Your Weekend: Warm to Adventure

Take advantage of the wonderful weather statewide this weekend with a summer carnival in Cherokee, a hike at the coast (and earn prizes), or learning about the state’s birds of prey in Charlotte.

Coast: Hike at Merchants Millpond State Park

Merchants_Millpond_SP_NC_5583On Saturday a park ranger at Merchants Millpond State Park in Gatesville will lead a 2-mile hike on the Track Trail-certified Coleman Trail. Take a brochure on the hike, follow its directions, accumulate information, then enter the information on a website following the hike. Get enough entries and earn patches, note pads, backpacks and stickers! Not to mention the opportunity to get some exercise on a beautiful trail. Wear sturdy shoes and plan on the hike taking about 2 hours.

Vital Stats: Saturday Feb 20, 11 a.m., free. Contact: 252.357.1191 More info here.

Forecast for Saturday: Cloudy with highs reaching 66 degrees

Looking ahead: Clean the Queen – a shoreline cleanup, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro, Feb. 28 10 a.m. More info here

Piedmont: Birds of Prey at Lake Norman State Park

Anyone know how many birds of prey call North Carolina home? Join a ranger at Lake Norman State Park to learn the answer, among many other things about each bird and how they thrive. After becoming a bird expert, take a hike within the park and see if you can spot any for yourself.

Vital Stats: Sunday, Feb. 21, 1 p.m., free. Contact: 704.528.6350. More info here.

Forecast for Sunday: Cloudy with a high of 69, although the event is occurring indoors.

Looking ahead: Volunteer Trail Work Day, Crowders Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain, March 12, 8 a.m. More info here.

Mountains: Cherokee Summer Carnival

If these temperatures have you missing summer, you’re in luck: Cherokee is holding a summer carnival this weekend. There will be a variety of vendors, karaoke, games, carnival rides, and of course food. The carnival will be occurring for multiple days. Come learn about Cherokee culture, and spend some time hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Vital Stats: Carnival begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21, and lasts until 11 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25. Free. Contact: 843.385.3180. More info here.

Sunday forecast: Scattered showers, high of 60.

Looking ahead: Four Seasons Hike, Blue Rock Mountain, March 19, Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock.  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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