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Thursday, 26 September 2013 18:33

The fastest way down: Cataloochee Ski Area

What started as an unsure adventure turned into a passion-filled career for Jim Rowell.
When Myra Sawyer looks around the Sawyer Family Farmstead, she couldn’t image living anywhere else in the world.
Like New York is known for its basketball legends, and Texas is known for its football stars, Western North Carolina has become one the big names in a slightly less conspicuous sport: competitive fly fishing. Fly fishing was long dominated…
Thursday, 26 September 2013 18:26

Showcasing the history of the open road

A loud roar echoed from the back of the building. The deafening sound is terrifying, yet exhilarating, with the smell of burning oil and gasoline permeating through the air.
Thursday, 26 September 2013 18:24

Heart of the matter

It’s the sound of the ancient mountains, the unique people and rich culture of Southern Appalachia. It’s the sound of Soldier’s Heart.
Thursday, 26 September 2013 18:19

Holding heritage in his hands

It was a summer job that literally molded itself into a future.
Dieter Kuhn was 4,500 miles from his hometown in Germany when he came across Sylva, a small community tucked away in the heart of Western North Carolina. “The Great Smoky Mountains are pretty unique, with a lot of similarities of…
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:31

Getting your fill in Appalachia

Strolling through downtown Bryson City, one tends to cross paths with the scent of delicious food wafting from a nearby building. Upon further inspection, that building is The Filling Station, a popular deli. That scent is their renowned flagship item…
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:28

Getting away from it all

David Lippy was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic in Orlando when it hit him. “The city was so congested with vehicles,” he said “I had to go three miles to work from my house and it would take me a half…
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:20

Opening up Appalachia for all

Amid the cherished traditions of Western North Carolina is the deep foundation of family and friends getting together to celebrate their heritage, whether it be through music, dance, food or craft. 
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

The WNC summer concert series

From welcoming, backwoods front porches to raucous downtown stages, the music of Western North Carolina weaves together the rich history, passion and camaraderie of Southern Appalachia and its inhabitants. At the heart of this deep love and appreciation for music…
Joe Frank McKee knows what Dillsboro is capable of. “It’s a fighting town,” he said. “There are more craftsmen involved here these days, which means if you’re making your product and selling your product, you have more of a reason…
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Higher aspirations

Why do we seek the high places? The easiest explanation for going to the mountains is for the scenery. Even so, there must be something ingrained in the human experience that draws us to lofty summits and places where we…
Thursday, 09 October 2014 19:43

Tapping into Appalachia

Dale Heinlein never thought he’d set roots down in his hometown of Highlands. “Living in Atlanta, in suburbia, with the summer heat and traffic, I had to get back to the mountains, back to nature, back to the earth, back…
Bouncing around her gallery like a rubber ball, the energy of Teri Siewert is contagious. “The ambiance here is something you can’t buy or make, it’s either there or it’s not, and it’s definitely here,” she said. 
Monday is the new Saturday.  Heading down Frazier Street in Waynesville to BearWaters Brewing Company, one can barely find a place to park on a typical Monday evening. For the last couple of months, the location has played host to…
It was time for something different. “We’ve been looking at doing something like this for years,” said Sally Peterkin. “And when we found the right place, we knew it was time to do it.”
Thursday, 09 October 2014 19:48

So funky you can smell it

Who the heck are those guys? It’s a question constantly asked about Porch 40, a Sylva-based funk/rock outfit barreling out of the Southern Appalachian woods like a black bear on speed.
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Shelton House celebrates 35 years

The Shelton House, which is home to the Museum of North Carolina Handicrafts, opens for its 35th season this summer. 
Thursday, 09 October 2014 19:50

The heartbeat of a community

It never ceases to amaze Lorraine Conard. “It’s a little bit magical,” she said. “You walk in and there’s this energy and excitement, a heartbeat within the community — I’m always so grateful and thankful for the people who come…
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

