Survival Island is the home of the Nolichucky Outdoor Learning Institute’s survival class. Here you can study and practice the skills necessary for surviving life-threatening situations in the wilds. Perhaps, like me, you’ll have a blast doing it. Read more


Beginning June 1, campers must reserve campsites using the Reserve America Reservation System via the internet or a toll-free number. Read more


Beer, Backpacking and the Importance of Sunshine

Taylor Boyd Willoughby/Mountain Orenda Photography

Like many great ideas, this one was born over beer. “You know what we should do?” said my friend Taylor at the end of our weekly bar trivia night. “We should go backpacking.” Read more


Numerous versions of the story exist, but they all seem to possess a common thread. That a mother, perhaps named Molly, and a child escaped Indian captivity and when other settlers found them, the child proclaimed in a feeble voice, “Hungry, Mother.” Read more


Big South Fork: A Land of Gorges and Arches

NPS Photo/Bill Fultz

You hike through a forest on a rolling plateau. It’s pleasantly cool in the summer with the tree canopy above. After a while, you scan the landscape and perceive an openness through the forest ahead—it can give a queasy feeling of an upcoming void. Read more


Big South Fork: Adventure Awaits

Straddling both Tennessee and Kentucky, the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area provides visitors access to 125,000 acres with natural arches, waterfalls and a host of outdoor activities like camping, horseback riding and paddling. Read more


Photo Essay, August 2018

Carla Passmore


All campgrounds on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina are under a mandatory evacuation order. Read more


Storm remnants could bring heavy rain to area. Read more


My wife, Lori, and I have always loved camping. From the time we met as students at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, we have been known to just throw our camping stuff in a vehicle or on our back and take to the woods. Read more


Grayson Highlands Ponies

Bruce Ingram photo

“That one has just been born, it’s still wet!” exclaimed Jenna Wagner, marketing and public relations director of the Southwest Virginia Cultural Heritage Foundation. Indeed, we had just missed the birth of a foal. Read more

Mountaineers have long been known for their ingenuity and independent spirit, traits that live on today among the entrepreneurs and artisans profiled in Smoky Mountain Living’s Made in the Smokies feature. Read more


Cherokee National Forest

Cocke County Partnership photo

Drivers know the stretch of Interstate 40 between Hartford, Tennessee, and Canton, North Carolina, as a white-knuckled experience wedged between concrete barriers and moving walls of tractor trailers. Read more


Mount Rogers

Holly Kays photo

Equipped with a school backpack, which was jerry-rigged with bungee cords to attach half of a tent and a 1980s-era sleeping bag of questionable warmth, I wore sporting jeans, sneakers, a long-sleeve tee and a cotton hoodie. Read more


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. Read more


Outward bound

Outward Bound photo

Kate Mooneyham never thought she would catch her first salamander at the age of 48. Or lie under a tree, sketching its tangle of branches against the sky. Or see her teenage son voluntarily eat a salad. Read more

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McLeods at sunset

Scott McLeod photo

The Blue Ridge Parkway may be made for the automobile, but the unbelievable scenery always makes me want to get outside to touch, smell and see things up close. The best way to do that is to load up the backpack or the car and go camping. Read more


Black Rock Mountain State Park

Anthony Lampros photo

Hard as it might be to imagine, North Georgia’s Blue Ridge mountains once shot up five to 10 miles in the sky, dwarfing today’s Himalayas or the Rocky Mountains of Western U.S. They are some of the oldest mountains on earth. Read more