This weekend: Hot times in NC

Lumber River

A cool bike ride in the mountains or a leisurely day on the water in the Piedmont and coastal plain: Those are but three of your options this weekend in North Carolina.


What better place to spend a muggy, 90-degree day than on a river? And not just an hour or two of the day, but at least half of it.

That’s the plan at Lumber River State Park Saturday as they celebrate Lumber River Day with: “Canoe rides, canoe races, display booths, exhibits, fancy dancers, ol’ timey tractor parade, display of historic tractors, dulcimer lessons, blue grass music, Native American dancing and drumming, local artists at work, horseshoes, kids wet t-shirt races, kids fishing contest, casting contest, face painting, free prizes, giveaways, and more.” More?

Logistics: Saturday, July 20, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. More info: 910.628.4564 or here.

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

Mayo River


Most park-sponsored, guided canoe trips are short. An hour, maybe two and that’s it. Saturday, though, is a different story on the Mayo River. They’ll be putting in at 10 a.m. and taking out sometime around 4 p.m. — six hours on a river you may not have paddled. Advises the sponsoring Mayo River State Park: prepare to wade, prepare to get wet.

Logistics: Saturday, July 20, 10 a.m. Free, all equipment provided. More info by calling 336.427.2530 or going here.

Saturday forecast: High of 88, afternoon chance of thunderstorm.

Fresh food + a bike ride = a pretty darn good way to spend a Saturday.


This month’s Cycle to Farm ride in the high country originates in Black Mountain and begins with free locally roasted coffee courtesy Dynamite Coffee. That after three free yoga and stretching. Such a civil way to begin a ride.

Alas, the metric century is sold out but you can still get in on the 15-mile ride that hangs close to Black Mountain. Not a bad thing because that way you’ll get back to that free coffee all the sooner, not to mention the post-ride party featuring a locally sourced and produced meal of pizza, pasta, side dishes and desserts. Live entertainment, too. And, a musette bag full of “various goodies” from local sponsors.

Logistics: Saturday, July 20. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 82, 50 percent chance of rain in the afternoon.

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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.


Great Outdoor Provision Co.
Calendar includes three weekly events for each of its seven markets: Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Search by market.

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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