This weekend: Trails paddled, trails run

Paddle a popular coastal river or a prominent Piedmont lake, or take to the trail post haste in the Pisgah.


Pretty sure we’ve recommended this before and that’s fine: it’s a trip we can’t recommend enough. It’s Saturday’s paddle on the coastal Scuppernong River portion of Pettigrew State Park. Pettigrew is noted for its record old-growth trees, which you’ll find along the Scuppernong as well. Here, you’ll find ancient Atlantic white cedars (known locally as junipers) that reach diameters of three feet and heights of 100 feet. The area is also a wildlife oasis, assuring lots to see on this paddle.

Logistics: Saturday, May 18, 10 a.m. Free, but preregistration required by calling 252.979.4475.

Saturday forecast: High of 82, 40 percent chance of rain.


Like the idea of paddling big water with the kids but are a little tentative? Check out Sunday’s Family Kayak Tour on Lake Wylie, sponsored by Charlotte’s McDowell Nature Preserve. You’ll get to paddle along the border with South Carolina while taking in views of the Buster Boyd Bridge, Copperhead Island and more. Led by a guide who can help take the mystery out of paddling a larger body of water.

Logistics: Sunday, May 19, 1:30 p.m. at Charlotte’s McDowell Nature Preserve on Lake Wylie. $15 for a single kayak, $20 for a tandem. 704.588.5224 to register.

Sunday forecast: 50 percent chance of rain, high of 81.


Looking for a good trail race in the high country? Newbies and veterans alike will find opportunity in Saturday’s concurrent Cradle to Grave 30K/Hunter Subaru Rock-A-Bye 5K trail races. Both begin at the Cradle of Forestry off U.S. 276 north of Brevard and offer prime scenery on the trails of Pisgah National Forest.

Logistics: Saturday, May 18, 30K starts at 8 a.m., 5K at 8:30 a.m. Both from the above-mentioned Cradle of Forestry outside Brevard. $35 for the 5K, $65 for the 30K. Register online and learn more here.

Weekend forecast: High of 79, 50 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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