This weekend: Learn to surf, a 5K trail run, scratching Grandfather’s spine

At the coast, fulfill a lifelong dream (learn to surf), in the Piedmont run a rare 5K trail run, in the mountains, take a guided hike atop Grandfather Mountain.


Looking for a summer challenge? Learn to surf. Carolina Surf School offers “Public Group Surfing Lessons” twice a day at Wrightsville Beach, mornings from 8-10 a.m. afternoons from 4-6 p.m. “Learn surf board positioning, paddling, safety, etiquette and how to stand up and fall properly.” Falling with style — isn’t that what it’s all about?

Logistics: $75, register 24 hours in advance, by calling 910 256.7873 going here.

Weekend forecast: Highs both Saturday and Sunday of 77, 40 percent chance of rain Saturday, 20 percent Sunday.


Many are the 5Ks, few are the 5Ks run in trail. But there’s one Saturday at Mayo Park in Person County north of Durham. The Sappony 5K Trail Run/Walk and 1 Mile Fun Run begins at the environmental and education center, meanders through the forest, heads down to the lake, then finishes at the amphitheater near the start. Chip timing!

Logistics: Registration begins at 7 a.m., 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk at 8:30 a.m., the 5K at 9 a.m. $15 for the fun run, $30 for the 5K. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Partly cloudy, high of 77.

Atop Grandfather Mountain.


Grandfather Mountain’s Ridgeline of Diversity Hike on Saturday is a little pricier than we like to go — half price park admission ($4-$9) plus $35, but it sounds well worth the investment. First, it’s an all-day affair, starting at 9 a.m. Second, it’s guided. And third, it’s along the ridgeline of Grandfather Mountain, one of the wildest places in the state. (Thus, the warning that, “This is not for the inexperienced hiker. The trail is very rugged and requires agility and confident footing.”) Great views and the skinny on this unique environment.

Logistics: 9 a.m. Saturday start; 2.4-mile hike, but a rugged one; the aforementioned fee, which will range from $39 to $44. Details here.

Saturday forecast: High of 65 degrees, 20 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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