This weekend: National Get Outdoors with Fathers Day

Yabba dabba doo

Two reasons to get out this weekend: Saturday is National Get Outdoors Day, Sunday is Father’s Day. And lots of options for observing both!


You’re 4 years old and a little short on cash. Still, you want to show dad a good time on his day, Sunday, Father’s Day. What to do, what to do … .

If you live in the vicinity of Wrightsville Beach, you can take dad to the Blockade Runner, where from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday all board rentals are free to certified dads (“father” to a Lab or Golden does not count). You’ve heard dad pining about wanting to ride the waves like Hawaiian royalty? Now’s the time to give him his shot. And if you can scrounge $3 in change, you can buy him a discount taco, too.

Logistics: Sunday, June 15, noon-3 p.m., Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Wrightsville Beach. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 82, change of thunderstorms.


Psst! Looking for a good paddle that not many folks know about? Saturday, the Piedmont Land Conservancy is sponsoring paddle suitable for beginners on the upper Haw River. The paddle begins at the Grove Winery and meanders about five miles downstream. A two- to three-hour trip, depending upon water levels and how many questions are asked about this intimate stretch of the Haw. Return to the winery put-in for a wine tasting.

Don’t have a boat? Don’t have a problem: call the PLC (see below) and they can hook you up.

Logistics: Saturday, June 14, 10 a.m. Grove Winery on the Haw River (here for directions). Call the Piedmont Land Conservancy to sign up: 336.691.0088

Saturday forecast: High of 85, mostly sunny.


Not that you need one, but if you’re looking for a fun reason to visit Mount Mitchell, at 6,684 feet the highest peak east of South Dakota’s Black Hills, how about a scavenger hunt?

Saturday, Mount Mitchell State Park celebrates National Get Outdoors Day with a scavenger hunt. Stop by the mountain-top concession stand between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and pick up your list of things to find. When you’ve found them, return to the concession stand for verification and a Moon Pie (you’ll need to pony up for the MP). What you win is part of the mystery. A good way to explore a terrain unlike any other in the region.

Logistics: Saturday, June 14, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Mount Mitchell State Park. More info on the park here.

Sunday forecast: High of 78, mostly sunny.

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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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