Colors begin spilling down the mountains this month. Blue Ridge Outdoors talks with four photography pros who share their favorite fall foliage spots and secrets with readers. This month, we also celebrate the 50th birthday of The Wilderness Act by exploring Appalachia’s wildest public lands, and we offer the simplest, easiest way to save more of them.

Readers get a sneak peek inside the backpack of A.T. record holder Jennifer Pharr Davis and a music preview of Halloween ear candy. And as BRO readers already know, play is more than just fun. It’s an essential ingredient for health, both as kids and adults. In the October issue, we review the latest scientific research showing the benefits of outdoor play. We also pick 10 off-the-radar state parks that offer adventures as epic as national parks but with far fewer crowds.

features

WILDERNESS AT 50
Exploring Appalachia’s wildest public lands and The Magic Kingdom of Wilderness

HIDDEN TREASURES
Often overshadowed by national parks, state parks offer equally epic adventures with far fewer crowds. Here are 10 off-the-radar favorites.

PICTURE PERFECT
Four photography pros share their favorite fall foliage spots and secrets.

THE NEED TO PLAY
Play is more than just fun. It’s an essential ingredient for health, both as kids and adults.

departments

EDITOR’S NOTE
The easy way to save the planet

FLASHPOINT
Solar could power half of Appalachia

QUICK HITS
Georgia runner sets barefoot record/Shirtless steeplechaser stripped of gold medal/and more!

THE DIRT
Paddling pros share five essential skills

THE GOODS
Peek inside the backpack of A.T. record holder Jennifer Pharr Davis

TRAIL MIX
Judah & the Lion and their new album Kids These Days