Four Hikes, Four Experiences

Max Cooper photo

Autumn is a fantastic time of year to hike the trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The daytime temperatures are wonderfully cool and the air is clear of haze allowing for vistas that extend to the horizon. more

Oct 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

The Smokies are known for their spring ephemerals. Hundreds of species of wildflowers, like bloodroot, Dutchman’s breeches, trout lily, trilliums and more impatiently claw their way through the brown leaf litter under the sparse spring canopy. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

If you’re hiking in the mid-to-low elevations of the Smokies this winter keep your eyes peeled for a splash of green. This may be the best time of the year to find two unique native orchids of the Southeast and Southern Appalachians. more

Feb 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Purple Coneflower

Sow True photo

I hold the firm belief that while a natural green thumb can come in handy, it is the willingness to get dirty hands that is the superior characteristic of a successful gardener. more

Oct 1, 2016 12:00 AM Sweet Appalachia

Clingmans secret tunnel

Deb Campbell

Hikers, outdoorsmen, photographers, and locals reveal their favorite treasures of “the back of beyond”—from secluded trails and fishing streams to quiet overlooks and picnic spots. more

, , Features


U.S. Fish & Wildlife photo

As the bare canopy of Eastern deciduous forests allows the sun to shine through and warm the fecund earth each spring, ephemerals push through the leaf litter toward the sun, and the grays and browns of the forest floor erupt in color. more

Apr 1, 2016 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Winter can be a long, cold affair in the mountains, but the annual emergence of early spring wildflowers signals that warmer weather is on its way. Celebrate winter’s end with one of these flowery trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. more

Feb 1, 2016 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer