Your weekend: Present, Past, Fast

Fast times at Mount Jefferson
Fast times at Mount Jefferson

Detach your kids from their electronics and get them to live in the present (at least for 45 minutes) at Merchants Millpond; expose them to true culture shock with a look at how kids used to play in Saura times; or, head to the mountains and catch skateboarders on the fast track.

Coast: Coleman Trail Hike

The weather is expected to be great this weekend; why not take advantage and head to the coast! Merchants Millpond State Park is hosting a Kids In Parks Track Trail hike. Come participate in some simple animal exercises, and investigate the plethora of nature to be found along this 2-mile trail. Meet at the Boat Ramp area at the Coleman Trailhead on Sunday.

Sunday forecast: High of 75, low of 49, sunny.

Vital Stats: Kids In Parks Track Trail hike, Merchants Millpond State Park, Gatesville, Sunday, 1 p.m., meet at the Boat Ramp area of Coleman Trail head. Contact: 252.357.1191 or For more information, go here.

Looking ahead: Six-mile Nature Hike at Pettigrew State Park, Columbia, Sunday, May 15, 1 p.m. More info here.

Early lacrosse equipment
Early lacrosse equipment

Piedmont: Outdoor play in olden times

Ever wonder how people played before hover boards and drones? Or marbles and jacks?

Saturday and Sunday, come see how the Saura Indians played hundreds of years ago at the Saura Indian Games at Hanging Rock State Park. A park ranger will demonstrate how the Sauras kicked back after a long day of hunting and gathering.

Weekend forecast: Daytime highs in the upper 70s under mostly sunny skies both days.

Vital Stats: Saura Indian Games, Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury, Saturday and Sunday, 2-3 p.m. both days. More info here.

Looking ahead: C.A.S.T. Catch A Sure Thing at Lake Jordan, geared towards youth who have minimal experience with fishing. April 30, 9:30am-11am. More info here.

Coleman Trail
Coleman Trail

Mountains: North Carolina Downhill Skateboard Race

Downhill skateboard? Racing?

Yep. Mount Jefferson State Natural Area hosts its second annual NC Downhill Race on Saturday and Sunday. Nearly 100 participants are expected to race, catapulting down the steep park road — Mount Jefferson rises 1,600 feet above the surrounding countryside — on skateboards and longboards reaching speeds in excess of 50 mph. Take a look at this year’s promotional video. Food and vendors, too. Meet at the old Lowes Food at the base of the mountain to catch a shuttle up to the spectator area.

Weekend forecast: Saturday: high of 66, low of 43; Sunday: high of 74, low of 51.

Vital Stats: NC Downhill Race, Saturday and Sunday,, Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, West Jefferson. Call 336.246.9653 for more info. To register to participate, if that’s your thing, and to find more information, go here.

Looking ahead: Wildflower walks at Grandfather Mountain State Park. Saturday May 7, 1:00pm. 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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