The August issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine is one near and dear to our hearts. It’s also one of the annual favorites with you, our loyal readers. By the time August rolls around we are, to put it simply, hot. And that’s partly why our 12 Favorite Swimming Holes feature was so important to this issue.

And, we’ve got our look at Blue Ridge region’s Top Adventure Colleges. Ah, college days. Don’t miss our contributors’ most memorable college experiences in the front of the mag when you pick it up on a newsstand near you.

You’ll also find stories on the latest paddling trend, kayak fishing; the Paleo Diet; a summer reading list by editor Will Harlan; we take a trip up to West Virginia to see the Hillbilly Gypsies; and more news and features from around the South and Mid-Atlantic.

And we’ve got the beta on new gear for summer and what you’ll likely want to have before you head back to school. Because just like the 16 alumni featured in our top outdoor colleges roundup, we are all lifelong students. Here’s to enjoying the last month of summer.

features

GET SCHOOLED Meet 16 alumni from the South’s top outdoor colleges, including the reader-selected winners of this year’s Adventure College Bracket.

LOST A sea kayaker discovers new waters—and a surprising new appreciation for technology.

12 SWIMMING HOLES OF SUMMER Our dozen favorite swimming spots are nestled beneath some of the most scenic and spectacular waterfalls in the South.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS Kayak fishing provides stealth and easier access to new water. Here are nine favorite spots for kayak anglers to wet a line.

departments

EDITOR’S NOTE A wild summer reading list

FLASHPOINT The real Paleo diet — less hunter, more gatherer?

QUICK HITS BMX in Brevard / Warrior hike marches on / Gauley land protection / Share the road law

THE DIRT A fish-eye-view of wild Appalachia / Kentucky’s first ultra is more than a race

THE GOODS Back to school gear

TRAIL MIX Hillbilly Gypsies revive old mountain sounds