This weekend may finally solve the dilemma of how to get your kid off the couch and into wild. It’s also a great time to celebrate Mountains-to-Sea Trail Month, and a good time as well to indulge the many recreational opportunities of Lake James State Park.
Scott Carpenter has a vision that may seem myopic at first. Hear him out, though, and your adventurous self can easily see what he’s talking about.
Carpenter’s vision is this: Lake James, the 6,800-acre lake currently best known as the gateway to other adventurous places (Linville Gorge, Wilson Creek, the Pisgah National Forest) is the next Nantahala Outdoor Center, an all-encompassing outdoor playground that’s day-tripable from North Carolina’s major population centers: Charlotte, the Triad, the Triangle.
Carpenter is Deputy County Manager and Planning Director for Burke County, in which Lake James and its associated state park reside. Burke County, like many mountain counties, is dealing with a changing economy that must figure out how to rely less on manufacturing and more on … .
“Tourism,” answers Carpenter.
The ultimate goal, says Carpenter, is to lure an NOC-type outfitter to the region to help exploit the local recreational resources. Chances are, if you see the Lake James exit on I-40 as little more than a sign that you’re almost to where the fun starts, you’re scratching your head: What can I do at Lake James that doesn’t
The weather appears cooperative this weekend for a variety of pursuits, from stargazing to paddling to pedaling.
Among the coastal plains numerous outdoors attributes: less light pollution. That’s especially groovy if you like stargazing. If you’re not sure you like stargazing, find out Saturday evening at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park when park rangers encourage you to spread out on a blanket and learn the constellations and others things astronomical.
Resolved to get out more in 2014 but need to ease into it? We’ve got two birding programs that promise a mix of mellow movement and awesome outdoor exposure. And if you’re looking to up your competitive resume in the year just begun, we’ve got a run in the mountains in a lesser-known natural area. Regardless of where you currently fit into the movement spectrum, it’s a good first weekend to an active new year.
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.