After a century of state parks, Western North Carolina’s are more popular than ever

The winding route to Plumtree through far western Avery County on U.S. 19 East is the very definition of a road trip. It’s the kind of byway most people would take only if this out-of-the-way hamlet were the destination itself. But for fans of beer and scenic beauty, a thriving brewery and a cluster of outdoor options are enticing reasons to tour the North Toe River valley’s flower-filled fields.

Distance: 5.6 miles round-trip Difficulty: Strenuous

Three far-out adventures to stretch your limits

An outdoors hub in Transylvania County picks up the pace

Learn what drives 4 ultra-runners to go the distance

The Tryon International Equestrian Center isn’t just horsing around

Test your knowledge of native blooms before embarking on a botanical pilgrimage

Distance: 7 miles Difficulty: Moderate

Check in to these lodges where après-ski combines a room, dining, and drinks

Celebrate the cold season at two regional winterfests

Probe the pains and pleasures of climbing frozen waterfalls

Distance: 3, 5, or 6 miles, Difficulty: Strenuous

Distance: 12.5 miles round-trip, Difficulty: Strenuous

Hop the border to Virginia’s Primland for a luxury experience that reaches for the stars

Burke County is bursting with options for your next adventure

Distance: 1.6 miles round-trip Difficulty: Moderate

The High Country’s new aerial adventure park offers 50-foot thrills

24 must-do experiences await! Hit the road this summer for thrills, beauty, history, and local flavor in every county across Western North Carolina

Three friends take on the arduous challenge of running the highest mountain range in the East in a single day

Bike parts maker Cane Creek Cycling Components keeps manufacturing on track in the mountains

Set out on footpaths that offer big exploration for small people

Combine ease, adventure, and the great outdoors with these glamping opportunities

A new guide to area waterfalls and wildflowers

The Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians opens in Cherokee

Gear up and make a dash for West Virginia, where white-water thrills, world-class climbing and mountain biking, and a hip small-town outpost await in the New River Gorge

Field School allows the curious to explore an ancient site in Morganton where the New and Old Worlds collided

Safeguard wild lands & trails

Tryon International Equestrian Center readies for its first full season

Head to Charleston this spring to tour grand estates and prize-worthy gardens

Distance 0.7 mile Difficulty: Easy

A reinvigorated search for Southern snow

Difficulty: Easy Length: 1.3 miles round-trip

Internationally known for the quality of the mica in its soil, Spruce Pine is also ground zero for one of the most highly regarded craft communities in the nation. Potters and other artisan wizards work in the hills and hollers that surround Mineral City, making Spruce Pine a prime base for hiking, touring, and studio-hopping.

Difficulty: moderate length: 3.3 miles round-trip

The Southern Outer Banks beckon with pristine beaches, wild horses, and 300 years of swashbuckling lore

Difficulty: moderate Length: 3.5 miles round-trip