This weekend: Play with the sun


View from the Ivy Gut Trail at Goose Creek State Park.

The statewide forecast for the weekend: Sunny with highs in the low 60s, which makes this an ideal weekend for just about every outdoor adventure. We offer three options especially well-suited to the forecast.


Right now is about the time it’s comfortable — and sane — to start venturing into a coastal forest. (Between April and November, exploring coastal forests is tantamount to offering room service to any bug that sucks blood for a livelihood.) That makes it the ideal time for “The Forest of Goose Creek: Past, Present and Future” at Goose Creek State Park near Washington (North Carolina’s Washington, the pleasant one). A ranger leads you on a hike of the Ivy Gut Trail and fills you in on the natural and cultural history of this park, located along the mighty Pamlico River just before it becomes the mighty Pamlico Sound.

Logistics: Sunday, Nov. 10, 2 p.m., Goose Creek State Park, Washington (N.C.). More info: 252.923.2191.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 64.


If you’re a cyclist but are skittish about riding in traffic (meaning encountering more than one car every couple of minutes), check out Saturday’s Climbs of Caswell Gran Fondo Cycling Challenge. (“Gran Fondo” is the hipstery way of referring to a ride.) There’s a 100-mile ride beginning at 8 a.m., a 100-K (64 miles) starting at 8 a.m. and a 10-mile family ride beginning at 10 a.m. The routes are on the friendly country roads of Caswell County, which are always scenic but especially so with fall color peaking. Also, there’s Brunswick Stew. And the ride benefits Children of Vietnam.

Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 9, rides starting at 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and noon (see above). Online registration is closed; go here for additional information or call 336.421.4054.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 61.

Climbing at Chimney Rock.


Ever wanted to try rock climbing, but every time you’ve looked into it it seemed like too much of a commitment, both in time and money? Saturday’s Chimney Challenge at Chimney Rock State Park may be the opportunity you’ve been looking for. For $20 (plus the price of admission to the park), you can get up to four climbs on the park’s Vista Rock, all under the experienced eye of Fox Mountain Guides. All equipment and instruction is provided. You get to check an experience off your list and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Henderson County get your $20 fee.

Logistics: Saturday, Nov. 9, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock. $20 for the climbs, plus admission ($12 for adults, $6 for 5-15 year-olds, 4 and under free). For more information or to schedule a climb, go here or call 888.284.8433; for more on the park, go here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 61.

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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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