Tag Archives: Hammocks Beach

GetOut! Explore our lesser-known State Parks

It’s the last weekend of summer, but on the trail it’s beginning to feel like fall. And that means many of the trails we love year-round are getting lots of love from the seasonally infatuated. 

Many trails — but not all.

Finding the trails less traveled was the focus of our first Lunch with GetHiking! gathering at noon today. If you missed it, you can catch it in reruns here. read more

GetOut! Your Friday Nudge for Weekend Adventure

Jordan Lake

Consider the coming weekend as preparation for the winter ahead: high temperatures throughout much of the region won’t get out of the 40s. That makes it an opportune time to dig out your cold weather gear, see what works, see what needs replacing. Make good use of this test-run weekend and you’ll be ready for the winter months ahead! read more

Get Out! Your Nudge for Weekend Adventure

Summer officially arrived at 6:06 a.m. Thursday, but it sent an advance team early in the week: temperatures in the mid-90s. Thus, our focus for the weekend is wet and wild. Or at least wet.

Some events on tap that will keep you close to water:

=&0=&, New River State Park, Laurel Springs. Saturday, 9 p.m. Double your chances of staying cool by not only being near water, but exploring at night as well. Details here.

=&1=&, Pilot Mountain State Park, Pinnacle. Saturday, 10 a.m. The phrase that hooked us on this event? “Please wear clothing and shoes you can get wet … .” The goal of this one-hour program is to see what lives in a creek. Details here.

=&2=&, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro, Sunday, 8:30 a.m. “Enjoy this ranger-guided trip through the adjacent marsh water as we explore some of the ecosystems which make this part of North Carolina so special.  Kayaks, paddles, and lifejackets will be provided.”

=&3=&, New River State Park, Laurel Springs. Sunday, 1 p.m. “Canoe the New River with a park ranger and learn the history of the river, and basic canoe instruction while you enjoy a leisurely trip down the river.” And yes, “Please wear clothing and shoes suitable for the water … .”

Search for your own adventure through one of these sources:

  • North Carolina State Parks has a variety of adventures planned for the weekend. Check those options here.
  • North Carolina Environmental Education Center represents environmental ed centers across the state and has a calendar complete with every class and trip these centers are conducting. Find it here.
  • Right here, at GetGoingNC.com.
  • read more

    Your Weekend: Warm to Adventure


    Take advantage of the wonderful weather statewide this weekend with a summer carnival in Cherokee, a hike at the coast (and earn prizes), or learning about the state’s birds of prey in Charlotte.

    Coast: Hike at Merchants Millpond State Park

    On Saturday a park ranger at Merchants Millpond State Park in Gatesville will lead a 2-mile hike on the Track Trail-certified Coleman Trail. Take a brochure on the hike, follow its directions, accumulate information, then enter the information on a website following the hike. Get enough entries and earn patches, note pads, backpacks and stickers! Not to mention the opportunity to get some exercise on a beautiful trail. Wear sturdy shoes and plan on the hike taking about 2 hours.

    Vital Stats: Saturday Feb 20, 11 a.m., free. Contact: 252.357.1191 More info here.

    Forecast for Saturday: Cloudy with highs reaching 66 degrees

    Looking ahead: Clean the Queen – a shoreline cleanup, Hammocks Beach State Park, Swansboro, Feb. 28 10 a.m. More info here

    Piedmont: Birds of Prey at Lake Norman State Park

    Anyone know how many birds of prey call North Carolina home? Join a ranger at Lake Norman State Park to learn the answer, among many other things about each bird and how they thrive. After becoming a bird expert, take a hike within the park and see if you can spot any for yourself.

    Vital Stats: Sunday, Feb. 21, 1 p.m., free. Contact: 704.528.6350. More info here.

    Forecast for Sunday: Cloudy with a high of 69, although the event is occurring indoors.

    Looking ahead: Volunteer Trail Work Day, Crowders Mountain State Park, Kings Mountain, March 12, 8 a.m. More info here.

    Mountains: Cherokee Summer Carnival

    If these temperatures have you missing summer, you’re in luck: Cherokee is holding a summer carnival this weekend. There will be a variety of vendors, karaoke, games, carnival rides, and of course food. The carnival will be occurring for multiple days. Come learn about Cherokee culture, and spend some time hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

    Vital Stats: Carnival begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 21, and lasts until 11 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25. Free. Contact: 843.385.3180. More info here.

    Sunday forecast: Scattered showers, high of 60.

    Looking ahead: Four Seasons Hike, Blue Rock Mountain, March 19, Chimney Rock State Park, Chimney Rock.  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 read more

    Resources for a steamy weekend of cool, wet fun

    We’re staring down the first steamy weekend of the summer. Frankly, I’m hard pressed to think of something to do outdoors that doesn’t involve water.

    There’s swimming, of course. At your local pool (search for local parks and rec departments with pools at the North Carolina Recreation & Parks Association Web site), at a trusted swimming hole (find 76 in North Carolina at SwimmingHoles.org), at the coast (find Outer Banks beaches here, Wilmington area beaches here and assorted other beaches here.

    There’s paddling. If you have a canoe or kayak, check out our list below of 21 state parks that have canoe/kayak access. If you don’t have your own boat, there’s always our trusty list of 35 Places Where You Can Rent a Canoe or Kayak in the state. If you’re up for a guided trip — from a quiet journey through a black water swamp to a rollicking romp down Class II, III and IV water, check out this list of outfitters statewide.

    Or maybe you’re just looking for an excuse to go wading. Saturday, get your feet wet in the cool waters of the New River during and Aquatic Sampling program at 1 p.m. (336.982.2587 for details on this trip, which meets at the Wagoner Access Area), while Sunday at 2 p.m. at Stone Mountain State Park there’s Aquatic Wild, a chance to poke about the East Prong of the Roaring River for wet wildlife.

    Whichever wet option you chose, don’t forget the sunscreen, a hat, protective clothing, bug spray, perhaps a snack or two. And fun, don’t forget to have fun.


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    State Parks where you can float your boat


    Eno River State Park – Canoe access, river fishing.

    Falls Lake State Recreation Area read more