White Water Rafting in WV: A New River Gorge Family Adventure

White Water Rafting New River Gorge West Virginia

In the years leading up to my daughter leaving home for college, I became increasingly conscious of time. The 18 summers we have with our kids seemed to pass all too quickly, leaving us precious few moments to establish strong bonds we hope will last a lifetime. So the timing of our trip to the … Read more White Water Rafting in WV: A New River Gorge Family Adventure

Pisgah National Forest: A Beginner’s Guide

Pisgah National Forest - Blue Ridge Mountains

Pisgah National Forest encompasses over half a million acres of the Appalachian Mountains in Western North Carolina. The forest is separated into three ranger districts: Appalachia and Grandfather are located north of Asheville, while Pisgah is south of it. Within the national forest’s boundaries, visitors can explore sections of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the … Read more Pisgah National Forest: A Beginner’s Guide

The 20 Best Western North Carolina Waterfalls for Hiking

20 Western North Carolina Waterfalls - School House Falls

Spend any time in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina and you’ll quickly realize that waterfalls are a big thing here. Waterfalls in NC can be as literally big– as in over 800 feet high– as they are numerous. You’ll find approximately 250 waterfalls just in the 381-square-mile Transylvania County, located just south … Read more The 20 Best Western North Carolina Waterfalls for Hiking

Unicoi State Park & Lodge: Camping & Hiking Near Helen, GA

Beautiful scenery at Unicoi Lake-Smith Lake in Unicoi State Park, GA

Growing up in Atlanta, the mountain town of Helen, Georgia seemed like another world, with its bizarre Alpine architecture, biergartens, bratwurst, and annual Oktoberfest celebrations. But even as a kid I was much more attracted to the natural beauty of Unicoi State Park, which is located just a few miles away from the kitschy town. From … Read more Unicoi State Park & Lodge: Camping & Hiking Near Helen, GA

Stone Mountain, NC: State Park Camping, Hiking & History

Stone Mountain State Park

Stone Mountain State Park (not to be confused with the famous North Georgia park) stands prominently just beyond the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. It’s located just a few miles away from Doughton Park, the largest recreation area on the entire Blue Ridge Parkway. Straddling the border between Wilkes and … Read more Stone Mountain, NC: State Park Camping, Hiking & History

Top 10 NC State Parks in the North Carolina Mountains

Chimney Rock, NC

When we first moved to NC in 2017, I was beside myself envisioning the many cascading waterfalls and breathtaking vistas to be seen in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Needless to say, the region’s rugged landscapes and natural wonders did not disappoint. My wife Emma and I wasted no time in exploring the area, … Read more Top 10 NC State Parks in the North Carolina Mountains

Visiting Doughton Park (Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 238.5 – 244.7)

Blue Ridges of Mountains in Doughton Park, NC

Located in North Carolina between Blue Ridge Parkway mile markers 238.5 and 244.7, Doughton Park is actually the largest recreation area along the famous road. This Blue Ridge park spans about 7,000 acres and includes picnic areas, campgrounds, an official Blue Ridge Parkway visitor center, two historic cabins, and a collection of beautiful mountain streams. … Read more Visiting Doughton Park (Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Marker 238.5 – 244.7)

Vogel State Park: Camping, Hiking & History in North Georgia

Autumn at Lake Trahlyta in Vogel State Park

Vogel State Park is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest. Located just 10 miles south of the quaint town of Blairsville, GA, this beloved North Georgia park is a popular place for hiking, fishing, family gatherings, and viewing the area’s spectacular fall foliage. Operational since 1931, Vogel … Read more Vogel State Park: Camping, Hiking & History in North Georgia

The Cataloochee Valley Elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bull Elk in Great Smoky Mtns National Park by Betty Shelton

Created in 1934 and encompassing 522,419 acres, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in America, attracting more than 10 million travelers each year. Straddling eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a haven for nature lovers. The most popular Great … Read more The Cataloochee Valley Elk in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The 10 Best North Georgia State Parks

Black Rock Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Mountains overview

Growing up in a lower middle class family in metro Atlanta, the north Georgia mountains were our playground. My parents led the youth group at our church when I was a young boy, and I can recall countless trips hiking and camping on Blood Mountain, Springer Mountain, and Brasstown Bald (the highest point in the … Read more The 10 Best North Georgia State Parks