This weekend: Hop like a bunny — there’s lots going on

The view north from Elk Knob

Hey, like the headline says: find your adventure (below) and hop to it.


Fess up: how many plastic bags of shells to you have from beach foraging sessions past? Lots, no doubt.


Did you know there are things you can do with those shells? Crafty things, things you might not have thought possible that you could use to spruce up your home or office? Better still, for those long week beach vacations, things that could keep the kids busy for an afternoon or two.

Learn “about some of the unique beach findings and what crafty ways can be applied with them” on a free clinic at Hammocks Beach State Park Sunday afternoon. Come before the 2 p.m. start, gather some fresh stuff, then discover how to craft a creation with it.

You will get a chance to build your own craft to take home.

Registration is required by contacting the park office: 910-326-4881.

Logistics: Coastal Craft Series, Sunday, April 16, 2 p.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro.  Free, but registration is required, by calling 910.326.4881. More info here.

Sunday forecast: High of 80, sunny.

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Looking ahead: Nature Designs Art Festival and Earth Day Celebration, April 22, Raven Rock State Park, Lillington.


Are you a citizen scientist? Then use your skills for the forces of good over the next several days by representing the Triangle in the nationwide City Nature Challenge.

Says the sponsoring N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, “This competition pits several American cities against each other to see who can document the most biodiversity on the iNaturalist app over a 5-day period. We’re going up against cities that are a lot bigger than we are (Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, and others), but North Carolina’s amazing biodiversity and the great urban wildlife we see every day can help us win!”

It won’t be easy. “We likely need over 15,000 submissions to have a shot of taking home the gold, so we need YOUR help snapping photos of Triangle Area plants, animals, or fungi, April 14-18, and submitting them to iNaturalist by April 30. We’ve got prizes for the top three local contributors as a thank you, too!”

Intrigued? See Logistics, below, for how you can participate.

Logistics: City Nature Challenge, April 14-18, Triangle area. For more info, visit here or call 919.707.9800.

Weekend forecast: Highs around 80 under sunny skies.

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Looking ahead: Walk, Run Bike for Umstead, Saturday, April 22, Umstead Coalition fundraiser for Umstead State Park in Raleigh. More info here.


We have a thing for Elk Knob State Park, and that thing is the view from atop Elk Knob. From its 5,520-foot summit you can see a wide swath of the northern North Carolina mountains and appreciate the unusual northern hardwood forest that dominates the region. It’s an especially great place for a guided hike, which is the plan Saturday, when a park ranger leads a 1-mile hike and discusses the park’s natural history along the way.

Logistics: Nature Hike, Saturday, 2 p.m., April 15, Elk Knob State Park, Todd. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 70 with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms.

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Looking ahead: Gateway to the Smokies Half Marathon, May 6, Waynesville. 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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