time for the novices to shine on an 8-mile fun race from Westfeldt River Park downstream to the Asheville Outdoor Center. This stretch includes some Class I rapids. (Get a better feel for this stretch here.)

Logistics: Sunday’s fun race starts at 10:30 a.m. $10 to race, more info here.

Weekend forecast: Highs in the upper 70s, 30 percent chance of rain Saturday, 10 percent Sunday.

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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 event 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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