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

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

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

Mountain Explorer 1 Comments

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

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

Mountain Explorer 1 Comments


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


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


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/ 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

Pop and Sarah

Family photo

When I was little, my grandfather—Pop—used to take me fishing at a pond not too far from his house. I didn’t have much of a cast and always worried that instead of flinging my hook into the water, I would lose my grip and sling the entire pole. more

Aug 1, 2011 12:00 AM Blog

Landscaping success story

Joel Osgood photo

When looking to buy a new home, many would not consider a front yard with rusted chain link fencing and one solitary shrub as having much “curb appeal.” As a budding landscape architect, I was fascinated with the prospect of a “blank canvas.” more

Aug 1, 2011 12:00 AM Departments

Farmhouse cat

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

The first time I became aware of what it meant to be “outside looking in,” I was nine years old. It was a cold, snowy day in December and my cat, Bobbie was asleep in front of the fireplace. I was reading my favorite “funny book” about Sub-mariner. more

Aug 1, 2011 12:00 AM Good Reads

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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