This weekend: a Labor of Fun


Water is the theme this Labor Day weekend, with a 5K you can jump into a lake after finishing, a festival that lets you take your chances on Class III water in a boat you build, and a triathlon that kicks off with a swim in a 72-degree mountain lake.


Go Jump in the Lake 5K isn’t a derisive suggestion; rather, it’s a thought on what you might do following a 3.1-mile run on a hot, humid August morning. This 5K starts and ends along the banks of Spring Lake in Boiling Springs: at the finish, runners are encouraged to keep going and take a refreshing dip. Includes a fun run, with a fun follow-up dip as well. Added incentive: the course is flat ‘n’ fast.

Logistics: Saturday, Aug. 31, 8 a.m., Spring Lake Park, Boiling Springs. $10 to $35. More info here.

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


The ideal Labor Day celebration, in or book, is one where you essentially stay put and all the fun comes to you. Building a raft and sailing it down Class III water, running a 5K or 15K trail race, live music from three bands, fireworks and food — all in one place. This Sunday, that place would be the U.S. National Whitewater Center, home of all of the above. The day begins with the trail races at 9 a.m. and ends after the 9:30 a.m. fireworks show.

Logistics: Sunday, Sept. 1, U.S. National Whitewater Center, Charlotte. Free. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 91, 50 percent chance of rain.

Lake Junaluska: dive right in


Looking to capitalize on your summer triathlon training? Check out Saturday’s King of the Smokies Triathlon at Lake Junaluska.  Two tris, in fact. The sprint is a half-mile swim, 17.3-mile bike and 3.77-mile run, while the international is a one-mile swim, 25.76-mile bike, 7.37-mile run. Word is the lake will be cool enough to allow wet suits.

Logistics: Saturday, Aug. 31, 7:30 a.m. Lake Junaluska. $65 for the sprint, $180 for the international. More info here.

Saturday 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.


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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