Category Archives: Festivals

An early Head’s up for National Trails Day

When National Trails Day got its start in the early 1990s, it was gauged by the number of events and participants. 

And today? 

“Media impressions,” of which there were more than 900 million in 2018.

For the past 25 years, the American Hiking Society has decreed the first Saturday in June to be National Trails Day, a day of celebration for our beloved hiking, biking and equestrian trails. Events around the country celebrate by holding trail workdays, hikes and various celebratory events. It’s a great opportunity to get out and let your local trails know how much you appreciate them. read more

GetOut! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure

Yeah, there’s a little rain in the forecast for the weekend. However: 

  1. It’s a forecast, which is essentially an educated guess, which is subject to not being accurate;
  2. There do appear to be some less wet spots in the forecast; and,
  3. Why should that keep us from having a little fun at least planning for the weekend?

That said, here three ideas for getting out and exploring:

B.W. Wells Heritage Day, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Falls Lake State Recreation Area, Wake Forest. There’s a cool area of Falls Lake State Recreation Area on the east side of the lake that few people know about: the B.W. Wells area. It’s where B.W. Wells, a botany professor at N.C. State and one of the state’s foremost early ecologists lived and peppered his land with a variety of plant life. The area is usually closed, but is open for touring on Heritage Day. Learn more about B.W. Wells here, learn more about B.W. Wells Heritage Day here. read more

GetOut! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure

Temperatures in the 70s, mostly sunny skies — sounds like a weekend to get out and explore in the GetOut! universe. Some options for your adventure consideration:

High 5 @ Hanging Rock, Saturday, beginning at 7 a.m., Hanging Rock State Park, Danbury. Our friends with the Friends of Sauratown Mountains do a great job supporting both Pilot Mountain and Hanging Rock state parks, the west and east endpoints, respectively, of the Sauratown Mountain range. They support the parks in a variety of ways, one of which is by funding some of the smaller park projects that might  not otherwise get done. Where do they get their money? you ask. From events like High 5 @ Hanging Rock. The goal of High 5 is to hike all 5 of Hanging Rock’s key high points: Moore’s Knob, Cooks Wall, Hanging Rock, Wolf Rock and House Rock. Complete the circuit and get a patch! There are two rest stops along the route, foot trucks at the finish (get a $5 food truck voucher upon registration). Cost is $40, which, again, will largely go to benefit the parks. Learn more and sign up here. read more

GetOut! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure

Rainy today, partly sunny tomorrow: Isn’t that how the adage goes? Or something along those lines? If not, well, so be it. That’s the forecast we’re dealing with, and it’s a pretty darn good one: clouds and rain move out overnight Friday, partly sunny skies and temps in the low 60s move in — perfect weather for a weekend of exploring60Some options:

  • State Park Days at the Coast, Saturday, daylong, Dismal Swamp, Jones Lake, and Merchants Millpond state parks. The last weekend in October appears to be the time to celebrate our coastal state parks, for three of them are having their Days: Dismal Swamp State Park (including a 5K as part of Dismal Day) from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Jones Lake State Park (with

    Friends of the Bay Lakes Fall Festival read more

This weekend: Get a jump on fall 

Panthertown Valley: a great place to get a jump on fall

Technically, it may still be summer (fall starts a week from Friday, on Sept. 22), but the weather suggests the season is well underway. Sunny skies, dry air, temperatures in the 70s and low 80s: weather that beckons with a seductive come-hither finger to come outside and have some fun.


One of the outdoor pleasures we don’t indulge in often enough: paddling a coastal creek. There’s an odd intimacy in paddling coastal creeks as they meander through marshlands: wide-open, yet hemmed in by cord grass at the same time. There’s something especially enticing in such an adventure come fall, as the days for a warm-weather paddle begin to diminish.

Thus, our suggestion that you head to Bald Head Island Saturday for their Kayaking the Creeks program. A Conservancy staffer leads you through the marsh, explaining the intricate ecosystem that supports so much life. PFDs, paddles and double kayaks provided.

Logistics: Kayaking the Creeks, Saturday, Sept. 16, 4 p.m., Village Creek Access, Bald Head Island. $40 for BHI members, $55 otherwise. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 83.

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Looking ahead: Can’t make Kayaking the Creeks on Saturday? It’s offered at various times through October.


Lake James: nestled at the base of Linville Gorge and feeding off the Linville River, is it in the mountains, or does its relatively mellow terrain at the base of the foothills put it in the Piedmont.

For the purposes of Saturday’s 14th Annual RiverFest on the Catawba River, we’re leaning Piedmont this time around. But you should go and judge for yourself, especially on a day that will feature music, food, educational exhibits, a live raptor release at 10:30 a.m., nature hikes, and the opportunity to take a  canoe or kayak for a spin, free. Lots of conservation groups, too, who can explain the importance of the river and what they’re doing to protect it.

Logistics: 14th Annual RiverFest, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Paddy’s Creek Area of Lake James State Park, Nebo. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Mostly sunny, high of 82.

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Looking ahead: Hawk Watch, Sunday, Sept. 24, Pilot Mountain State Park. Come check out the fall migration of hawks from Little Pinnacle. More info here.


If you were contemplating a trip to the mountains, but weren’t sure what lasting impact Irma may have had, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports: “The U.S. Forest Service has reopened most recreation areas and roads on the National Forests in North Carolina including Davidson River Campground, Lake Powhatan and the Cradle of Forestry.” (Learn more about what remains closed here.)

An area that is open for recreational business is Panthertown Valley, where 30 miles of trail take you past waterfalls, over rocky summits, through a lush valley. A gorgeous area, but one where it’s easy to get lost, which is why we suggest that you tag along with our GetHiking! Charlotte group, which will hike 7 miles there Saturday (possibly 8, if there’s interest in a side trip to Schoolhouse Falls. This hike offers good exposure to the essence of Panthertown.

Logistics: Panthertown Valley hike, Saturday, Sept. 16, 9:30 a.m., meeting at Mica’s Restaurant & Pub in Sapphire. 7/8 miles. More info and sign up here.

Sunday forecast: Mostly sunny, high of 74.

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Looking ahead: Fall Colors, Sunday, Oct. 1, Grandfather Mountain State Park. More info here.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below.