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Every Thursday, we team with our friends at GetGoingNC.com to offer suggestions on how you can have an active weekend. We offer ideas for the coast, the Piedmont and the mountains that cover a range of activities, from running and hiking to paddling, biking and more. For more information on the events listed, as well as additional options for the weekend, visit GetGoingNC.com.

This weekend is all about water activities!

If you’ve ever watched Creature From The Black Lagoon and thought, “Hey, that looks like fun,” then this weekend was made for you. Weekly summer canoe tours have begun at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, while in Wilson, the Wilson Swamp Stomp vows to spend 65 percent of the race in woods or swamp. Or, stay high and dry Saturday while enjoying National Get Outdoors Day festivities at Chimney Rock State Park.

Coast

Perhaps you’ve seen Charlie from the safety of the deck of the Battleship North Carolina and thought, “He looks so small from up here; I wonder what a gator looks like up close?” Starting this Friday afternoon and continuing on Friday afternoons through the summer you’ll likely get to answer that question on the weekly Canoe tour at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. Among the things you’ll learn on these two-hour paddles on Milltail Creek: some of those logs you think you’re looking at aren’t really logs! Learn more.

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Piedmont

Some people freak at the mere mention of a swamp; the folks in Wilson think it’s a dandy spot to hold a race. The Wilson Swamp Stomp, now in its third year, is an obstacle race with one of the more intriguing obstacles we’ve heard of: swampland. Two race options — a 5K and an 8K — both spend about two-thirds of their time in the woods or a swamp. Kid-friendly, too! Proceeds benefit Hope Station, Wilson’s food pantry and homeless shelter. Learn more.

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Mountains

Saturday is National Get Outdoors Day. Now, perhaps you’re scratching your head and thinking, “Wasn’t that last Saturday?” That was National Trails Day; National Get Outdoors Day is an effort to get kids outside and to connect adults more accustomed to being indoors with public lands. There are more than 200 events nationwide, including four hours of Get Outdoors fun at Chimney Rock State Park. Learn more.

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Put some zip in your summer

Remember how you put off whitewater rafting for years because of the fear factor — then when you finally tried it you had a blast? We’re guessing you’ve had the same thoughts about ziplines and high adventure courses (those funky swinging bridges taking you through the treetops).

Make this your summer of zipline discovery, by starting with a visit to our new Guide to North Carolina ziplines. Get a sense of the experience, take a 90 second ride, then check out our guide to 21 ziplines across North Carolina. With five in the Piedmont and one in the coastal plain, there may be a zipline closer than you think. Start your zipline adventure.

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Joe Miller

About Joe Miller

Joe Miller is the author of four books on outdoor adventure, and writes about health, fitness and the outdoors. Read his blog at GetGoingNC.com.

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