This weekend: Adventure Festival fun under the sun


And, they're off! Photo courtesy

A gorgeous weekend — clear skies and temperatures around 80 are forecast across the state — and three stellar festivals — 2014 Carolina Cup (standup paddleboarding), French Broad Classique (canoeing and kayaking), and TuckFest (everything) — make this the weekend to be out and having fun in North Carolina.



Curious about standup paddleboarding and want to know more? Head to the Blockade Runner in Wilmington and get the full immersion at the 2014 Carolina Cup, which began Wednesday and runs through Sunday.

There’s competition featuring elite SUPsters, so you’ll learn a thing or two there. But there are also clinics galore, vendors, night paddles, recreational racing, kids clinics … just a whole lot of standup paddleboarding going on.

Logistics: Ongoing through Sunday, April 27, at 4 p.m., Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Wrightsville Beach. Fees for some activities. See a schedule of events here, for more info go here.

Four-day forecast: Mostly sunny with highs reaching the low 80s by Sunday.

Jammin' at TuckFest. Photo courtesy


If the ideal sports festival includes a variety of adventure competition, lots of live music and beer, then it doesn’t get much more ideal than the three-day TuckFest, which runs Friday through Sunday at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte.

You like running on trails? There are five of those, ranging from a pair of 5Ks to a half marathon.  More into using those trails for a mountain bike race? There are four of those. Kayak racing (both whitewater on the NWC’s famous course and flat water), climbing, wake boarding, standup paddleboarding, dog jumping — just about every type of adventure sport competition imaginable. Demos, too. And continuous live music. And beer.

Logistics: Friday through Sunday, April 25-27, U.S. National Whitewater Center, Charlotte. One-time registration fee of $40 ($30 for kids) qualifies you for all events and competitions. More info here.

Friday-Sunday forecast: Highs in the low 80s under sunny skies (save for the chance of a thunderstorm Friday).

And these paddlers are off, too! Photo courtesy


Not to be outdone in the sportfest category, the mountains and Asheville offer up the French Broad Classique this weekend. This 5-year-old event features canoe and kayak racing on it’s namesake river, in Henderson and Buncombe counties.

For the more competitive, there’s an 18-mile downriver race Saturday and a 16-miler on Sunday.  Competition is by category, including K1 (one-person kayaks), C1 and C2 (one and two-person canoes), and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Classes for boat or board type, sex and age will be determined at the race, based on the number and make-up of participants. Read more about the race in the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Logistics: Saturday and Sunday, April 26 and 27, Asheville. One day of racing is $25, two days is $35. More info here.

Weekend forecast: Sunny, highs in the upper 70s.

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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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