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hiking

The Channels Natural Area Preserve

Eric Middlemas photo

Our guide is Eric Middlemas of The Mid-Appalachian Highlands Club, a hiking and outdoor activity club in the Tri-Cities area that was founded in 1976 and is one of the oldest organized hiking clubs in the region. Read more

Mountain Explorer

Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail is a take-along guide for children ages 4 and up, designed to jump start their curiosity about nature. Read more

Mountain Explorer

Searching for Winter

Holly Kays photo

As someone who loves snow and warm hats and the orderly changing of seasons, it had been a disappointing winter. I’d seen barely a flake of snow, and daytime temperatures often felt more on par with what you’d expect from a typical April. Read more

Mountain Explorer

The final Classic Hike of 2018 follows the beautiful water of Kephart Prong to Kephart Prong Shelter. Read more

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With more than 11 million people visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park every year, mishaps are bound to happen. Read more

Mountain Explorer

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

Mountain Explorer

The North Carolina park system began in 1916 when the summit of Mount Mitchell - the tallest peak east of the Rockies - became first state park in the Southeastern United States. Read more

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Fall Stairs by Sam Hobbs.jpg

Sam Hobbs

A steep climb over a rocky trail leads to a switchback, and the trail then follows along the side of Sugarland Mountain. Read more

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Biologists estimate there are more than 1,500 black bears in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, for a population density of about two bear per square mile. Read more

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Maybe it’s just me. Do others raised in these mountains forget what trails they’ve hiked? Do you lose track of which parts of these beautiful ridges you’ve seen up close and personal? Read more

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Big South Fork: Adventure Awaits

kentuckytourism.com

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

Features

Tim Line saw many scary, strange and remarkable things during his 40-odd years at LeConte Lodge. Read more

Good Reads 3 Comments

The towering Balsam Mountain Range stretches from south of the park to the Great Smokies’ crest at Tricorner Knob. Read more

Mountain Explorer

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

Features

Get out on foot

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

All proceeds support Trails Forever, a partnership between Friends of the Smokies and the National Park Service. Read more

Blog

Cheers

Jon D. Bowman photo

Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this vibrant city is a scenic spot to explore alone. Read more

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The only North Carolina State Park still closed in the western region is Grandfather Mountain. Read more

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Photo Essay, August 2018

Carla Passmore

Blog

The September 11 hike is a fundraiser for Trails Forever, a partnership between Friends of the Smokies and the National Park Service. Read more

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Share with us your favorite smells, sounds or sights of Spring. Read more

Blog

Alone in the woods

Holly Kays photo

There’s always that moment of no return: the instant you are forced to admit that whatever foolhardy plan you’ve been batting around, there’s no longer any option to back out. Read more

, Mountain Explorer

  • alum_cave.jpg

    Bob Carr photo

    Alum Cave Bluffs.

  • View from Pinnacle Park

    Nick Breedlove photo

    View from Pinnacle Park

    Nick Breedlove wrote about his favorite hike—to the summit of Pinnacle Park in Sylva, North Carolina—in the October/November 2016 issue.