Over the last few months, I have observed an unsettling trend of people using the sides of trails as latrines. I, too, am an avid outdoors person and often spend hours in nature mountain biking and hiking and understand it may be necessary to attend to personal needs. But there really is no excuse for […]
As a massive fire continues to engulf parts of Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, photographer William Mauney posted a stunning video to YouTube documenting the flames.
Yesterday’s rain helped reduce the size of the raging fire in the Linville Gorge Wilderness area from 2,700 acres to about 2,275 acres, but the blaze continues to blanket a popular site for hiking, climbing and camping. Officials are now worried that an upcoming week of warm, dry weather could challenge containment efforts.
The wild blueberries are ripe for the picking along the Blue Ridge.
It’s been a beautiful weekend to get outside and enjoy the Western North Carolina mountains. These photos were taken on a recent hiking trip along the Black Mountain Crest Trail, which winds its way northward from Mount Mitchell along one of the highest ridges in the Appalachians. In addition to Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Mississippi River at 6,684 feet), the 12 mile trail ascends Mount Craig (6,663 feet), Cattail Peak (6,675 feet) and Big Tom (6,580 feet) before dropping down to Bowlen’s Creek in Burnsville.
Not long ago, I checked my inbox and found an invitation from Wildroots—a sprouting of free-spirited earth lovers who do the best they can to live off the grid. The group was offering a wilderness camping-and-education excursion focused on wild edibles and medicines. Local experts Natalie Bogwalker and Frank Cook would be the guides. The […]
On June 6, a host of local businesses will donate portions of their sales to the regional nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy.
I admit it: I’m guilty of not getting enough dirt on my boots so far this season. Despite ambitious winter-laid plans, I’ve not explored anything much wilder than a few garden trails at The North Carolina Arboretum and the sidewalks of West Asheville this spring. That’s far short of my intention to visit lookout towers […]
Not all Gen-Xers take years to figure out what they want to do with their lives. Tobias Miller, now 36, has known since high school that he wanted to work outdoors. As South District maintenance-worker supervisor for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Miller got his wish. He’s responsible for the entire North Carolina side […]
Join hiker/author Peter J. Barr at 7 p.m. on May 5 at the Leicester library as he discusses his book Hiking North Carolina’s Lookout Towers and talks about the hiking opportunities as well as the history and need to preserve Western North Carolina’s fire lookout towers.
My husband, Lenny, and I first visited Great Smoky Mountains National Park back in 1974. We were on a driving vacation from New Jersey and thought we could “do” both Shenandoah National Park and the Smokies in a mere two weeks. While I carried a pack filled with food, water and diapers, Lenny backpacked our […]
Author (and regular Xpress contributor) Danny Bernstein will present her new book on April 7 at Diamond Brand, and donate some of the proceeds to Trails Forever, a fundraising initiative for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. And you can get the latest Dolly Parton CD.
About 10 years ago, I took a walk in Richmond Hill Park, back when trails were few and visitors fewer still. Leaving my car at the end of a local road, I set out down an unmarked trail threading between the pines. An old man, tall and in his 80s, was my guide. I’ve been […]
When winter fog wraps my cabin and flames crackle happily in the fireplace, I reflect on hikes taken and those yet to come. In the 20 winters I’ve lived in Western North Carolina, I’ve slid down icy trails, sloshed through wet snow and felt the wind bite through layers of clothing I’d thought would be […]
Women are no strangers to adventure: Consider the memoirs of Beryl Markham (West With the Night, 1942) and Anne Morrow Lindbergh (North to the Orient, 1935). These pioneering explorers inspired the next generation of women—including a group of Asheville moms who kept their feet on firm ground to hike the wilds of Western North Carolina. […]
Jennifer Pharr Davis’ epic Appalachian Trail trip this summer involved a lot of spirit—not to mention shoe leather. Jennifer Pharr Davis The 25-year-old Davis through-hiked the trail to honor the spirit of a woman who was killed in the north Georgia woods back in January. In the process, Davis wore out several pairs of trail-running […]
A 25-year-old Hendersonville native who started hiking the Appalachian Trail June 20 in honor of three people killed last year while hiking public trails hoped to end her journey Sunday in record-setting fashion by completing the 2,174-mile trek in 59 days.