This weekend: Winter returns 

Huggins Island

More seasonal temps descend this weekend. It will still be nice for a hike at the coast, and you’ll be able to hit the slopes in the mountains. Meanwhile, in the Piedmont, you can take it inside for a chance to try a cool sport associated with the cold.


You stand on shore, you look out to any number of islands and think, “I wonder what’s out there?”

Saturday is your chance to find out, when a park ranger from Hammocks Beach State Park takes a boatload of folks from the mainland over to Huggins Island for a couple hours of exploring. “You will get a chance to see and explore one of the Atlantic coast’s better-preserved earthwork fortifications and how it played a role in the American Civil War. We will look at the different groups of people that have utilized the island over the years- including the Native Americans and early European colonists- and talk about their role in shaping the island.”

Sounds like a hike worth driving a spell for.

Logistics: Huggins Island History Hike, Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. Free, but space is limited and reservations are required, by calling 910.326.4881. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 54.

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Looking ahead: Polar Plunge, 5K and 1-mile Fun Run, Kure Beach Pier, Kure Beach, Feb. 11. More info here.

Triangle Curling’s Durham Center


Directions on how to dress for an event sometimes seem bizarre and silly. Sadly, they are typically based on experience. With that in mind, here’s how the folks at Triangle Curling suggest you dress for their two-hour Try Curling session:

  • “No raised heels or flip flops.
  • “Pants that offer easy movement are important as you will be required to stretch and get into positions that tight pants and jeans are not necessarily appropriate for.”

All of which will help you enjoy the sport of really cold places that much more when you give it a try Saturday morning at their Durham Curling Center.

Logistics: Try Curling, Saturday, Jan. 28, 10 a.m., Triangle Curling Center, 2310 So Hi Dr., Durham. $25. More info here.

Saturday forecast: It’s inside.

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Looking ahead: Astronomy Program at Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle, Feb. 18, 6-10 p.m. More info here.


Snowshoe Mountain got a jump on the snow and cold earlier this week.

According to he Asheville Citizen-Times Outdoors section, “WNC ski areas that closed for an extended time due to some of the highest average January temperatures on record are set to reopen Jan. 27.”

That’s Friday, btw.

Figure out which lift line you’ll be in when the ropes drop by checking out the latest Southeast ski conditions at

Weekend forecast: Overnight lows in the low 20s (perfect for snowmaking), daytime highs in the mid-30s (perfect for skiing), with snow moving in Sunday afternoon.

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Looking ahead: Underground Railroad Hike, Feb. 5, Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, West Jefferson. 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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