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Recreation & Gardening

  • Flat Creek and Heintooga Overlook

    On the Trail in the Smokies

    Although rarely ridiculously hot, late summer in the lower elevations of Great Smoky Mountains National Park can be awfully muggy and buggy. But not to worry if you’re a hiker—cooler hiking options abound in the park’s higher elevations. Read more

    Aug 1, 2020

    Outdoors

  • Bugs That Harm, Bugs That Help

    Bugs That Harm, Bugs That Help

    While gardens are in many respects a reflection of their gardener, they are in no way cut off from the surrounding environment. It isn’t long before herds of aphids are clinging to your prized tender shoots. Read more

    Aug 1, 2020

    Outdoors

  • A Conversation with the Smokies’ Air Specialist

    Jim Renfro/NPS photo

    A Conversation with the Smokies’ Air Specialist

    Jim Renfro has been at Great Smoky Mountains National Park since coming on as a volunteer in 1984, and a lot has changed in those 36 years. Visitation has exploded, elk have returned and wildfire has forever altered the iconic Chimney Tops. Read more

    Aug 1, 2020

    Outdoors

  • Thankful for the French Broad River

    Gary Peeples photo

    Thankful for the French Broad River

    The French Broad confounds us with its direction, upsetting our assumed ideas that north is up and somehow higher than south or downward. The French Broad proper starts near Rosman as the four forks of its headwaters converge to begin its journey. Read more

    Aug 1, 2020

    Outdoors

  • Discover Ijams Hummingbird Festival

    Tiny Spirit in the Sky

    If you want to see hummingbirds, the Discover Ijams Nature Center in Knoxville, Tennessee, is a good place to start. These tiny winged creatures are delightful to spot as the hover effortlessly at a feeder. Read more

    Aug 1, 2020

    Outdoors

  • Bright Lights, No City

    Jeremy Bare photo

    Bright Lights, No City

    The night sky is flooded with stars in the sparsely populated Southern Appalachians. And thanks to a North Carolina observatory, you can now get a closer look. Read more

    Aug 1, 2020

    Outdoors

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    July on the Water

    Independence Day dawned clear and warm, the blazing sun a fitting precursor to the fireworks to come that evening. It was a beautiful day, save for the heat, so when some friends invited my boyfriend and I for a canoe trip, yes was an easy answer. Read more

    Jun 1, 2020

    Outdoors

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    Gravity Defied

    A light mountain breeze wends its way through the leafy canopy, dispersing some of the summer heat. The air is fresh, and around you life bristles and buzzes blue above, green all around. A long deep breath feels good. Read more

    Jun 1, 2020

    Outdoors

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