This weekend: Rain, work with it

To quote The Ink Spots, “Into each life, some rain must fall.” Or in the case of this weekend, a lot of rain. Pretty much across the entire state. All weekend.

That said, two things. One, a forecast is just that, a guess based on what appears might could happen. Sometimes, it seems like more of a whimsical guess, although in this case, where the whole of North Carolina is looking to get wet, it seems less whimsical, more meteorological. And two, a little rain needn’t necessarily stop you from heading out and having fun.

With the latter philosophy in mind — and with a suggestion that you consult our March 6, 2012, post (but updated this week), “Gear Up for Walking in the Rain” — we make our recommendations for the weekend ahead.


The paddle-in campground at Merchants Millpond
The paddle-in campground at Merchants Millpond

According to the current forecast, the rain is scheduled to depart the northeast part of the state just in time for Canoe the Pond, a periodic ranger-led canoe trip on Merchants Millpond. Forecast: we see the cypress and tupelo gum glistening with new-fallen rain, the Spanish moss dripping more than usual, a brilliant sun poking through as you shove off from the boat house at 1 p.m.

How’s that for optimism!

Logistics: Sunday, Sept. 27, 1 p.m., Merchants Mill Pond State Park, Gatesville. Canoe, paddle, pfd provided. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 74, parting skies.

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Looking ahead: Carolina Beach Half Marathon & 5K, Sunday, Oct. 4, 8 a.m. More info here.


rtp-2015-new-smlOK, maybe it’s not the ideal weekend to hold Reach the Peaks at Hanging Rock State Park. But frankly, if you’re going to be out in the dampness isn’t it better to be out with several hundred other soggy souls?

In this quickly emerging classic benefitting the Stokes County Arts Council, participants summit Moore’s Knob, Cook’s Wall, House Rock, Wolf Rock, and Hanging Rock — 11 miles in all. If you’re familiar with the park’s Five Peaks Challenge, this is essentially the same, albeit with lunch, an original t-shirt, free canteen, a patch and more! Armor yourself against the elements, earn some peak-bagger bragging rights, and help the local arts community.

Logistics: Saturday, Sept. 26, 8 a.m., Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury. $35 (though you may not get a t-shirt with day-of registration). More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 65 … the good news is that the chance of rain drops from 96 percent at 8 a.m. to 58 percent the rest of the day.

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Looking ahead: Among the great birding opportunities coming up in North Carolina’s State Parks is the Sunday, Oct. 11, Bald Eagle Count at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area in Apex. More info here.



The farther west you go, the chances of rain diminish — slightly. That and an action-packed lineup recommend Saturday’s Family Hiking Day Celebration out west in Fontana Village. Guided hikes on the Appalachian Trail and Llewellyn Cove Nature Trail, a plant and animal scavenger hunt, nature activities and crafts, birds of prey and other educational presentations and a cookout lunch! Sounds like a day full of family hiking fun.

Logistics: Saturday, Sept. 26, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Fontana Village. Free. More information here.

Saturday forecast: High of 73 with a chance of thunderstorms.

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Looking ahead: Introduction to Tenkara: Oct. 24, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Pisgah Center For Wildlife Education, Pisgah Forest. An intro to Japanese fly fishing. More info here.

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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 coastal 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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