Your weekend: Ride Wilmington, Hike Pilot, Run for Falafels

A mellow organized ride in Wilmington shuns the hammerhead drama of most such events; if you’re late for Sunday’s hike at Pilot Mountain, no problem — another will come along; and if there was ever a good reason to run a 5K, what could be better than a falafel-bearing t-shirt?


River2Sea3_zps0joiynzuThe casual cyclist looks at most organized rides and thinks: Looks like fun — if I could ride 64 miles.

Alas, most rides focus on the century mark, be it metric (64 miles) or English (100 miles). True, they often have shorter options, but the atmosphere can be competitive, intimidating, even, to the more casual rider.

Not so with Saturday’s 27th Annual River-to-Sea Bike Ride from downtown Wilmington to Wrightsville Beach. The “slow-paced” ride begins at Bailey’s Park at 8 a.m. and follows the old Beach Car Line, now the River-to-the-Sea Bikeway, to Wrightsville Beach and back. While riding is in traffic, there will be police support, and folks who don’t think they can make the return trip and catch a ride back on WAVE Transit.

Could this ride be any more tempting? Yes: It’s free.

Vital Stats: 27th Annual River to Sea Bike Ride, Saturday, 8 a.m., Bailey’s Park, downtown Wilmington. Free, but registration is required, starting onsite at 7:30 a.m. For more info go here.

Saturday forecast: The day starts at 60 degrees and climbs to 76 under sunny skies.

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Looking ahead: Pier-to-Pier Swim, Saturday, May 21, Wrightsville Beach. More info here.


GHTriad.PilotYou have the best of intentions to be punctual, you try to be on time. And yet, you always see to arrive 10 minutes late, sometimes too late for, say, the hike that is now 10 minutes down the trail.

All the more reason to do Sunday’s 2 p.m. Jomeokee Hike at Pilot Mountain State Park. This time, if you’re 10 minutes late, you can catch the 3 p.m. version of the same hike, an interpretive hike looking at the park’s history, geology, flora and fauna. The like is less than a hike on trail that circles the Big Pinnacle.

Logistics: Jomeokee Hike, Sunday, May 8, 2 p.m. and again at 3 p.m., Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle. More info here.

Sunday forecast: Overcast with a high of 81.

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Looking ahead: Retraining Smokey the Bear, Pilot Mountain State Park, Saturday, May 28. More info here.


a37228b2be7162e03e66de27779dde47We race for many reasons. Sometimes we like the challenge of the course. Sometimes we like the cause. Sometimes it’s the opportunity for a PR.

And sometimes it’s because of the t-shirt. Such is the case with Sunday’s Falafel 5K at the Asheville Jewish Community Center in honor of Israel Independence Day. Just having the word “falafel” on a t-shirt is worth it. Stick around afterward and get a free falafel, listen to live music, enjoy Hi-Wire beer, a wine-tasting and more.

Logistics: Falafel 5K, Sunday, May 8, 10 a.m., Asheville Jewish Community Center, Asheville. $30. More info here.

Sunday forecast: Sunny; the day starts at 59 degrees, climbs to 81.

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Looking ahead: Down Hill @ Dawn Half Marathon, Ridgecrest Conference Center, Black Mountain, June 4. 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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