This weekend: H20! H20! H20!

With the weather expected to remain exceptionally summerlike this weekend, we get out the divining rod to show us the way to sensible adventure. Let’s see where it takes us.


Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

At the coast, our rod points to … the marshlands of Bald Head Island, where wet relief is but a paddle-splash (or better still, a capsize!) away. On both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, the BHI Conservancy leads Kayaking the Creeks, a paddle tour exploring and explaining “the beauty and importance of the salt marsh.” If you’ve done this trip before, you haven’t necessarily done this trip: “Each trip offers a unique perspective of BHI and great views of wildlife,” promises the conservancy.

PFDs, paddles, kayaks and guide are provided; you bring a water bottle, sunscreen, bug spray, hat, and clothes that can get “muddy and slightly damp.”

Vital Stats: Saturday, July 30, 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 31, 5:30 p.m., Bald Head Island (meet at the Village Creek Access on Federal Road). $55/person for non-members, $40/person for BHI Conservancy members. More info and sign up here.

Saturday forecast: Highs in the low 90s Saturday and Sunday, chance of thunderstorms Sunday.

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Looking ahead: Up and Active, Aug. 17, 6:30 p.m., Kure Beach. More info here.


mari1Normally, when a kayak trip requires that, “All participants must be able to swim,” it can cause alarm. Not the case when the temperature is expected to hit 97. In fact, the prospect that some swimming might be involved is just the thing to lure us to Lumber River State Park for Saturday’s paddle on the Lumber.

The three-hour tour starts art 10 a.m., with guide and appropriate paddling paraphernalia provided (you need only bring sunscreen, drinking water, snack and “any other necessary items”).

Vital Stats: Saturday, July 20, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lumber River State Park, Chalk Banks Access Area Picnic Area. Free, but space is limited; RSVP at 910.628.4564.

Saturday forecast: High of 97, chance of afternoon thunderstorm.

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Looking ahead: Canoe the Mayo, Mayo River State Park, Mayodan, Saturday, Aug. 27. More info here.


Stone Mountain State Park
Stone Mountain State Park

This also sounds good on a 91-degree summer’s day: “Bring clothes and shoes that you can get wet.”

In this case, that means clothes you can wear wading in a cool mountain stream as a park ranger at Stone Mountain State Park explains the habits and diet of mountain trout. (The very fact these waters support trout indicates these are indeed cool waters that you will be getting your clothes and shoes refreshingly wet.)

Vital Stats: Stream Safari, Saturday, July 30, 2 p.m., Stone Mountain State Park. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 91, chance of thunderstorms.

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Looking ahead: Centennial Celebration, Mount Mitchell State Park, Aug. 27-28. 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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