This weekend in North Carolina: Cool temps, hot times


Great views abound from the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in the Pisgah area.

The first significant cool front in a while descends over much of the state, leaving weekend highs in the 60s and 70s over much of the state. Here are three ways to take advantage of our weather windfall.


We’re avid proponents of starting the weekend early, especially when the destination is a place called Keg Island. Thus, we endorse Friday’s Sunset Kayaking Adventure at River Road Park in Wilmington. The trip begins at the park, on the Cape Fear River between Wilmington and Carolina Beach, and paddles on the river out to Keg Island for a picnic. Then it’s back to the put in as the sun sets.

Logistics: Friday, Aug. 16, 4:30 p.m. $30-$45. More info at (910) 341-0075 or

Friday forecast: High of 84, 50 percent chance of rain.


South Mountains State Park south of Morganton is a great place to explore. There’s a popular waterfall (80-foot High Shoals Falls) and more than 40 miles of trail to accommodate hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. One thing you don’t typically associate with the park is paddling, which is why Saturday’s Canoe Hike is a don’t miss. Yes, it’s a rare opportunity to paddle, under the guidance of a ranger, Clear Creek Reservoir on the park’s west side. Gear and guidance is provided.

Logistics: Sunday, Aug. 18, 9 .m. Free. More info at 828.433.4772,

Sunday forecast: High of 82, chance of thunderstorms.

Sunset on the Cape Fear River (photo courtesy N.C. State Parks).


If you’ve been longing for fall-like weather so you can get out on the trail, you have been longing for this weekend. Temperatures in the high country aren’t expected to get out of the 60s this weekend, making it ideal for a brisk hike. And brisk it’s likely to be on Saturday’s Carolina Mountain Club hike on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail from Pisgah Inn to the Stony Bald Overlook. Plus, it’s one of the club’s easier hikes: 6.9 miles, the majority of which is downhill.

Logistics: Saturday, August 17, 10 a.m. (carpool from Asheville). More info and to reserve a spot, contact hike leader Ashok Kudva at 828-674-1374, or

Saturday forecast: High of 66, 70 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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