Study shows benefits of building river park in Bryson City

The Tuckasegee River Alliance is looking at possible ways to increase access to the Tuckasegee River as it runs right through downtown Bryson City. 

Science program goes statewide: ecoEXPLORE program for kids now available in N.C. State Parks

A program that’s been getting Western North Carolina kids outside since 2016 is now a statewide offering, with a whirlwind tour of 10 North Carolina state parks over the next couple weeks celebrating ecoEXPLORE’s arrival at all 41 park units. 

“There’s a lot of benefits to being outdoors, and it’s something that we’re seeing less and less in adults and children,” said Jonathan Marchal, youth education manager at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville. “A lot of times it’s almost like a competition — you can go outside and be screen-free, or you can go indoors and be completely immersed in a screen. I think one approach that is helpful is utilizing those items like smartphones as tools to explore the environment, and not just as tools to explore the environment but to engage kids in doing conservation work.”

Baseball for autistic youth planned in WNC

The fresh cut grass, the din of the crowd, the white chalk lines on the dusty dirt infield — every year, millions of American kids suit up and take to diamonds across the country to play baseball, for decades considered the quintessential outdoor American pastime.

As such, it hasn’t always been as inclusive as it is could have been, especially for people on the autism spectrum. 

Clyde park to reopen

Much like the Pigeon River itself, it’s been a long and winding journey for the Town of Clyde in recovering from the devastating floods of 2004, but after a few turbulent stretches in its redevelopment, River’s Edge Park off Thickety Road will finally re-open to the public. 

On the upswing: Golf industry changes with the times

Golf is more than a game in Western North Carolina — the wellbeing of the popular past time can be a major indicator of how the regional economy is doing as far as real estate and tourism growth. 

The golf industry — like many others — took a major hit following the recession in 2008. Many courses went bankrupt and closed down, people couldn’t afford to play the game as often, and home building within the country clubs came to a standstill. Even in 2017, more than 200 golf courses across the nation closed as the supply and demand pendulum continues to swing its way back toward the center following 20 years of unsustainable growth. 

Growing up grinding: Waynesville skate park takes on new importance

When the Town of Waynesville’s skate park opened in 2013, it was a welcome addition to the suite of recreational opportunities then available to area residents — especially to the small but zealous group of die-hards like Jared Lee who grew up grinding around town.

Although skating has always been a niche activity, the skateboarding industry is now poised for a major boom, just as one of the park’s biggest proponents prepares to bring up the next generation of local skaters. 

Gov. Cooper touts tourism at Nantahala Outdoor Center

It’s no secret that Western North Carolina has long been a haven for outdoor recreational enthusiasts, but as that particular segment of North Carolina’s economy continues to expand, Gov. Roy Cooper is doing all he can to foster further growth. 

Indoor pool survey coming to Jackson

Jackson County residents will likely be asked to participate in a survey this spring gauging their support for an indoor pool at the Cullowhee Recreation Center. 

2019 Camp Guide

It’s never too early for parents to begin planning for the summer and deciding which summer camp they want their children to attend. Western North Carolina offers a vast variety of summer camps with a focus on outdoor activities, personal growth, fine arts, sports and more.

Camp WILD educates through adventure

Every summer for the past seven years, the warmer months have brought opportunity for adventure and learning to the small group of students participating in Camp WILD.

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