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

Things to Do in Elk Knob State Park Near Boone NC

Scenery in Elk Knob State Park in Boone NC

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

[Updated on 7/14/21] 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 … 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 … 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

[Updated on 7/20/21] Though most Georgia residents have never heard of it, the New Echota Historic Site in Calhoun GA 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.  … Read more

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

Unicoi State Park Barrel Cabin

[Updated October 26, 2021] 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 rental … Read more

Things to Do in Moccasin Creek State Park on Lake Burton

Lake Burton Boathouse at Moccasin Creek State Park

[Updated on November 26, 2021] 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.  … Read more

15 Highlights of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in Western North Carolina

Pilot Mountain, NC

The Mountains-to-Sea Trail (a.k.a. the MST) stretches from North Carolina’s western border with Tennessee all the way east to the Atlantic Ocean. This epic NC hiking trail passes through 37 different counties, three national forests, and 10 North Carolina State Parks. Stretching from Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to Jockey’s Ridge in … Read more

The Best Things to Do in DuPont State Forest, NC

Hiking to Triple Falls in DuPont State Forest

The DuPont State Recreation Forest, more commonly known as DuPont State Forest or just DuPont Forest, offers 12,000+ acres of blow-your-mind beautiful wilderness in the North Carolina mountains. The natural scenery here is so remarkable that several movies— including The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans—have used the forest as a film location. Tucked away … Read more

Cloudland Canyon State Park Cabins Review (Rising Fawn, GA)

Foggy morning at Cloudland Canyon State Park Cabins

[Updated on 7/20/21] I can remember my first visit to northwest Georgia’s Cloudland Canyon State Park like it was yesterday, despite the fact that it was nearly 27 years ago. That trip was the first time I went camping with my family as an adult, nearly 20 years after we hiked the Georgia section of … Read more