TRAVEL & OUTDOORS

Outdoors

Outdoors
Turn your eyes to the skies this spring for a glimpse of WNC's fastest bird of prey—the peregrine falcon

Boogerman Trail, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Round-trip: 7.4 Miles, Difficulty: moderate

A 10-day course empowers participants with back-to-the-land skills

Truly magnificent gardens need time and attention to flourish - coaxed and nurtured by guiding hands and verdant vision. Peter and Jasmin Gentling spent the last 40 years creating just such a landscape on Sunset Mountain. Welcome to Blue Briar Garden.

Elk Knob State Park Distance: 4 miles round-trip Difficulty: strenuous

Make a break for fresh ground with the growing sport of snowshoeing

If you’re feeling left behind in fitness-forward WNC. Don’t. It’s not about who wins the race or who’s the most flexible yogi. Exercise is about finding an activity that moves your body and spirit. Check out this beginners' guide to get you hooked on cycling, running, or yoga, complete with inspiration from three folks who’ve already found what they love to do.

DuPont State Forest Distance: 1/2 Mile Round-trip Difficulty: Easy (Guided)

Take to the canopy with the burgeoning sport of tree climbing

Summit these lookouts for awe-inspiring mountain vistas

Beech Mountain hosts an epic fat-tire competition and gets a professionally designed downhill course to boot

It's stand-up paddleboarding, and it's riding a wave of popularity on lakes and rivers

Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture strive to secure the female set a place on the farm

Getting away is great, but getting creative while you're there is even better

A three-mile hike to Wildcat Falls will deliver you to a backcountry swimming hole with nothing but hardwoods for company.

Take a trek through Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest to marvel at some of the oldest trees in Southern Appalachia

Blowing Rock Distance: 3.4 miles Round-trip difficulty: Strenuous

Friends of the Ecusta Trail hope to add a new route to the region’s selection of recreational pathways

For generations, wildcrafters have relied on the healing properties of our region’s diverse plant life. Today, Bent Creek Institute is using the tools of biotechnology to prove the value of these folk remedies and create a local hub for a new medicinal products industry.

Whiteside Mountain National Recreation Trail: Cashiers: Distance: 2 miles Difficulty: moderate

An expert in the art of Japanese gardening works to sow

Thanks to a new scholarship, shelter dogs can enjoy a weekend of training and off-leash fun

Along the Cherohala Skyway, flying squirrels are reunited

Oconaluftee River Trail

You can help the WNC Nature Center name its new cougar cubs

Frigid temperatures, record snowfall, remarkable beauty— rangers experience it all atop mighty Mount Mitchell

The Swannanoa Valley Museum wants to stamp your passport for a hike well done

Get those futuristic images of hovercars and robot butlers out of your head. We asked experts to give more accurate predictions for WNC’s future when it comes to environmental health, public land, Population growth, education, jobs, and agriculture

Riders take to the trails with a single tire and a lot of guts

Learn to identify examples of the season’s brightest foliage

Nurture a green thumb

Ride the waves with WNC’s leading female kayakers

Venture below the surface of a local lake to discover a world of sunken weirdness

For years, Grandfather Mountain served as the launch pad for high-flying gliders

A kayaking world championship incites a swell on the Nantahala

It’s a party in the streets during Spindale’s newest festival

The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee marks progress by the years

Drop into one of WNC’s wildest waterways for nonstop action