This weekend: Paddling at the coast, getting spanked in the mountains

Paddling at Hammocks Beach State Park.

The three-day Crystal Coast Paddle Festival opens in Swansboro Friday while the inaugural Green River Games promises to offer some of the most challenging competition the state has seen. Meanwhile, in the Piedmont, it’s the Big Muddy Challenge, big muddy fun for parents and kids.


Our pick for the state this week is at the coast, the Crystal Coast specifically, home to the aptly-named Crystal Coast Paddle Festival. The festival kicks off Friday and runs through Sunday, and includes kayak and paddleboard vendors, demos, tours, workshops and races (including dragon boat races), all out of Hammocks Beach State Park in Swansboro.

It’s a great opportunity to take a guided tour and check out the latest in boats. And the weather promises to be ideal.

Logistics: Friday, Sept. 6 — Sunday, Sept. 8, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Highs in the low 80s, dry Friday and Saturday, 50 percent chance of rain Sunday.


Adam Spisak had an “ah ha!” moment when most of us would be having an “oy vey!” moment. … That’s how we began our post on June 27 about the Big Muddy Challenge, a mud run for the family that takes place Saturday in Youngsville. We won’t repeat ourself; rather, you can read the post here.

Suffice it to say the BMC — parents and kids wallowing in the muck together — is an idea overdue in the mud race milieu.

Logistics: Saturday, Sept. 7, 8 a.m., Hill Ridge Farms, Youngsville. $73. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 81, partly cloudy.

The Gorilla, in the Green River Narrows.


Let the wild and crazy games begin. That would be the inaugural Green River Games, a series of adrenaline-infused competitions highlighted by the Silverback, which includes: an 8-mile paddle on a stretch of the Green that includes the Class V Narrows, an 8-mile mountain bike race with 3,000 feet of climbing and a trail run on the same 8-mile course. Good spectator potential for those of us who aren’t crazy.

Logistics: Saturday, Sept. 7, 11 a.m., Tuxedo Hydrostation on the Green River south of Asheville. Read more about the event here, go here for race details, including fees for the various events.

Saturday forecast: High of 79 with 20 percent chance of rain.

* * *

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.

* * *

Like us on Facebook and get health, fitness and outdoors news throughout the day.

Promote Your Page Too

Leave a Reply