Go Exploring

Go Exploring: Inspire your inner outdoor enthusiast with new guides to Southern Appalachia
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Great Waterfalls of North Carolina

Neil Regan / Parkway Publishers, 2010

Author, historian, photographer, and lifelong North Carolinian, Neil Regan has complied a practical guide to 65 waterfalls—all in the western part of the state—in Great Waterfalls of North Carolina: A Guide for Hikers, Photographers, and Waterfall Enthusiasts. While there isn’t a great deal here that distinguishes the book from similar regional guides, the information provided is concise and serviceable. Directions to the trailheads and notes on hiking or biking the trails are provided, as well as ratings on the beauty and difficulty of each. The author also offers tips on vantage points where shutterbugs can capture the best shots. Anyone seeking a cure for spring fever will do well to pick up this guide and start planning a summer’s worth of day-trips.

The Photographer’s Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway

Jim Hargan / Countryman Press, 2010

Freelance photographer Jim Hargan has a gift for telling stories through his camera’s lens. With his new book, The Photographer’s Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Hargan shares his secrets for framing and capturing compelling stories in your own viewfinder, using the Blue Ridge Parkway as source material. Technical details for novice photographers are minimal here, so this guide is probably best enjoyed by those with at least some experience behind the lens. Still, the author’s expertise is incredibly valuable. Hargan reveals the most visually rewarding elements of each location profiled, how best to arrange them for the most engaging photographs, and his book brings to light the many scenic delights that our region can offer anyone with a camera and a free weekend.

photographs (Great waterfalls) courtesy of parkway publishers, inc.; (Photographer’s guide to the blue ridge Parkway) by patrick cavan brown