Natural Connection: Statewide 'Year of the Trail' celebration aims to get more people invested in the outdoors

The General Assembly declared 2023 the “Year of The Trail,” in hopes of getting more people to appreciate the state’s outdoor gems. But will it get beyond a marketing effort to a real investment in building and maintaining routes?

Riddle your way through Highlands

The ‘Kids Hike Highlands’ trail passport program is back, with a refresh for the 2023 season. 

HCC opens new Dahlia Ridge Trail System

When A.L. Freedlander issued the 1966 fundraising challenge that birthed the Haywood Community College campus in Clyde, he envisioned a space dedicated not only to learning, but also to natural beauty. Freedlander gave $250,000 in seed money to the project, but with conditions attached: that the campus become “the most beautifully landscaped area in Haywood County” and that its grounds should contain “a good collection of dahlias,” Freedlander’s favorite flower. 

Connect to the spirit of the Smokies

The University of Tennessee’s Smoky Mountain Field School has announced a new slate of programs for 2023, offering adults who love the Great Smoky Mountains National Park a chance for deeper connection to this landscape.

An ounce of comfort: A.T. hikers share the extras they take on trail

II I don’t own a bathroom scale, which means I had no way of measuring the exact weight of the rust-colored pack I strapped on my back before climbing from the base of Max Patch April 13. And that was fine, because I was just there for a quick overnight — 2.5 miles in to the Roaring Fork Shelter on the Appalachian Trail that afternoon, then 2.5 miles out the next morning.

Take a walk in the woods

Spring is here, bringing with it ample opportunity to get outside, stretch your legs and enjoy the abundance of wildflowers and other plant life in the Southern Appalachians. 

On the trail

Searching for a seeker: The fearless life and tragic disappearance of Melissa McDevitt

Flitting about her apartment on Vancouver Island, Melissa McDevitt had already packed her bag in preparation for the long journey from Canada’s west coast back to Haywood County. 

Searching for Boomer Inn

Readers are now likely to be searching their own minds for the meaning of the term “boomer inn.” Could it be a hotel or boarding house? Maybe the name is associated with the generation of people known as baby boomers following World War II.

This must be the place: Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved

Monday afternoon. Plattsburgh, New York. Grabbing a few things for my intended hike up near Tupper Lake, in the depths of the Adirondack Mountains, I walked out the door of my parents’ farmhouse just as my mother asked where I was going.

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