When you’re here, you’re family

It’s about making everyone feel welcome for Lynn Stanberry. “You get a warm feeling coming in here,” she smiled. “There are college kids, locals, people on vacation. It all kind of mixes and blends well together.”
Thursday, 09 October 2014 19:52

Tasting local

Eating with integrity, living with gratitude. When family, friends and the curious alike wander into the Cork & Bean in downtown Bryson City, co-owner Scott Mastej aims to put forward that exact message and philosophy. “Our food is nourishing them.…
Standing atop the 5,000-foot Cataloochee Ranch mountain retreat in Maggie Valley, the vastness and endless beauty of Western North Carolina stretches out before your eyes. Heading towards the main building, you reach for the doorknob and enter eagerly. Soon, your…
Heading west out of Bryson City, just before the highway narrows into a twisting two-lane road, a small, ramshackle hut watches over the crossroads of Southern Appalachia — a last stop before descending into the remote Nantahala Gorge ahead, or…
General Grant knew from a young age he was an artist. “I was gifted, it was a gift from The Creator,” he said. “He gave me multiple talents and I was not afraid to experiment with them. Through my experimentation,…
Watching the 1960 Olympics on television, a young Keith Calhoun saw something that would forever change the course of his life. “I was in elementary school, and I remember seeing these Olympians skiing,” he said. “And I was just fascinated…
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Reeling in Appalachia

A seemingly dead-end situation became a life-changing moment for Alex Bell. “We came back to school from a tournament and they said our program had been cut,” he said.
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Rolling down the river

Shane Williams knows exactly when he’s reached the essence of a river. “For me, it’s all about the glide,” he said. “If you’ve ever been on a raft, boat, canoe, kayak or paddleboard, when you come across that current and…
What looked like a risk to some was a dream for Diane Cutler and Andy Zivinsky.
Thursday, 26 September 2013 18:31

Food for the soul

The feeling of a new customer walking through the door never gets old for Haley Milner.
Thursday, 26 September 2013 18:29

Magic in a bottle

If you build it, they will come. If you brew it, they will come and party.
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:34

Swingin’ for the Smokies

Craig Hartle just might have the best job in Western North Carolina. The head golf professional for High Hampton Inn and Country Club in Cashiers, Hartle spends his days instructing any and all visitors ready to step foot on the…
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:33

Head for the hills

When he was a young boy, Jason Hardin fell in love. It was a 1973 Harley-Davidson Sportster. Owned by his father, Hardin remembers watching his dad kick-start the bike in their basement. 
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Bryson City

Most of lands surrounding Bryson City are publicly held forest and park land, making the town a staging area of sorts for hikers — the Appalachian Trail runs nearby — cyclists, campers, horseback riders and river rats. 
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Canton & Clyde

For true local charm, look no further than Canton and Clyde, the neighboring towns nestled in eastern Haywood County. They are situated around the Evergreen paper mill, which started life as Blue Ridge Paper Products and has been running steadily…
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00


A unique mix of modern and ancient, Cherokee is 21st century entertainment played out on a backdrop of time-honored cultural traditions. 
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00


A charming and delightful village, Dillsboro is home to a community of artists, unique retailers and great restaurants.
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00


Franklin is the ideal staging are for exploring the Nantahala Mountains.
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Highlands & Cashiers

Highlands and Cashiers are perched on the edge of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, where the mountains plunge sharply from a high plateau, creating the right ingredients not only for bountiful waterfalls but a temperate rainforest, one of the few in…
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00

Maggie Valley

In the heart of the Smokies lies Maggie Valley, a mountain getaway that rolls out the welcome mat to traveling tourists. 
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00


Sylva is an eclectic community that’s a blend of a local, tourist and college feel surrounded by towering mountains. 
Monday, 02 June 2014 00:00


Undulating mountains surround the town of Waynesville, a welcoming community that is the perfect combination of nature, tourism and Appalachian culture.