Straight for the basket: Disc golf course will open soon in Cherokee

By the end of this year, a new championship-caliber disc golf course will debut on a wooded property along Raven Fork in Cherokee, right on the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

Transformation on trail: Volunteers converge to secure Max Patch’s future

On a sunny Saturday in September, tall grasses wave a fringe atop Max Patch, framing mountain layers fading from ripened green to hazy blue. Blooming heads of goldenrod and aster dot the slope, a brisk wind whisking autumn chill into the sun-warmed air. Slope and shrubbery combine to create pockets of privacy on the open bald, fostering an illusion of wilderness that’s broken only when the white-blazed trail brings two travelers together.

It’s a wholly different scene than the one that sprawled across the mountaintop just one year ago, when Asheville artist Mike Wurman flew his drone over the bald to capture what became a viral image of 130 tents blanketing a trampled-down Max Patch.

Designs unveiled for Jackson pool

Waves, water and mountain streams will be key design elements at Jackson County’s new indoor pool complex, commissioners heard during a Sept. 14 work session  with the company carrying out the $20 million project. 

Lasting damage: Recreation impacts from Fred could linger for years

A week before Tropical Storm Fred unleashed historically high floodwaters on Western North Carolina, Greg Philipp was in Washington fighting the wildfires  now enveloping the bone-dry American West. Now, Philipp is the U.S. Forest Service incident commander for the aftermath of heavy rainfall that will impact favorite recreation sites in the Pisgah National Forest for years to come. 

The ‘new normal’ just isn’t acceptable

“It’s the new normal.”

It was the husband who had spoken. The couple we had encountered were lean, fit and tanned, obviously spending a lot of time outdoors.

Tourism businesses engage in legal battle

Two of Swain County’s largest tourism brands — Nantahala Outdoor Center and Great Smoky Mountains Railroad — are engaged in a lawsuit regarding right-of-way access over the railroad tracks. 

A shared space, a shared responsibility

By Casey Quarterman • Guest Columnist | For six years I have been working as a Wilderness Ranger in the Southern Appalachian Mountains. I devote my time, blood, sweat and energy into keeping wild places as wild and natural as possible. 

Sylva board approves agreement with Pinnacle Park Foundation

The Sylva Board of Commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with the Pinnacle Park Foundation during its June 24 meeting aimed at moving along key conservation and recreation projects on the town-owned forest. 

Friends of DuPont asks users to share the trails

Friends of DuPont Forest’s new Share the Trails Campaign aims to help visitors share and care for the forest’s 80-plus miles of trail this summer and beyond. 

Opening the back(country) door: Beginner backpacking trip highlights OMC’s new mission

The morning fog is barely lifting at 8 a.m. when a group of five women meet outside Kathy Odvody’s home in Waynesville. I add my fully loaded backpack to the pile accumulating in the rear of Outdoor Mission Community’s lumbering 15-passenger van, and after a brief exchange of names we buckle in for a 36-hour wilderness adventure. 

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