Hiking

From day hiking on the Appalachian Trail to thru-hiking the Smoky Mountains, hit the trail with us. We’ve got all the guides, tutorials, gear reviews, trip reports, and location suggestions to make your next adventure great. Plus, find news and information about the region’s best areas and explorers here. Look no further than Blue Ridge Outdoors for all your hiking needs.

Okefenokee Threatened by Mining (Again)

By Will Harlan | 26 Jul 19
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The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is the largest wilderness area in the East, and it’s the largest blackwater swamp in North America. With thousands of alligators and hundreds of rare species, it’s one of the wildest and most biologically diverse landscapes in the Eastern United States. In July, an Alabama company announced plans to strip…

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The Half Gallon Ice Cream Challenge

By Greg Bowers | 24 Jul 19
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For A.T. thru-hikers reaching the halfway point, the wooden spoon is a coveted prize. Jalen DeSantis chose “shaggy” as his trail name because his hair is long enough that he can pull it back in a loose bun and shaggy enough that a mouse got tangled in it during a night in one of the…

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Dad’s Gear Lending Closet

By Carla Francis | 22 Jul 19
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After losing her father, a hiker rediscovers his vintage gear—and his inspiration  Accessing the riches of dad’s gear lending closet came with one stipulation: Lecture Time, abbreviated to “LT.” Want to borrow his vintage Sigg Tourist Cook Set? No problem, but first a long-winded lesson on how to light and care for the stove we’d…

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The Best Hiking Partner: Adventure Pets of the Blue Ridge

By Ellen Kanzinger | 08 Jul 19
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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…

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Happy Birthday West Virginia!

By BRO Admin | 20 Jun 19
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Every year on June 20th, the Mountain State celebrates a very special day – its birthday! This year West Virginia is turning 156 years old. How much do you know about the east coast’s best-kept secret? West Virginia is home to… Nearly 50 state parks and forests. Outdoor adventure of all kinds can be found all…

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Can you bare it? June 21 is Naked Hiking Day

By Kim Dinan | 20 Jun 19
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Can you bare it? June 21 is Naked Hiking Day This June 21 is best known as the summer solstice—the longest day of the year—but did you know that it is also (unofficially) Naked Hiking Day? If you decide to shed your clothing (not to mention your inhibitions) and hit the trails in only your…

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Blood in the Snow

By John Quillen | 17 Jun 19
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Knoxville’s first climbers to summit Everest help save a Sherpa along the way Ang Dawa Sherpa peeked his head into our tent and nodded. “Go time” caught me off guard. I was at Camp 4 with my friend Neal Kushwaha and our sherpas—Sange and Dawa—hoping to become the first Knoxvillean to summit Everest. My thoughts…

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Hometown Heroes

By Ellen Kanzinger | 05 Jun 19
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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…

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38,000 miles of trail: 18 Thru-Hikes

By Mason Adams | 29 May 19
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Warren Doyle hangs up his boots after 38,000 miles on the A.T. Warren Doyle knows how this story should begin. “A 46-year-old love affair ended last summer,” he says, staring at me across a hardwood table at his folk school in eastern Tennessee, midway between Mountain City and Damascus, Virginia. Doyle is celebrating the completion…

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Outdoor Updates: Hiker missing in Hawaii found alive after 17 days

By Kim Dinan | 28 May 19
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Hiker missing in Hawaii found alive after 17 days Amanda Eller, 35, a physical therapist and yoga teacher, went missing after heading out on a short hike in Hawaii’s Makawao Forest Reserve on May 8. Her car, keys, wallet and cell phone were found in the parking lot of the reserve but Eller had disappeared.…

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Instinct and Empathy: The Challenges Female Hikers Face on the A.T.

By Cappy Phalen | 24 May 19
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My instinct told me to run. It also told me not to run while the man could still see me. Feigning calm, I walked slowly away from him and out of his sight. The moment I felt sure he could no longer see or hear me, I ran. It was spring,  and I was hiking…

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Blaze a Trail to Elkin for NC Trail Days, May 31-June 2

By BRO Admin | 22 May 19
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ELKIN, N.C. – The inaugural NC Trail Days Festival takes place May 31-June 2 in Elkin and combines the area’s abundance of trails with a fun schedule of events. The festival is an initiative of the Elkin Valley Trails Association, in conjunction with Explore Elkin. The EVTA is a volunteer group with a mission to…

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Why We Still Need Maps: Purple Lizard Charts Recreation in the Mid-Atlantic

By Joe Potoczak | 21 May 19
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Our group of four are spread across a grassy helicopter pad in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Ohiopyle State Park. We are at a familiar place for many of the one-and-a-half million annual visitors to Ohiopyle, the back of a parking area at the takeout of the Lower Youghiogheny River, known as Old Mitchell Place. Yet at the…

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Getting There: Maps vs. Apps

By Dan DeWitt | 16 May 19
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What role do print maps play for outdoor adventurers in the digital age?  Pisgah Map Company’s Pete Kennedy has a few ideas. Pete Kennedy has never worried about his ability to make good maps. When the first batch of his first product arrived from the printer a decade ago, he could see that, of course,…

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Indigenous Trails

By Ellen Kanzinger | 13 May 19
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The Unacknowledged History of the Land Beneath Our Boots  Whose land are we hiking, biking, climbing, and paddling on? When it comes to the history of public lands and conservation in this country, the Indigenous Peoples who once occupied those land are often left out of the conversation. Now, several mapping and preservation projects are…

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