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outdoors

Indigo bunting

Holly Kays photo

It was only 8 a.m. when I parked my car in a dewy meadow near Franklin, North Carolina, but the bird banding crew I was meeting had already been at work for hours. more

Jun 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

The book features 42 trail networks and 1,200 miles of mountain bike trails, including full-color maps and photos, route details and trail descriptions. more

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Lost in the Blue Ridge Triangle

Holly Kays

Like its mysterious cousin the Bermuda Triangle, the Blue Ridge Triangle — apparently — causes inexplicable disorientation for hikers attempting to traverse its domain in North Carolina’s Middle Prong Wilderness. more

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Picture-perfect Alum Cave Trail, marked by smooth tread and tightly constructed steps and bridges, is the result of two years of backbreaking work involving 50,000 hours of work from a continuously rotating crew of 50 people. more

Mountain Explorer

Louisiana waterthrush

Don Hendershot

The Louisiana waterthrush is one of — if not the — first wood warblers to return to nesting grounds in the Southern Appalachians. If you hear his song streamside, it’s worth your effort to seek the little songster out and watch him. more

Mountain Explorer

No Taste Like Home

Mike Belleme

What do an overgrown field, a weed-infested city lot, a wilderness hollow, a suburban backyard, and a shady woodlot all have in common? Well, if you’re Alan Muskat, the answer is simple – food for the taking. more

Mountain Explorer

Fabulous Franklin, N.C.

Margaret Hester photo

Tucked away in a forgotten corner of Western North Carolina, not far from the Georgia line, lies an old town that’s rapidly developing a new spirit. more

Feb 1, 2017 12:00 AM Outposts

Tsali Recreation Area

Max Cooper photo

I pulled into my parking spot at Tsali Recreation Area with a fair number of nerves in tow. The lot churned with vehicles bearing out-of-state plates, their owners tuning up the bikes they’d brought with them or filling small backpacks. more

Feb 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

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Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

Long before country singer Brad Paisley made checking for ticks an act of seduction, many of us grew up with a much more imminent threat to our outdoor adventures—a threat that was far less obvious and identifiable until it was too late. more

Apr 1, 2016 12:00 AM Good Reads

It’s a beautiful late winter day and the hills are alive with the sound of, well—hoarse ducks? If your late winter sojourns take you into wet areas, keep your ears open for the croaking or “quacking” of wood frogs, Rana sylvatica. more

Feb 1, 2016 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

When I first moved to the Smokies, my wife and went hiking nearly every weekend. With only one infant child in tow, we would look forward to these all-day adventures, 8- or 9-hour treks to balds or waterfalls or secluded mountaintops. more

Feb 1, 2016 12:00 AM Blog

Virginia Creeper Trail

Courtesy of Abingdon Convention & Visitors Bureau

The sky was blue and cloudless as the van filled with people and their rental bikes en route to Whitetop Mountain, but I was suspicious. Though the morning held the promise of a perfect October day, I’d grown wise to the ways of Appalachian weather. more

Oct 1, 2015 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

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Kathryn Ray

A spirit of craftsmanship has always imbued these mountains. These days, Southern Appalachia’s most innovative artisans and entrepreneurs honor the past and this region while pushing their crafts to new limits. more

Oct 1, 2015 12:00 AM Features

Outdoor adventure programs

Photo courtesy of ASU Outdoor Programs

Though a common offering at universities today, the integration of adventure and academia was a novel consideration in the early 1970s, when introduced at ASU, but the program’s roots reach back even farther to the late nineteenth century. more

Jun 1, 2014 12:00 AM Features

zipline

Courtesy of Navitat Canopy Adventures

The Southern Appalachian region is one of the tops for outdoor adventure, its recreational opportunities drawing everyone from hikers on the Appalachian Trail to Olympic hopefuls who train on the whitewater rivers. more

Jun 1, 2014 12:00 AM Features

Banning Mills

Banning Mills photo

Nestled in Whitesburg, Ga., Historic Banning Mills provides an extreme adventure with a new two-tiered obstacle course adventure exclusively for children ages 4 and up. more

Feb 1, 2014 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Virginia Creeper Trail

Photo by Cameron Davidson/CameronDavidson.com. Courtesy of Virginia Tourism Corp.

In the heart of Abingdon, Va., begins the Virginia Creeper Trail, a former train line turned multi-use pathway. The 34-mile trail climbs from its base, marked by a historic Norfolk and Western engine, once used on the tracks, to nearly 4,000 feet. more

Apr 1, 2013 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Little Tennessee River

Donated photo

The North Carolina Wildlife Federation has released its “Nine in North Carolina Not to Miss.” The list details the top nine places to enjoy wildlife and wildlife-associated activities in the state. more

Feb 1, 2013 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Healing waters

Rick Queen photo

Life was looking up when Bill Bowen was 25. He’d just landed a job as a logger, and as a lifelong hunter, nothing beat getting paid to be outside in the woods every day. But less than a week later, his world took a drastic turn. more

Feb 1, 2012 12:00 AM Features

Given the trendiness of foraged foods in metropolitan areas, ramps average $12 a pound or more, but allium tricoccum doesn’t appear within the pages of Hank Shaw’s Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast. more

Aug 1, 2011 12:00 AM Good Reads

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