This weekend: A weekend of last chances

Need another triathlon before the season ends? We’ve got one? Another century ride? Got one of those, too, in the mountains, no less. And if you’re just into a good time with food, music and water, water everywhere, we’ve got that covered as well.

The Wilmington YMCA Tri begins with a 1,500-meter swim.


Attention triathlon junkies: Looking to get just one more event in before the season ends? Check out Saturday’s Wilmington YMCA Triathlon, a sprint tri broken down as such: 1,500-meter swim, 12-mile bike ride, 5K foot race. And if you’re looking for redemption on your times, even better: this tri is at Wrightsville Beach (based at the Blockade Runner), which has an elevation of about 1 (foot).

Logistics: Saturday, Sept. 21, 7 a.m.  More info here.

Saturday forecast: Partly cloudy, high of 82.


Water-based festivals are the best: they typically have three of the main

From a previous Catawba RiverFest (photo courtesy

ingredients for a good time — food, live music and water play. In the case of Saturday’s 10th Annual Catawba RiverFest, the latter involves canoe and kayak races and, for those without canoes or kayaks (let alone the desire to race them), there will be demo boats on hand for you to take for a spin. In addition to the aforementioned, there will also be educational exhibits and a live raptor release. It all happens in the Paddy’s Greek Area of Lake James State Park near Nebo.

Logistics: Saturday, Sept. 21, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Lake James State Park, Nebo. Free. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 75 (good news), 90 percent chance of rain (not-so-good news).


Time is also running out this year for event bike rides, especially of the mountain century variety.  There’s one this weekend, though, the Hilly Hellacious, which offers 100-mile and 62-mile options, as well as a shorter route that’s 20 to 25 miles, give or take.  The rides all start and end in Fletcher (at the Fletcher Valley Natural Food Store, just across from Park Ridge Hospital). The  ride benefits Asheville Youth Cycling.

Logistics: Sunday, Sept. 22, 8:30 a.m. $45 for the 62- and 100-mile rides, $20 for the 25(ish)-miler, kids 12 and under ride free. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 68, which is perfect for a long bike ride; 90 percent chance of rain, which isn’t.

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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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