This weekend: wildflowers, a wild ride, a ride into the wild

Saturday: a good time on the Dismal Canal.

I know it’s just Tuesday, but what better time to start planning for the weekend ahead than while the memory of the weekend past is still fresh


Two great options at Dismal Swamp State Park this weekend. Saturday, it’s Bike to the Bull North Burn, an 8-mile round-trip bike ride to the site of last year’s Bull North Fire. There’s a 20-minute program at the site, followed by a box lunch. Brink your own bike or rent one on site (make arrangements when you call to register). Starts at 9 a.m.

Sunday, it’s Kayaking the Canal, a 1- to 2-hour paddle of the Dismal Swamp Canal. Paddle gear provided, you bring the sunscreen, bug spray, water and appropriate paddle clothing. Starts at 10 a.m.

Logistics: Saturday’s bike program is free (unless you need to rent a bike), helmets are required. Sunday’s paddle program is likewise free. Preregistration is required for both, by calling 252-771-6593.

Weekend forecast: Saturday: overcast early, then partly cloudy with a high of 77; Sunday: partly cloudy with a high of 79.

Leopard's Bane (photo courtesy Eno River Association).


Need a little extra incentive to get out and walk? How about the peak of the spring wildflower season? This 1.5-mile hike at Eno River State Park will go by in a flash as a naturalist fills you in on all the wildflowers filling out the forest floor. Bring a camera.

Logistics: Free, preregistration required, by calling 919.383.1686. Begins at 11 a.m.

Weekend forecast: 68 and partly cloudy.

Assault on the Carolinas


Ah, the spring cycling classics. Not the pro European classics; rather, the classic spring mountain rides in North Carolina’s high country. Rides such as this Saturday’s Assault on the Carolinas out of Brevard. Put on by the Pisgah Forest Rotary Club, the ride is actually three rides: a 40K (25 miles), 60K (37 miles) and 100K (65.8 miles). The latter includes a classic Southeast climb, the six-mile grind up Caeser’s Head south of the border in South Carolina. Added incentive: training guru and Lance buddy Chris Carmichael will lead the 100K and raffle off a $1,000 Carmichael Training Systems camp session. Starts at 9 a.m. followed by live music until 8 p.m.

Logistics: Register online through April 11 for $40, race day registration, from 7-9 a.m., $50. More info here.

Weekend forecast: 75 and partly cloudy.

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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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