This weekend: A tri, a TACO, a wildlife education

Cross “sprint triathlon” off your 2014 list in Wilmington, Take a Child Outside at a state park, celebrate hunting and fishing with the family in the mountains: it’s another diverse weekend outdoors in North Carolina.

The 1,500-meter swim is long for a sprint tri, but the tide is at your back the entire distance.


A triathlon isn’t something you’d ordinarily do on a lark, certainly not an Olympic length (0.9-mile swim, 25-mile bike and 6.2-mile run) or longer. A sprint tri, on the other hand … .

Face it, as we near the end of the year do you find yourself without a physical achievement on your 2014 list? And are you aware that the opportunities for such are quickly dwindling? Redemption could be yours this Saturday at the Wilmington YMCA Sprint Triathlon at the Blockade Runner in Wrightsville Beach. A 12-mile bike ride (doable), a 5K run (likely doable), a 1,500-meter swim (you can make it — may the tide be with you!), all points to a salvaged 2014.

Logistics: Saturday, Sept. 27, 7 a.m., Blockade Runner, Wrightsville Beach.  $70 if you sign up before Saturday, here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 80.

Children thrive in the outdoors.


It’s Take A Child Outside Week, and one of the best places you can take a child outside is a North Carolina State Park. In observance of this annual event, many state parks are holding TACO events this weekend. Saturday at Morrow Mountain State Park, for instance, there’s a Kids in Parks Track Trail Hike. The focus on this roughly half mile hike that lasts an hour is on checking out nature.

Logistics: Take A Child Outside Week runs through Sept. 30. You can find out more about the event at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences TACO website, you can learn more about the Morrow Mountain hike Saturday and other events at North Carolina’s State Parks, here.

Saturday forecast: Should be a nice weekend throughout most of the state.

John Rock, high above the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.


Saturday is National Hunting and Fishing Day, and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will  celebrate the annual event its Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education off US 276 north of Brevard.

A variety of family-oriented events are planned, including hands-on fishing, outdoor cooking, archery and pellet rifle range events. While you’re there, you can also visit the fish hatchery, where three types of trout are raised for release in local streams. And, you can take a three-mile hike up to John Rock.

Logistics: Saturday, Sept. 27, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. More details and directions here, more information on National Hunting and Fishing Day, here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 73.

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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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