This weekend: Paddle, pedal, earn a view

This is considered the first weekend of summer in the tourism industry. The kids are mostly out of school, let the family escapes begin. To the coast, for a standup paddleboard or kayak tour, to the Piedmont for some fat tire fun, to the mountains for a mellow hike.


Standup paddleboarding and kayak fishing may seem like odd bedfellows. But on Saturday, they’re married for a day of fun on the water at the Brunswick Waterfest in Wilmington. On the SUP side, there’s racing in four categories on a course on the Cape Fear River that starts and ends at the U.S.S. North Carolina battleship. There’s also a SUP Derby and several guided SUP and kayak trips. The kayak fishing tournament is for bass; a freshwater North Carolina license is required.

Logistics: Saturday, June 7, Wilmington and Leland. Cost varies by event. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 82 under mostly sunny skies.


Saturday is National Trails Day across the land. We’ll have details on NTD events around the state tomorrow; today, we’ll highlight one event happening in the Triangle: the Triangle Fat Tire Festival.

This two-day event at Lake Crabtree County Park in Morrisville starts Saturday with a trail workday on the venerable Lake Crabtree trail network, then concludes Sunday with a celebration of all things mountain bike, from a kids race, to time trials to a dirt jump skills clinic to group rides and maintenance clinics. Lots of vendors on hand, too.

Logistics: Saturday, June 7, and Sunday, June 8, Lake Crabtree County Park in Morrisville. More info here.

Weekend forecast: Highs in the mid to upper 80s under mostly sunny skies.

The view from atop Devil's Courthouse.


Every week during the summer, Blue Ridge Parkway rangers lead hikes along the parkway. The hikes are generally geared toward folks who may not realize there are hiking trails along the parkway. Folks for whom communing with nature essentially means a drive-by overlook viewing. On these ranger-led hikes, motorists will actually emerge from their vehicles and take a short hike.

This week, on Friday, that short hike will be a one-mile roundtrip to the top of Devil’s Courthouse at Milepost 422.2. If you think the views from the overlooks are great, invest a little sweat equity and you’ll score an even more memorable view. Water, walking shoes and clothing for “changeable weather” recommended.

Logistics: Friday, June 6, 10 a.m. Devil’s Courthouse Overlook, Milepost 422.2 Blue Ridge Parkway.  More info by calling 828.298.5330, ext. 304. Information on upcoming hikes here.

Friday forecast: High of 80, chance of an afternoon thunderstorm.

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Those are our thoughts for the weekend. Find more activities 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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