Here at Blue Ridge Outdoors we’re often inspired by the people and places that grace the pages of our magazine and the homepage of our website. With 2015 on the way out, and another New Year coming in hot, we’ve decided to double down on some of our 2016 travel and adventure goals.

We’re sharing our goals with you, the reader, so that you can hold us to them and help give us a sense of accountability. But it doesn’t end there. We want to hear about your goals too. Share the link to our resolutions on your Facebook page and and tell us about your 2016 goals for getting out and about in the Blue Ridge and beyond. Don’t forget to tag us, because on January 11th we’ll select the reader with the most exciting and unique New Years travel goals and send him or her a free BRO T-shirt.

Here’s what we’ll be doing and where we’ll be doing it in 2016!

“Fly fishing in the Smoky Mountains. Specifically the tributaries on the north shore of Fontana Lake between the the lake and the Appalachian Trail. These waters are pristine and remote, and I hear the creeks and rivers are chock full of brookies, browns, and bows. I’d also like to check out the Kentucky Bourbon Trail that we covered back in August. You just can’t beat Basil Hayden or Woodford Reserve.”

—Blake DeMaso, President

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“Lots more microadventures in our Blue Ridge sandbox. I have lived and explored here my entire life and there’s no shortage of new places to check out or wild adventures that can stitch them all together.

2016 will be the year when a couple of friends and I undertake the 30+mile ALTAR (Art Loeb Trail Adventure Run) in a single day capped off with celebration suds at my friends Jordan and Sam’s amazing new space for the Pisgah Tavern and The Hub at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest.

Also on the bucket list for the new year is to use Mountain True’s resources to paddle and camp the entire 140 mile stretch of the French Broad River Paddle Trail beginning near Headwaters Outfitters in Rosman, NC and ending on the outskirts of the buzzing outdoor mecca of Knoxville, TN where the FB empties into the great Tennessee River. Lots of island camping, smallmouth and muskie fishing, rapids, and swimming.

Yeah…2016 is going to be a great one.”

 —Dusty Allison, Digital Publisher
The Art Loeb Trail showcases some of Western North Carolina's most breathtaking scenery.

The Art Loeb Trail showcases some of Western North Carolina’s most breathtaking scenery.

“I hope to see all 54+ constellations visible from our latitude in a calendar year. And I hope to see as many as possible with my son.

Every night, the deepest imaginable wilderness opens above me. Too often I forget to look up. There is nothing more powerful or profound than a sky full of stars. It provides me with much-needed perspective on my brief and tiny life.”
—Will Harlan, Editor in Chief
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“Every night, the deepest imaginable wilderness opens above me.” Will Harlan

“Luckily, I have family all over the United States, so a few trips we have planned will be to Montana in September to see my oldest sister get married lakeside and then out to California the week after for my best friends wedding and hopefully a little hike through Muir Woods (always a family favorite for us). One thing my husband has always wanted to do is go up north and see the Northern Lights. Maybe this will be the year he gets to cross that one off his bucket list!”

—Paigelee Chancellor, Graphic Designer 

Photo by Ryan McKee

Montana’s Lake McDonald at sunset

 “2016 will be the year of water for me. If I love the element enough to get a damn tattoo of it on my wrist, I might as well explore as much of the eastern waters as possible. From the Edisto River of South Carolina, to the Green River Gorge in North Carolina, to the Birthplace of Rivers in West Virginia, I want to delve into waters brackish and clear and work harder to protect these special places.”
—Jess Daddio, Travel Editor and Road Warrior
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“2016 will be the year of water for me.” Jess Daddio

“I hope to travel more this year. Starting off on the right foot—off to the one happy island of Aruba on Friday! See ya later, winter. Or is it spring? Mother Nature is confused.”

—Lauren Walker, Senior Designer

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Turqiose Blue Water against an Aruban Divi Tree

“In 2016 I want to dive deeper into the fly fishing culture of my new Western North Carolina home. More specifically, I want to catch fish on the Nantahala, the Oconaluftee, the Chattooga, the Davidson, and the Tuckaseegee just to name a few. This place harbors some of the best trout waters in the country, and I’ve only begun to scratch the surface. 2016 = Year of the Trout.”

—Travis Hall, Online Editor and Digital Content Strategist

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A young Western North Carolina brown trout on the fly.

“In 2016 I want to introduce my new baby to the outdoors by spending time with him outside everyday no matter what the weather happens to be. I want him to know that when it is rainy, it just means more puddles to play in, and when it is cold, you just have to move a little faster. Also I want to teach him that he can get as dirty as he wants–especially if he is weeding the garden.”

Leah Woody, Print Publisher