Things to Do at the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area (Near Linville Falls NC)

Things to Do at Linville Gorge Wilderness Area near Linville Falls

Western North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains are renowned for their rugged beauty, and the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area ranks among the most dynamic places to see it. This 12,000-acre section of Pisgah National Forest is locally referred to as “The Grand Canyon of the East.” It is one of only two wilderness gorges in the … Read more

Things to Do at Grandfather Mountain State Park in Banner Elk NC

View from the Swinging Bridge on Grandfather Mountain

For me, the monolithic majesty of Grandfather Mountain preceded itself. On a few occasions in the past, my wife Emma and I visited friends who had a distant view of it from their mountain cabin. They were always thrilled to point the iconic summit out as a centerpiece of the High Country landscape. In a … Read more

Things to Do at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park Near Blowing Rock NC

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

The short stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway that runs from just east of Boone NC to just west of Blowing Rock is particularly packed with special sites and things to do. Over this 36-mile span, you’ll see the monolithic landmark of Grandfather Mountain, stunningly colorful mountain lakes, and jaw-dropping scenic vistas from the lofty NC High … Read more

How to Get to Hooker Falls NC (in DuPont State Forest)

Hooker Falls NC

[Updated August 12, 2021] If you’re looking for challenging North Carolina waterfalls to hike, Hooker Falls is probably not for you.  Located between Brevard and Hendersonville in DuPont State Recreational Forest, the Hooker Falls Trail is one of the shortest (.9 mile round-trip), easiest (164 feet of elevation gain), and most accessible waterfall hikes in … 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

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

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

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

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