The Cradle of Forestry in Pisgah National Forest (Near Brevard NC)

Entrance to Cradle of Forestry in America

The Cradle of Forestry in America was originally known as the Biltmore Forest School. It was founded in 1898 by Carl A. Schenck, a German Ph.D brought in by George W. Vanderbilt to manage his 100,000+ acres of forests around the Biltmore Estate. The goal of the school was to teach responsible forest management to … Read more

North Carolina Wildflowers Guide (& Where to See Them in Western NC)

North Carolina Wildflowers

Western North Carolina is truly stacked with natural beauty. From the misty hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the towering trees of Pisgah National Forest to the countless waterfalls scattered throughout the area, it’s easy to find yourself awestruck by the scenery that greets you nearly every which way you turn.  Though fall colors … Read more

Things to Do in Elk Knob State Park Near Boone NC

Elk Knob

There is no shortage of stunning state parks in the North Carolina mountains. We’ve been fortunate to visit a good number of them, staring up at wondrous waterfalls and conquering skyscraping climbs to mountain summits with panoramic views. Nevertheless, our trip to the oft-overlooked 4,400-acre Elk Knob State Park last week proved to be another unique … Read more

The 15 Best North Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

Black Rock Lake

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 Boone NC Hiking Trails to Explore

Best Boone NC Hiking Trails, Image via Canva

The Blue Ridge Mountain town of Boone NC is best-known for its Christmas tree farms and outdoor recreation opportunities, offering everything from mountain biking and rock climbing to whitewater rafting and snow skiing. The county seat of Watauga County has a population of around 20,000, which is pretty big for the Western North Carolina High Country. … Read more

Top 15 NC State Parks in the North Carolina Mountains

Chimney Rock, NC

[Updated April 5, 2021] 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 … Read more

Exploring the Dark History of the New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun GA

Vann Tavern at New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun GA

Though most Georgia residents have never heard of it, the New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun is one of the most important indigenous sites in the United States.  In 1825, the Cherokee Nation established New Echota as its capital, building the “New Town” right at the headwaters of the Oostanaula River.  In 10 years, the … Read more

The 15 Best Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls in North Carolina

The Best Blue Ridge Parkway Waterfalls: Soco Falls in Cherokee NC

North Carolina waterfalls are both plentiful and stunning as they cascade down the state’s ruggedly majestic peaks, including the Blue Ridge Mountains, Great Balsams, Black, and Craggies. In fact, the waterfalls of North Carolina are flowing all over the western side of the state! Of course, if ever there were a perfect scenic road for … Read more

Inside the Utterly Unique Unicoi State Park Barrel Cabins in Helen GA

Unicoi State Park Barrel Cabin

Georgia State Park cabins are arguably among the best deals you’ll find for cabin rentals in North Georgia. Most cost around $160 a night for a 2-bedroom cottage with a full kitchen that can sleep 6 to 8 people.   And when it comes to Unicoi State Park lodging, their cabins in Helen GA (many … Read more

Things to Do in Moccasin Creek State Park on Lake Burton

Lake Burton Boathouse at Moccasin Creek State Park

After becoming empty nesters in 2019, my lady and I decided that we wanted to start the process of looking for our future home.  I’d grown up hiking in the North Georgia mountains with my family, spending many a memorable summer day at my grandparents’ humble cabin on Lake Hartwell.  So documenting our search for … Read more