It was odd in mid February to hear the weatherman on the local television say something like, “is this the last blast of winter for the season?” Read more


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


Early rising on cold winter mornings almost always kindles for me a momentary feeling of comfort, safety and well-being. What, specifically, keys that response? It is the memory from my childhood of feeling forced warm air on my bare feet. Read more


The bottom line is that a potentially very dangerous winter storm looms for much of the forecast area this weekend. Read more



Jean Wall Penland Illustration

I love it when I can reach for the flannel and fleece, stock up on coffee and pumpkin beer, gather wood for a fire, and make sure I have a book of ghost stories to cozy up with on the long, dark nights. Read more


The Art of Spinach Germination

Sow True Seed photo

It's time to gear up for the fall growing season. Read more


On an Icy Edge

Photo Courtesy of

The beautiful, fast-flowing waterfalls of the mountain regions take on a completely different appearance when the chill of winter comes blowing. Read more


Beech Mountain Resort

Kristian Jackson photo

Sevierville, Tennessee, native Matthew Ayers stood on top of a groomed slope of dirt in Pigeon Forge and provided his vision for the future. Read more


Finding Fresh Crops Under Winter's Snow

Photo courtesy Carol Koury

I recall a neighbor who had carrots and other hardy crops deep into the winter. The question is, how do they do that? Read more



Sow True photo

Cover crops grow large amounts of biomass above ground. This protects the soil, suppresses weed growth, and provides a homegrown mulch that can be cut in place to decompose and enrich the soil. Read more


Curried Winter Vegetable Pie

Meg Reilley photo

My identity hasn’t always been a fixed one. The current guise I sport of “all-natural mountain mama” has been honed and adjusted and tweaked for decades before arriving at its modern iteration. Read more


If you’re hiking in the mid-to-low elevations of the Smokies this winter keep your eyes peeled for a splash of green. This may be the best time of the year to find two unique native orchids of the Southeast and Southern Appalachians. Read more


December 2016 Photo Essay

Jon and Regina Phillips photo

’Tis the season for clean slates—from the pristine beauty of a fresh snowfall to the eternal promise of a new year. Our readers share their views of winter resolve. Read more

Freezer Burn

Mandy Newham-Cobb illustration

The icicles hanging along the porch roof looked like stalactites we had seen when we visited Cudjo Cavern, outside Middlesboro. It was cold and the morning sun was as bright as July at Myrtle Beach. Read more



Warren Beilenberg photo

For birders of all stripes, the Christmas Bird Count is as much a part of the holiday season as unwrapping presents on December 25. The diverse landscapes of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park make the season even more special for birders. Read more


Pumpkin Pie

Meg Reilley photo

Everyone has his or her heart-fluttering produce. Spring enthusiasts get downright giddy at the first sign of strawberries. Summer lovers are prone to spontaneous happy dancing whenever watermelons make their debut. Read more


Bugle boy

Holly Kays photo

Do I stay or do I go? And if I stay, do I just sleep through it all? The Southern Appalachians are home to a large and diverse fauna, and as winter sets in, that fauna gets to work surviving. Read more


Snowy Christmas

Sarah E. Kucharski photo

Last winter was the snowiest winter I remember since 1993, when “The Storm of the Century,” struck and brought us two feet of fluffy, white, transportation crippling, power outing snow. Read more


Snow fell the night before in Jackson County, North Carolina, and was supposed to continue all day, but in Cullowhee, midday temperatures rose, melting white powder into muddy puddles and leaving nothing more than patches in the coolest shadows. Read more


Outdoor outfitters

Danny Bernstein photos

The Smoky Mountains offer great opportunities for hiking — even in the winter months. You probably won’t ever need ice axes, crampons or snowshoes, but it’s still a good idea to keep yourself bundled up comfortably on those cold days and nights. Read more