New River Trail State Park Hits The High Notes

Keith Lanpher photo

This 57-mile rail-to-trail recreational wonderland gets better with each visit: more relaxing, richer in birds and blooms, and for history lovers, more valuable as a window into the region’s recent past. Read more


Preserving Appalachia

KC Wildmoon

I’m a lover of history, of the mountains, of the ridges and valleys of Appalachia where I spent my first 18 years. So a trip to the Museum of Appalachia to write about its 50th anniversary, well, that was just right up my alley. Read more


For documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, the stories he chooses to illuminate help explain the history of America. Few can better tell that multifaceted tale than Burns, whose palette birthed the seminal documentary The Civil War in 1990. Read more


Stack ‘Em Up and Eat ‘Em

Jill Sauceman photo

Stack cake is the ultimate mountaineers’ dessert—a not too sweet, but satisfying and completely flavored dessert made of 4-6 thin layers of molasses-tinged, biscuit-like cake covered with a dark, rich dried apple puree. Read more


When you find yourself in the presence of Marty Stuart, you find yourself in the presence of the entire living, breathing, history of country and bluegrass music. Read more



South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism photo

What’s sweet, drips with juice, has a creamy texture somewhat like a mango, is harder than a banana but softer than an apple, and is “like kissing your Gramma’s cheek”? Read more


The local paper did a full page spread on my dad’s retirement. “The end of an era,” the paper called it. But it was really just the beginning of the end. Read more


Theater artist Kevin Hardesty portrays Kentucky’s most famous character in “Daniel Boone: The First Kentuckian.” Read more


In late spring 1769, Daniel Boone, America’s pioneer hero, made his first excursion through the Cumberland Gap into the storied land of “ken-te-ke,” setting in motion America’s eventual westward movement. Read more


Make it Merlefest

Money Combs photo


Cumberland Gap—that fabled portal through the Appalachian Mountain barrier—was the passage through which arose America’s great westward movement. A quarter of a million westering settlers and more passed through that notch beginning in 1775. Read more


Daniel Boone Crosses the Cumberland Gap

Courtesy of The State Historical Society of Missouri

As Franklin, Jefferson and Washington were enshrined as founders of the American Republic and exemplars of man in civil society, their contemporary Daniel Boone won fame at the beginning of the westward movement as a man in a state of nature. Read more


Photo by Dylan Langille © ontheDL Photo All Rights Reserved 201

Dylan Langille

Since 2003, Echo Mountain has remained a beacon of light for legendary musicians and bands, ranging from The Avett Brothers to Zac Brown Band, The Smashing Pumpkins to Widespread Panic. Read more


Forget the days of stuffy museums with ropes to keep the hands of little visitors from getting too close. Today, many museums are geared for kids of all ages with interactive play, colorful exhibits, and rich opportunities for hands-on learning. Read more

Echoes from the Valley

Copy of old print by Clair Burket.

Sarah Ransom has been working with a local Junior Appalachian Musicians group, which introduced her to Appalachian storytelling and the history. She was asked to write a fictional story based on historic events in Johnson County, Tennessee. Read more


Pam Myers calls the large, container-like structure hovering at the core of the expanded Asheville Art Museum “a box within a box.” The metaphor is fitting in many ways, the museum’s executive director says. Read more

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The Dark Corner. The very words give one a feeling of danger, mystery, and foreboding, much like the title of one of Kentucky author Jesse Stuart’s story collections: Beyond Dark Hills. Read more