Get outside this weekend: Oct. 3-5

Well, the high for this Saturday is 53 degrees and forecast is sunny. It’s about time.  Gone are the skin-sizzling, mosquito-ridden, dog days of summer, I hope.  We’ve got a stellar line-up for you this weekend so lace up y’er boots, hug your kids and tell them you’ll be back Sunday evening for supper.  It’s go time.

We’ll start this week with the Blue Ridge Parkway “Hike of the week”.  I hope to get more of these coming in the next few weeks so keep an eye out.  These are great little exploratory hikes, lead by park rangers, open to anyone and everyone.  Tomorrow, Oct. 3, they head up to Craggy for the “Fall for the Craggies” hike.  Should be a good one.  Might want to bring a sweatshirt or a big puffy jacket.

There are plenty of running events taking place.  We’ve got the Run the Forest 5k and Fitness Event which traverses the beautiful roads of Biltmore forest.  It looks like the Fitness Event involves heavy balls, burpees, running and several repetitions.  Good luck with that.  There’s also a Zombie Run out in Cullowhee and a Color Dash at Gardner-Webb University down in Boiling Springs. (It’s near Shelby; don’t worry, I had to look it up on a map too).

For the roadies out there, The White Squirrel Cycling Classic will be kicking off in downtown Brevard on Saturday.  The routes look pretty wonderful, and you have a choice of 40, 60 or a 100k loop.  This event is again hosted by Blue Ridge Adventures, which means you’re going to have plenty of support and some pretty good swag.  There’s the Tour de Pumpkin out in Rutherfordton, also on the way to Shelby.  It’s advertised as “The Best Deal Around!”  Although I don’t think cyclists here are shopping around for the best deal on cookie rides, this one has been around for 11 years and tackles some amazing terrain.  There’s a 50 and 100k option with the 100k offering a humble 4,400-feet of climbing.

Aside from the cookie rides, we also have a few cyclocross races in the area.  There’s the Barnaroo CX race which is taking place on Fanny’s Farm out in Leicester.  The race takes place along side of the Barnaroo Music Festival, not to be confused with the nationally recognized three-day Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee.  It’s sure to be a floor-stompin’ hootenanny of a good time.  Race #3 of the MSG series is also taking place not too far away in Unicoi, Tenn., which is just north of Leicester.  With cyclocross season kicking into full gear, it’s that time of year where cross-racers in North Carolina get to pick and choose what races to attend.

That’s a wrap, folks!  There’s a few more events worth considering in the list this week, including a couple great hikes, so make sure you give ’em a good once over.  There should be something for everyone.

If you have an event or outdoor activity that you would like to see posted, just let us know at!


  • 10/4 — The White Squirrel Cycling Classic (Brevard, NC) More Info
  • 10/4 — Tour de Pumpkin (Rutherfordton, NC) More Info
  • 10/4 — Barnaroo CX (Leicester, NC) More Info
  • 10/4 — MSG CX Series #3 (Unicoi, TN) More Info
  • 10/4 — Liberty Bikes – Saturday Bent Creek MTB Rides Beginner & Intermediate (Every Saturday) More Info
  • 10/4 — Blue Ridge Bicycle Club Road Ride (Every Saturday) More Info
  • 10/4 — Sycamore Cycles Spin & Grin Road Ride (Every Saturday) More Info


  • 10/4 — Run the Forest 5k and Fitness Event (Biltmore Forest, Asheville) More Info
  • 10/4 — Zombie Run 5K Chase Race (Cullowhee, NC) More Info
  • 10/4 — 13th Annual HOP Race 5K/10K/Fun Run (Morganton, NC) More Info
  • 10/4 — The Color Dash – Gardner Webb University (Boiling Springs, NC) More Info
  • 10/4 — Asheville Track Club Saturday Group Run (Every Saturday) Contact information: 828-273-8860 or
  • 10/4 — Jus’ Running Saturday- Morning Group Run (Every Saturday) More Info
  • 10/5 — Healthy Kids Running Series (Sundays @ Fletcher Park) More Info


  • 10/3 — BRP Hike of the week w/ Rangers – Fall for the Craggies  (10am – Greybeard Mtn. Overlook – milepost 363)  More Info:  828-298-5330
  • 10/5 — Asheville Hiking Group – Profile Trail to Grandfather Mtn. (Meet @ Westgate Earthfare 9am ) More Info
  • 10/5 — WNC Easy Hikers – Rough Butt Bald – White Dot (Craggy Area) More Info

On the River

  • Asheville Adventure Rentals – Tubes / Canoes / Kayaks More Info
  • Asheville Outdoor Center – French Broad River – Paddle/Tubing More Info
  • Zen Tubing – French Broad River More Info
  • Western Carolina Kayakers – Meetup More Info

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About Brad Messenger
@BradMessenger is one of the in-house web developers for the Mountain Xpress. When he's not sitting in front of a computer you can find him out in the woods on top of some knobby tires, on a road bike headed up the Blue Ridge Parkway, hurling tennis balls for his boxer pups or sipping on an Iron Rail down at The Wedge.

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