This weekend: Variety is the spice of adventure 

There’s a biathlon at the coast, a lucky bike ride in the mountains, and salvation — or at least a way to save yourself from getting lost — in the Piedmont.


Before you go tri, perhaps you should try bi.

It only makes sense that instead of going directly to three sports, you should ease yourself in with two. Say, standup paddle boarding and running?

If that sounds like a plan, then plan on entering Saturday’s 7th Annual Wrightsville Beach Biathlon, combining a 4-mile flatwater standup paddle  course and a 4.5-mile beach run. The action commences at the Blockade Runner Resort, at Wrightsville Beach. An avowed one-sport person? No problem, find another similarly committed soul and enter as a team.

Logistics: 7th Annual Wrightsville Beach Biathlon, Saturday, March 18, 10 a.m., Blockade Runner Beach Resort, Wrightsville Beach. $35. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 65, chance of afternoon rain.

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Looking ahead: Hike NC! Cliffs of the Neuse State Park Lake Trail hike, 2 miles, Friday, March 24, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, Seven Springs. More info here.

Every which way but lost


Our GetOriented! program has declared this weekend Find Your Way in the Woods weekend, with classes in both the Triangle and Triad areas.

We start the three-hour session with a half hour of map-and-compass get-to-know-you. Then, we head down the trail, and off, in search of the hidden treasures that elude the trail-bound. The overall goal: to make you feel more comfortable about your ability to navigate the woods.

Our Saturday morning session is at Umstead State Park in Raleigh, Sunday morning we’re at Haw River State Park in Greensboro. Compass and map are included.

Logistics: GetOriented! Finding Your Way in the Woods: Saturday, March 18, 9 a.m., Umstead State Park, Raleigh, more info and sign up here; Sunday, March 19, 9 a.m., Haw River State Park, Greensboro, more info and sign up here.

Saturday forecast: Saturday morning in Raleigh: Temperature in the 50s, chance of rain;  Sunday morning in Greensboro: Sunny, with temperatures in the 40s.

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Looking ahead: Hike NC! Celebrate the first day of spring with a hike along the Eno at Eno River State Park, Monday, March 20, 10 a.m. More info here.

Green machines at the Bike of the Irish


Talk about fortuitous timing: Saturday, it’s forecast to be rainy in the morning in Asheville. But the rain is expected to clear around noon, just in time for the 11th Annual Bike of the Irish ride beginning and ending at the Wedge Brewing Company.

“We’re rolling through several historic places which have transformed with the times,” Mike Sule, executive director of Asheville on Bikes, told the Asheville Citizen Times. “The Wedge [Brewing Company], the [Wedge at] Foundation, the French Broad Greenway, downtown, and the Beaucatcher Mountain. They’re all old and new. We’re celebrating our dynamic city and rediscovering its nooks and crannies.”

The ride is 9.3 miles and gains 643 feet of elevation. Not bad for the Asheville area.

Logistics: 11th Annual Bike of the Irish ride, Saturday, March 18, 1:30 p.m., Wedge Brewing Company, Asheville. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High near 60, partly cloudy at ride time.

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Looking ahead: Hike NC! Collier Cove Nature Preserve hike, Sunday, March 26, Arden. 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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