This weekend: Beat the heat (again)

The marshes near Hammocks Beach.

When the weather gets hot — as it will again this weekend — our thoughts turn in two directions: up and toward water.


One of our favorite paddles is in the marshes between Hammocks Beach and Bear Island. It’s a fairly contained area, there’s a pretty well marked canoe trail and if you do manage to get lost, you likely won’t be for long. Of course, that’s not a concern this Sunday on a ranger-led kayak trip at Hammocks Beach State Park. Learn the basics of kayaking, learn about the flora and fauna of the sound, don’t worry about getting lost. Sounds like a great way to spend two or three hours on a weekend morning.

Logistics: Meet at the Hammocks Beach Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Free — kayak, paddles, pfd provided — but preregistration required, by calling 910.326.4881. Ages 13 and up.

Sunday forecast: Partly cloudy and high of 88.

Along the Lumber.


Here’s the great thing about if you already have plans and can’t make Saturday 10:30 a.m. Lumber River Canoe Trip at Lumber River State Park — they’re offering it again Sunday at 2 p.m. Pertinent equipment — canoe, paddle, pfds — provided, as are the guide services of ranger Eric Siratt.

Logistics: Saturday’s trip is at 10:30 a.m., Sunday’s at 2 p.m. Free, but pre-registration required, by calling 910.628.4564.

Weekend forecast: Saturday, rain early, high of 91; Sunday, fog early, high of 91.

Looking north along the Black Mountain crest from Mount Mitchell.


You’ve got a watery retreat on the coast and in the Piedmont, in the mountains we go high to escape the heat, as high as you can go east of South Dakota’s Black Hills. Sunday, join the North Carolina High Peaks Trails Association for a guided hike from Mount Mitchell, the highest point in the East at 6,684 feet, to its next-door neighbor, Mount Craig,  which at 6,647 feet is the second highest point in the East. A short (1 mile, one-way) but challenging hike with fabulous views.

Logistics: Meets Sunday at 2 p.m. at the picnic area north of the main parking lot.

Sunday forecast: High in the 70s, 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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