5 Memorable Events for this Memorial Day Weekend

Culturally speaking, this is the last weekend of spring. True, the season doesn’t officially cede to summer until June 21 (at 5:13 a.m.). But for most of us, Memorial Day weekend kicks off “Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer;” starting this weekend the majority of us will already be dipping into the soda, the pretzels, the beer (no hot dogs?).

Here are 5 events for the weekend that mark a great way to kick off the season:

Spring Flowers, Saturday, 10 a.m., Carvers Creek State Park (or not), Spring Lake. Or not? Indeed, this hike will gather at the nearby Smith Lake Recreation Area- Q, 5144, Smith Lake Road in Fort Bragg, the “start location.” We’re guessing this is the case because the hike leader wants to focus on the area with the best spring flower bloom at the time, not the area they suspected would have the best bloom when they scheduled the hike. Show up and be surprised. More info here. 

Barrier Island Beach Hike, Sunday, 11 a.m., Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro. What’s so special about a beach hike? I mean, don’t we all do it when we vacation at the beach? True, nearly everyone walks the beach on holiday, but not a beach that’s undeveloped and that can’t be reached by car. This hike commences from the Bear Island Bathhouse and covers a half mile in search of “evidence of past storms, fossil rock outcrops, geology, and barrier island migration.” You’ll either need to paddle out (see photo) to the island or take the ferry ($6 for adults, $4 for kids 3 to 12 or 62 or older). More info here. 

Slippery, Slidey, Slimy Salamanders, Saturday, 10 a.m., Blue Jay Point County Park, Raleigh. Have trouble getting your little kids excited about going outdoors? We’re guessing that’s part of the marketing strategy behind the name of this event aimed at kids 5 and up. Part of the park’s Family Wildlife Series, the focus here is to “Find out how these special amphibians compare with their reptile cousins and learn about the amazing adaptations that have let them remain relatively unchanged for 150 million years!” Also: “…kids are not required to attend.” Learn more and register here.

Guided Canoe Adventure, Saturday, 10:30 a.m., Staunton River State Park, Scottsburg, VA. Just over the state line in Virginia’s Staunton River State Park, you can satisfy your curiosity about canoeing on this ranger-led adventure on Edmund’s Lake. All paddling equipment provided, you just need to dress appropriately and wear sunscreen. There is a small fee for this event. Learn more and register here.

Fairy Stone Hunt, Saturday, noon, Fairy Stone State Park, Stuart, VA. Also just over the state line there’s a treasure hunt, of sorts, on Saturday. Fairy Stone State Park gets its name from the curious Stauroilte crystal in the shape of a cross found throughout the park. This event starts with a short presentation covering the stone’s legend and what to look for before heading out in search of said stone. Parking fee applies. Learn more here.

As for the weather, a delightful melange of spring and summer is on tap: temperatures in the low 80s under mostly sunny skies.

GetOut! And Enjoy.

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Planning ahead

Summer Weekends Hiking the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. We have three weekend hiking trips, all in the mountains on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Each weekend includes about 20 miles of guided hiking, camping, and meals. The trips are:

  • Summer on the MST Weekend Escape to Doughton Park, June 10-12, go here.
  • Summer on the MST Weekend Escape to Mount Pisgah, July 22-24, go here.
  • Summer on the MST Weekend Escape to Price Lake, Sept. 9-11, go here.

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