GetOut! 5 ways to explore this holiday weekend

The three-day Fourth of July weekend is upon us, and boy do we have some great — and patriotically appropriate —  options!

Cannon Day, Monday, July 4, five demonstrations from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach. What says the 4th more than the firing of one of the biggest fireworks around — a cannon! Learn about the various cannons at this installation that dates back to 1747 and efforts to protect English settlers from Spanish raiders. At the end of each demonstration, they fire a cannon1 (It’s a blank, but still … .) Work in an ocean walk during your visit. More info here. 

Sunset on the Ridge, Monday, July 4, 7 p.m., Jockey’s Ridge State Park, Nags Head. Get bummed every Fourth of July because you have to choose just one fireworks display? That won’t be the case at Jockey’s Ridge, where, from atop a dune, you can catch the shows from Corolla to Ocracoke. Learn more here.

Festival for the Eno, Saturday, July 2, and Monday, July 4, West Point on the Eno city Park, Durham. It’s back! After a pandemic hiatus, this popular fundraiser for the Eno River Association returns with two days of music, food, crafts, paddling and hiking. More info here.

Wildflower Walk, Saturday, July 2, 10:30 a.m., Elk Knob State Park, Todd. Miss the wildflower show this spring in the Piedmont — or just crave more? They’re still popping in the high country, and you can catch it with an informed naturalist/ranger on this morning walk. And since it’s a bit of a drive up Meat Camp Road, we suggest adding a hike, the challenging but oh-so-rewarding 1.9-mile hike to the summit of Elk Knob. The mountaintop view is grand (see photo), but don’t overlook the craftsmanship of the trail on the way up. Learn more here.

Holiday Hike, Sunday, July 3, 2 p.m., Weymouth Woods State Natural Area, Southern Pines. Check out the rare longleaf pine stands on this 1.5-mile hike, then spend time wandering through downtown Southern Pines. Learn more here.

Enjoy your freedom this weekend! GetOut! And explore!

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