Outdoor Journal

Gorge yourself: Last year’s inaugural Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad was a big success, with more than 260 medals going out to winners and $10,000 raised for for good causes. This year’s event will run twice as long, from Sept. 7 to Sept. 10.

The sports festival is styled after the Olympics, with land and water events – including a sprint triathlon, a 10K run, a swim meet and a canoe-and-kayak regatta – and both team and individual competitions. Funds raised will support nonprofit community-service groups such as local volunteer fire departments and EMS units. Registration is required. Visit www.hickorynutolympiad.com for details.

Getting its claws into you: Western Carolina University in Cullowhee is home to the new Catamount Links, a nine-hole, par-three disc-golf course. Holes range in length from 151 to a considerable 420 feet, beginning at the school’s band-practice field (mind the sousaphones, please!) and ending across from Scott residence hall. A year in the making, the facility is a joint project of the Department of Health and Performance and its intramural sports program. Getting it built was a group effort; students and faculty submitted a petition with 800 or more signatories pleading for the course.

It’s open to the public and available for play more or less all the time, except the first hole, which is closed during band practice. Never mind all that: It’s hard enough to concentrate on your tosses without “On, Wisconsin” and “Louie, Louie” playing. The course is suitable for golfers in wheelchairs, as well. Questions? Call associate professor Justin Menickelli at (828) 227-3555 or throw him an e-mail at menickelli@wcu.edu.

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