We take a slightly different approach this week, inspired by what seems to be a greater-than-usual offering of intriguing critter programs this weekend in our state parks system. Today, we simply list the program title, the park hosting it, when it is, and a link. You have no reason not to learn a thing or two this weekend.
This weekend, avoid alligators, avoid trails, but don’t avoid the first big weekend of the Southeast ski season.
Remember the old Peter, Paul & Mary hit, “Where Have All the Reptiles Gone?” No, wait. That wasn’t PP&M in the 1960s. That’s Lake Waccamaw State Park this Sunday at 2 p.m., when a ranger explains why the park’s alligators are no longer on the prowl, why the turtles aren’t out catching some rays … basically why the entire reptile population is laying low. A great opportunity to learn a little something, then take a long (Lakeshore Trail, 5 miles) or short (Sand Ridge Trail, 0.75 mile) hike to look for the reptiles that aren’t supposed to be there.
More about the park, including directions, here.
Trails are good, but off trails are better. At least when you’re in the company of someone who doesn’t need a blaze and solid tread under foot to find his way. Saturday, tag along with a ranger to explore the lesser-known nooks of Crowders Mountain State Park. These rare excursions give you a chance to get to reknow a place you might have thought you knew, plus, especially in the case of popular Crowders Mountain, a chance to escape the trail-bound crowds.
Saturday’s off-trail hike starts at 3 p.m from the visitors center. Sturdy hiking boots and clothes you don’t mind getting ripped (briars) are recommended. Here for more information.
Not only has cold weather in the North Carolina high country gotten the ski areas’ snow guns going, but they’ve had the real thing as well — four inches total the past couple of days at Beech Mountain! Thus, you can add skiing/riding to your list of options this weekend. Beech, Sugar and Cataloochee all expect to be open this weekend, according to SkiSoutheast.com. How much of each mountain will open remains to be seen; we suggest checking SkiSoutheast.com Friday evening before making definitive plans.
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Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, below.
Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal 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).
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