This weekend: Run, ride, learn

A flat run at the coast, a rolling ride in the mountains and a thoughtful hike in between.


b5eb64b92ec2bc303a0ab3ae5d25b105_XLLooking for a fast race to get your season off to an encouraging start? Check out the 2nd Annual Brunswick Forest 15K/5K Sunday down Wilmington way,

Specifically, the 5K and 15K courses are in the Brunswick Forest neighborhood. Racing by gender and age category for more serious runners, or show up looking like Ludwig and perhaps win a prize. Food, adult beverages and more afterward. Proceeds benefit the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra.

Logistics: Sunday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m., Brunswick Forest. $35 for the 5k, $50 for 15K. More info here.

Sunday forecast: Sunny and 57.


OcconeecheeMtnOne of our favorite learnin’ hikes is the periodic Geology Hike at Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area in Hillsborough.

Occoneechee Mountain, at 867 feet, is the highest point in the Triangle and because it was quarried years ago, it’s geologic past is exposed. A geologist leads this hike and helps you decipher the mountain’s really, really long past.

Logistics: Saturday, Jan. 24, 2 p.m., Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough. 919.383.1686 for more information.

Saturday forecast: 46 degrees with a goodly chance of rain early in the day.


A previous Icycle. Photo courtesy
A previous Icycle. Photo courtesy

If you’re into mountain bike racing, if you’re into mountain bike racing at night, if you’re into both cross-country and downhill racing, boy are you in luck this weekend.

Saturday is the Icycle mountain bike extravaganza at Fontana Village. Cross-country racing by day, a downhill race that night. All in the rugged Smokies around Fontana dam. And if you could possibly ask for more, check out the forecast below. Too many additional details to list here; if you’re interested, read on.

Logistics: Icycle mountain bike races, Saturday, Jan. 24, 11 a.m. Fontana Village Resort. $30 for one race, $50 for both. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 42, 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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