This weekend: Hike a hill at the coast, ski one in the mountains

Hike into history at the coast, make hay with the cold on a mountain ski slope, or have a range of trekking adventures in the Triad.


Sugarloaf Dune
Sugarloaf Dune

Like a little history with your hike? Saturday, at Carolina Beach State Park, Chris Fonvielle. history professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, will discuss the role that the park’s Sugarloaf Dune played in the Civil War.

If you’ve yet to visit Carolina Beach State Park, this is a good opportunity to remedy that situation. The 55-foot dune provided a natural watchtower for Confederate troops to watch for Union ships attempting to enter Wilmington via the Cape Fear River. This was especially important considering — well, that’s why you should attend the hike: you may know how this story ends, but Sugarloaf Dune plays a key role in the plot.

Logistics: Saturday, Jan. 31, 2 p.m., Carolina Beach State Park, Carolina Beach. The program is free, but space is limited. Reserve your spot by calling 910.458.8206.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 46.


GH.GboroWatershedLooking for a hike but not sure what kind? Do you want a real challenge? A mellow ramble? Something in between?

The Piedmont Hiking and Outing Club has all your bases covered this weekend. For those looking for a long but not-too-taxing hike, PHOC will be hiking 8 miles on the Lake Townsend Trail in Greensboro on Saturday, and 7 miles on the Laurel Bluff and Reedy Fork trails, also along Greensboro’s watershed lakes, on Sunday. Looking for a little more elevation? How about 11 miles Saturday at Hanging Rock? And if you’re looking for true adventure — and have crampons — the club will be doing a 13-mile assault on Mount Mitchell on Saturday.

Read on for more information.

Logistics: All of these hikes are detailed at the PHOC online hike calendar, which you can find here.

Weekend forecast: For the Triad area, high of 47 both Saturday and Sunday, clear Saturday with a chance of rain Sunday. For Mount Mitchell on Saturday, high of 42 and mostly sunny.


photo courtesy
photo courtesy

If you’ve been bemoaning the cold, perhaps you haven’t been looking at it in the proper perspective. Let the cold work for you.

If you were a skier or snowboarder, you’d be appreciating the cold, especially going into this weekend. There’s a chance of light snow throughout the weekend in much of the high country, but more importantly it will be cold, allowing for continued snowmaking. reports conditions are already excellent at North Carolina’s ski areas and will only get better as the cold continues. As of Thursday, for instance, Sugar Mountain reports 20 of 21 slopes open, Ski Beech reports all 15 slopes open, and App reports all 12 of its slopes open.

Logistics: Check for the latest conditions.

Weekend forecast: Daytime highs in the mid to upper 30s, overnight lows in the low 20s. Chance of light snow.

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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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