This weekend: Ride, run, gorge


Warming up for the Safe Boating 5K.

Tour North Carolina’s Central Park, indulge in a three-day mountain sports orgy in Asheville, run a 5K at the coast wearing a life jacket. Talk about options this weekend


We’re gullible for a good gimmick, especially if the gimmick is for a good cause. Saturday’s Run Around the BLOCK Safe Boating 5K at Fort Macon State Park, for instance. The BLOCK in question is the Coast Guard’s Block Island near Atlantic Beach. There’s two gimmicks here, actually: One, after the race you get to tour the Coast Guard base. Two, runners are encouraged to run in a PFD a k a personal flotation device a k a life vest. (You know, to promote safe boating?) Oh, and it’s a really flat course.

Logistics: Another reason to run: the race fee is just $10; register here until midnight tonight. Race starts from the Fort Macon State Park Visitors Center at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Saturday forecast: High of 81, fog early, sunny after that.

There's recreational gold in them thar hills west of the Uwharries.


An area of North Carolina that doesn’t get its due is the rolling country just west of the Uwharrie Mountains. The Pee Dee River, Badin Lake, Lake Tillery, Morrow Mountain State Park — they’re all under-appreciated recreational assets outside the area, part of North Carolina’s Central Park.  Acquaint yourself with the region Saturday on the 13th Annual Group Gold Hill 50K & 100K Bike Ride out of Gold Hill. Both rides begin at 9 a.m. (registration commences at 7:30 a.m.) and take in the region’s highlights. It’s just $25 to ride and registration includes lunch afterward at the Arbor.

Logistics: $25 (make checks payable to Gold Hill Historic Preservation Society), registration begins at 7:30 a.m. at the E.H. Montgomery Store in Gold Hill, lunch at the Arbor begins at noon.

Saturday forecast: High of 90, 40 percent chance of rain.


Three days of outdoor fun and music.

Starting Friday and running through Sunday it’s the 12th Annual Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville. In addition to non-stop music and lots of food, there’s a Wilderness Survival Clinic sponsored by the Nantahala Outdoor Center, kayak demo by the Asheville Outdoor Center, a cyclocross race, the roughly 10K Rock2Rock Trail Run, a 5K, a dodgeball tournament, Ultimate Frisbee, disc golf and lots of kid-related stuff.

Logistics: Check out the master schedule here.

Weekend forecast: Highs in the 80s, 40 percent chance of rain Saturday and 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 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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