Your weekend: Embrace the cold

Hiking at Hagan Stone
Hiking at Hagan Stone

With the weather officially dipping into Brrrr territory, to help you stay warm and moving we suggest you do the following:


Isn’t some of what makes the weather getting colder so sweet, the appreciation we have for a nice, hot meal?

Saturday, you’ll get the chance to experience just that. Help wrap up North Carolina State Parks’ 100 Year Anniversary with Goose Creek State Park’s campfire cooking program. Some of the most essential skills to survival are building a fire and using that fire to cook food, which is the aim of the program.

Logistics: Campfire Cooking, Saturday, 4 p.m.,Goose Creek State Park, Washington. Find out more, here.

Saturday Forecast: Rain early in the day, high of 69.


Looking ahead: Winter Birding, Dec. 23, 11 a.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. More info, here.


Tis’ the season for giving! Giving back gives a sense of gratitude, a feeling of being a part of something, of having purpose.

Feeling a little stressed? Let the pressures of this season fall to the Earth with every step, and take a breath. Join our GetHiking! Triad group for for a Gratitude Walk at Hagan Stone Park near Greensboro, and finish feeling refreshed with a positive outlook. Come out feeling taller than the trees!

Hagan Stone has a reputation for being all things to all people. You’ll get to see so much of what this park has to offer – from playgrounds and camping to fishing and general natural beauty on this hike that piggybacks on one of the most popular high school and college cross-country courses in the region.

Logistics: GetHiking! Triad Gratitude Hike at Hagan-Stone Park, Pleasant Garden. Sunday, 1:30 p.m., 3 miles. More info, here.

Sunday forecast: Bright skies and a high of 56.


Looking ahead: Forrest Bathing/ Nature Hike, Dec. 28, 2 p.m., Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, Hillsborough. Find out more, here.


With temperatures dropping we finally get some exercise in one of our favorite ways, skiing the slopes.

With the most slopes open and almost all of their lifts running we recommend you find your way to Appalachian Ski Mountain! App has nine of 11 slopes open. Current conditions are nice with the weekend getting a little bit more sludgy but still skiable none-the-less.

For a sense of how winter magically happens in the Southeast, check out this video of 24 hours of snowmaking at Wisp Resort in Maryland.

Logistics: Appalachian Ski Mountain, Blowing Rock. Open 9 a.m. to Midnight. Find out more, here. Learn what other slopes are open in the region at

Weekend forecast: Cloudy with a chance of rain Saturday and Sunday, with highs near 50.


Looking ahead: Christmas Day Photo Scavenger Hunt, Grandfather Mountain State Park, Banner Elk. Dec. 25, 3 p.m. More info, here.


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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