This weekend: Look! Up in the sky! (It’s a … trail?)

Sandering, photo courtesy Cornell Lab of Ornithology

In honor of National Trails Day, which is Saturday, we’ve got little but trails on our mind this weekend: trails muddy, trails dry, trails in need of repair and construction. And birds. For a full rundown of the 25 National Trails Day events in North Carolina on Saturday see yesterday’s post.


When you’re at the beach in the company of birds can you tell a sanderling from a sea gull? Probably. But beyond that your bird ID skills may get iffy. If that’s the case, check out Friday morning’s Birding Tour sponsored by Audubon North Carolina. Tag along and let a seasoned birder help you make sense of the shore bird population.

Logistics: Friday, May 31, 9 a.m. Tour commences from Beach Access No. 36 at Wrightsville Beach. More info by calling 910.686.7527.

Friday forecast: Partly cloudy, high of 84.


Up for a 5K? How about one with a Pipe Crawl, a Grenade Throw, the Meat Grinder, the Ho Chi Minh Trail and something called the “Devil Dog Pit”? It’s all part of Saturday’s 4th Annual NC Marine Mud Run in Pinnacle. As the motto goes, “Some people come to COMPETE, many just come to COMPLETE!” Sound like your way to spend a Saturday? Then continue on to “Logistics.”

Logistics: Saturday, June 1, starting at 8 a.m. at Jomeokee Park in Pinnacle. $30 before race day, $40 on race day, $120 and $160, respectively, for teams. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Partly cloudy, high of 84.


Craggy Mountains

The Craggy Mountains — and Craggy Dome in particular — is the objective of a Sunday hike by the Carolina Mountain Club. The 7.8-mile hike will be on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, with a stop at the Graybeard Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There, you can either take a break and have lunch or summit 6,080-foot Craggy Dome (an extra mile and 400 feet of ascent).

Logistics: Sunday, June 2, 8:30 a.m. (carpool meeting time in Asheville). For more info and to sign up contact hike leader Marianne Newman at 828.257.2136,

Sunday forecast: Overcast with a 60 percent chance of rain.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed 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.

U.S. National Wildlife Refuges
Rundown, by month, of regular activities at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuges in North Carolina.

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