For The Outdoor Enthusiast

06/20/2013 10:03 AM

07/09/2013 9:27 AM

Tree Shaker 8- and 4-Hour Mountain Bike Challenge at Anne Springs Close Greenway Join over 200 riders of all skill levels at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 15 for an eight- or four-hour race around a nine-mile loop of Anne Springs Close Greenway. Bike solo or in teams to beat your personal best, or try to surpass last year’s eight-hour records: 104 miles (group) or 95 miles (solo). Whether you’re in it to win it or along for the ride, grab some complimentary catered BBQ and a beer at the finish line. Register at for a discounted rate or in person on the day of the race.

Birding Walk at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden Bird-watching in your backyard is fine, but if you’re looking to spy more than the squirrels stealing your feed, drop into Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden the second Tuesday of every month through Aug. 9. Volunteer and birder Karen Gibson will lead you through the gardens in search of seasonal birds and their nesting patterns. Now that’s something to chirp about.

Dixon School Boulders at Crowders Mountain Just west of Charlotte, Crowders Mountain is the area’s best spot for breathtaking views of the city — as the second-highest point in Gaston County, visibility can reach up to 25 miles. For something more grounded, however, ditch the gear and get a (good, strong) grip on the park’s Dixon School Boulders. Be sure to fill out Crowders Mountain State Park Hiking and Bouldering Registration at the visitor center before hitting the rocks.

Stand-up Paddle Boarding Everyone loves a day on the lake, but if you crave more than cracking open a cold one, head over to My Aloha Paddle Sports and Fitness in Lake Norman. Their stand-up paddle boarding fitness programs and board lessons are a great way to get fit outdoors — instead of your usual germ-filled, AC-soaked gym-o-plex. Sound better? We thought so.

Four Wheeling at Uwharrie National Forest Muddin’, off-roadin’, four-wheeling — whatever you call it — head about an hour east of Charlotte for 16 miles of ATV-worthy trail amid 51,000 acres of national forest. Only licensed vehicles may travel on numbered forest roads, and a day or season pass is required for each vehicle. Vroom vroom.

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