Top Towns of 2015 Wild Card Competition

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46 of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic’s best towns have already been selected to compete in our 2015 Top Towns contest, but that’s not enough. We need two more to even out the playing field. In order to remedy this dilemma, we’re consulting our readers. Check out this list of six wild card towns and vote for whichever town(s) you think is deserving of a spot in our 4th annual Top Town throw-down. The one with the most votes in each category will earn a spot in the official Top Town contest starting August 3rd.

Don’t forget to come back and vote for your wild card choice once every 24 hours until July 15 at 5p.m.!


Cumberland, Maryland

Situated at the confluence of Wills Creek and the North Branch Potomac River, Cumberland, Maryland is home to a portion of the Great Allegheny Passage—a popular rail-trail frequented by hikers and bikers alike. It’s also a stop off on the North Branch Potomac Water Trail which begins in Washington D.C. and ends at Point Lookout State Park, Maryland.

Blacksburg, Virginia

Blacksburg sits in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. As a result, the town is steeped in outdoor culture. Nearby public lands include the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. The New River provides stellar opportunity for whitewater recreation, and nearby Viginia Tech gives Blacksburg its college town atmosphere.

State College, Pennsylvania

Well-known as the home town of Penn State University, this college town offers a plethora of great in-town entertainment options, but the outdoor scene in State College should not be overlooked. Both locals and visitors who come to the area with the outdoors in mind enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and more.

Sparta, Tennessee

One of the original bastions of America’s Bluegrass heritage, Sparta, Tennessee sits in a picturesque valley at the foot of the Cumberland Mountains. With six public parks and two state parks, there’s no shortage of outdoor  excitement in Sparta.

Walhalla, South Carolina

Nestled in the heart of South Carolina’s beautiful and legendary Oconee County, Walhalla is a the perfect base for everything from whitewater rafting on the famed Chattooga River, to zip lining, waterfall hunting, and road cycling.

Franklin, North Carolina

An official Appalachian Trail Town, Franklin is situated in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, but it’s also a gateway to the 500,000 plus acre Nantahala National Forest. Check out Franklin’s downtown for great dining, drinking, and outdoor retail options.


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