The sun rises over Grandfather Mountain. Photo by Best of the Blue Ridge photographer winner Leslie Restivo. DISCLAIMER: We are not affiliated with any company offering plaques or trophies. If you are contacted by people offering this, it is a scam. All winners can contact BRO for a certificate free of charge. 2020 Readers’ Choice…

Read More

Sachi Rome’s “If I were a Bird (looking for Peace),” located on the Atlanta BeltLine. Photo by The Sintoses, reprinted with permission from Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. There are many ways to enjoy a trail—a long run, a hard ride, a contemplative stroll. Much like a path winding through the woods, art is also wide open…

Read More

Rosie Koskovich got her start doing trail maintenance with the Ozark Trail Association in Missouri. She was a long time hiker and this was her way to give back to the trails. In 2013, Rosie and a group of OTA members volunteered with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Konnarock Trail Crew for a week. After that…

Read More

The Thorny Mountain Fire Tower in Seneca Rocks State Forest, W.VA., offers accommodations 65 feet off the ground. Whether you’re looking to make one last trip this fall or starting to make plans for next year, BRO set out to find getaways like no other in the region. Seneca State Forest (W.Va.) Built-in 1935 by…

Read More

Ellen Kanzinger rides her bike around the neighborhood. Photo by Rachel Stone A Newbie Bike Commuter Faces Her Fears It was a few days before my fifteenth birthday. I remember waking up and running downstairs, eager to soak up every minute of the summer day.  I was confused to find my grandpa in our living…

Read More

Nakiesha Bridgers leads a trip on the river. How did outdoor professionals get their start? As more people are headed outside, outdoor recreation is increasingly an economic factor for towns and states across our region. Virginia just became the fifteenth state to establish an Office of Outdoor Recreation. In its most recent report, the Bureau…

Read More

You don’t need a ton of money or expertise to explore the outdoors—especially in Chattanooga  Growing up, Bailey O’Sullivan’s family moved about every two years for her mom’s job. They ended up in Chattanooga, Tennessee for a few years when she was in middle school.  “My dad’s goal every time we moved was to get…

Read More

When Grizel Williams decided to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail with Rue, her 3-year-old rescue dog, she knew a lot of people would have an opinion about her decision. “There are people that are really excited about me and Rue, and then people who think I’m abusing my dog,” she said. “I know that it’s the…

Read More

Have you ever wanted to just head out onto the road and see where life takes you? BRO talked with some people who did just that. We found out how they are traveling, what they wish they had known before starting their trip, and the things they left behind for a life on the road. …

Read More

Bear collisions with vehicles are increasing, especially in places like Interstate 40 adjacent to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. What can be done to keep the roads safe for motorists and wildlife? Although Interstate 40 runs 2,560 miles from the coast of North Carolina to California, a 28-mile stretch through the Smokies is the deadliest…

Read More

There are known carcinogens in your frying pan, dental floss, and favorite outdoor jacket. Documentary lead Bucky Bailey fights for his family’s health—and yours. The story of C8 and the DuPont plant in Parkersburg, W. Va. is a complicated one. It’s a story of lies and deceit, livelihoods and lives lost. It’s the story of…

Read More

Locals reveal their favorite spots for in-town adventure It’s five o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon. You want to get outside after a long day of work or classes, but you don’t have the time to drive two hours to your favorite hike or crag. Athletes and adventurers from across the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast show us…

Read More

When you think about paddling in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, rivers like the Gauley, James, Nantahala, and Chattooga get a lot of the love. While these rivers offer paddlers of all types epic adventures and scenic views, they are not always the most accessible rivers.  “It doesn’t always have to be extreme,” said paddler Angel…

Read More

Meet the RidgeRunners—guardians of the Appalachian Trail Hiking season has finally arrived, and Ridgerunners are already out along the Appalachian Trail. Those chosen for the seasonal position hike and camp along sections of trails, speaking with hundreds of visitors about the importance of maintaining the trail and minimizing human impact.  From Georgia to Maine, there…

Read More