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outdoors

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

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Billie Faircloth is an architect, but not of the blueprint-and-build variety. She’s spent her career asking why people build the way that they do, and how those decisions affect the ecosystems where materials are harvested and buildings built. Read more

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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

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Young Riders

Photo courtesy of Kate Rudd

Snowboarders under age 17 make up 34.3 percent of modern slope riders, according to winter sports authorities. To support this trend, slopes have developed classes, programs and events for child and youth boarders. Read more

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Describing the weather in the Great Smoky Mountains as unpredictable is not engaging in hyperbole. Most any time of year, weather shifts in the Smokies can be sudden and dramatic. Read more

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Birding in the Great Smoky Mountains

Mike Blevins photo

I was a real hotshot (in my own mind!) when I started birdwatching over 30 years ago. I took vacations to look at birds; pointed out species ad nauseam to friends and family; and became laser focused on my life list count. Read more

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Willkommen

Dan Jackson photo

We sit by the Chattahoochee River and take in the scene. After the Chattahoochee is done meandering through Georgia, it is a slow southern river, broad, but here, it is nimble, bright and clear. Read more

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When most people think of shorebirds they think of, well, shores and sleek fast flying wind birds that migrate in flocks and forage in groups. The mostly solitary, chunky, forest dwelling woodcock doesn’t seem to fit. Read more

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Jim Parham says he is like many people when it comes to finding and appreciating the variety of flowers that can be seen on hikes or simple strolls in the North Carolina mountains. Read more

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Spring Gobbler Hunting

Bruce Ingram photo

Every year on the first weekend in April, my wife Elaine and I drive to the Johnson City area, stop by Mahoney’s Outfitters to pick up a hunting license, and then head for a rental house on the side of an East Tennessee mountain. Read more

Features

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

Features

A Fly Fishing Lesson

Jon Ostendorff photo

A few weeks earlier, learning to fly fish seemed like a great idea on the eve of turning 40. Something new and adventurous, something novel and romantic. But now I’m doubtful. My vision of whipping S-curves through the air suddenly seems far-fetched. Read more

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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. Read more

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A Fly Fishing Lesson

Jon Ostendorff photo

More than 1 million visitors a year pass through the hallowed halls of the Biltmore House, a show-stopper of colossal proportions, draped in brilliant architecture, laced with captivating history and adorned with lavish antiquities. Read more

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Indigo bunting

Holly Kays photo

It was only 8 a.m. when I parked my car in a dewy meadow near Franklin, North Carolina, but the bird banding crew I was meeting had already been at work for hours. Read more

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Lost in the Blue Ridge Triangle

Holly Kays

Like its mysterious cousin the Bermuda Triangle, the Blue Ridge Triangle — apparently — causes inexplicable disorientation for hikers attempting to traverse its domain in North Carolina’s Middle Prong Wilderness. Read more

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Louisiana waterthrush

Don Hendershot

The Louisiana waterthrush is one of — if not the — first wood warblers to return to nesting grounds in the Southern Appalachians. If you hear his song streamside, it’s worth your effort to seek the little songster out and watch him. Read more

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The book features 42 trail networks and 1,200 miles of mountain bike trails, including full-color maps and photos, route details and trail descriptions. Read more

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Picture-perfect Alum Cave Trail, marked by smooth tread and tightly constructed steps and bridges, is the result of two years of backbreaking work involving 50,000 hours of work from a continuously rotating crew of 50 people. Read more

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No Taste Like Home

Mike Belleme

What do an overgrown field, a weed-infested city lot, a wilderness hollow, a suburban backyard, and a shady woodlot all have in common? Well, if you’re Alan Muskat, the answer is simple – food for the taking. Read more

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