Yup, that’s right: winter arrives big time in North Carolina’s mountains this weekend, with heavy snow forecast for higher elevations. More important, cold overnight temperatures should support prolonged snowmaking, signaling the start of the Southeast ski season.
Share backcountry cooking tips at Cliffs of the Neuse, run a half marathon at South Mountains, have a rad time on the slopes at Beech Mountain: they’re all options this weekend in North Carolina.
Joe Jacob, owner of Haw River Canoe & Kayak Co. and longtime guide, once confided to us that the success of any trip he ran hinged on one thing: good food. It’s true. You can have a miserable day on the trail, but all is quickly forgotten if a feast awaits at trail’s end. Which is why we recommend Saturday’s Outdoor Cooking Potluck at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park near Goldsboro. Says the program description: “Show off your outdoor cooking skills! A Ranger will prepare a meal as well.” Sounds like a great way to pick up some campground cooking tips.
Race at a new nature park near Wilmington in honor of the groundhog, Bushwhack it on a mountain bike in the Piedmont, celebrate the cold in the high country in the most appropriate way possible. Another diverse weekend is on tap in North Carolina.
If you’re looking for something closer to home, check out the new weekly calendar listings at the Great Outdoor Provision Co. Three events every week near Great Outdoor Provision’s seven North Carolina markets: Charlotte, Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Wilmington.
Whenever we get wind of snow in accumulations of five inches or more in the mountains and Piedmont, we trot out our handy cross-country ski guide. For those of you who have skis, you’ll find some of the best spots to cross-country ski in the mountains. And for those of you who don’t, it will help you find out where to get some. Here’s hoping the prediction of up to 12 inches comes true.
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.