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Blog Archives

Hidden Treasures: Fishing and Swimming Spots

Boy snorkeling in Conasauga River

Scattered throughout the lush Appalachian Mountains are beautiful pools of water that perfect for fishing or swimming or both! Read our latest “Hidden Treasures” feature to learn about a few of them.

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Refuge, Restoration and Radio Silence at Laurel Fork

SAWS trail crew

In the shadow of a National Radio Astronomy Observatory telescope, Laurel Fork Trails offers scenic views and a rare chance to escape the buzzes and beeps of the technological age.

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Monumental Momentum

Birthplace of Rivers National Monument advocates Matt Kearns and Adam Swisher journeyed the entire 173 miles of the Elk River by canoe, bike and foot to generate interest among other paddlers for the proposed national monument. Photo by Chad Carpenter / West Virginia Rivers Coalition

The proposed Birthplace of Rivers National Monument would provide additional protection for approximately 122,000 acres within the Monongahela National Forest and aims to boost tourism in the area.

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Trailbuilding: Forging New Paths

The former railroad right of way provides a level path for future hikers along the C&O Railroad Trail. Photo by Debbi Hale

Trail advocates in Pound, Va., Elizabethton, Tenn., and Wyoming County, W.Va., are working with community members and partners to develop new hiking paths.

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Pink Beds Loop

Newly constructed elevated boardwalks winds through the bog area, which beaver dams have expanded in size. Photos by Andrew G. Payne

Pisgah National Forest’s Pink Beds Loop offers hikers an opportunity to enjoy the diversity of Appalachia’s ecosystems.

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Climbing the Highlands

Aaron Parlier is focused on the “Eye of the Narwal,” one of many climbs along the Listening Rock Trail at Grayson Highlands. Photo by Sarene Cullen

Appalachia offers climbers challenging routes in beautiful settings, and the region’s geology invites adventurers of all styles and abilities. And in return, the sport of climbing provides an opportunity for economic development for areas around these rock formations.

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The Hidden Gem of Rocky Fork

The big waterfall on Lower Higgens Creek. Photo by Marty Silver, Tennessee State Parks

This moderately strenuous hike through the mountains of eastern Tennessee follows an old logging trail to the 100-foot Big Falls on Lower Higgens Creek. Several creek crossings and caves mark the remainder of the path to Birchfield Camp Lake.

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Trek to the Top of Mt. Cammerer

Mt. Cammerer firetower. Photo by Thomas Gaines, tgainesphotography.blogspot.com

Enjoy a strenuous 11-mile hike to the top of Mt. Cammerer, located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The hike culminates with a view of the Pigeon River Gorge 3,000 feet below and the opportunity to stroll around the catwalk of the historic fire tower at Mt. Cammerer’s peak.

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Rails To Trails

Autumn colors emerge along this bike-friendly wooden bridge. Photo courtesy of the Dawkins Line Rail Trail

Former railways have been converted into beautiful biking and hiking trails across Appalachia.

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Cooling off in the Devil’s Bathtub

A resident of Big Island, Va., wades into the swimming hole on the Devil’s Fork Trail, which hikers encounter before reaching the Devil’s Bathtub. Photo by Joe Tennis

Hikers flock to the cool swimming spots along the Devil’s Bathtub Trail in southwest Virginia, though the trail can be challenging.

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