December means one thing around here: snow and snowsports. Ok, that’s two things, but they go hand in hand.

We are proud to put out another great issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine to kick off the winter season in the Blue Ridge. This month’s issue is packed with everything you need to make this winter the best ski season ever. We kick things off with our cover story on the best backcountry boulevards in the region. The Southeast is full of country roads and highways that are perfect for some nordic ski fun, no matter your ability, and we have your guide to the four best. Speaking of skiing, editor at large Graham goes on a solo backcountry adventure on West Virginia’s North Fork Mountain, and finds that going it alone has it’s ups and downs.

The Millennial Generation gets a bad rap, but not in this issue, as we profile eight up and comers in the Blue Ridge who are chasing adventure and protecting our outdoor playground with youthful stubbornness. We also give you a guide to the best places in the East to spot wild ponies and elk, and take a look at the hottest trend in biking: epic gravel grinders.

In this issue, our experts from the University of Virginia and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy debate the issue of building more wind farms in Appalachia. We interview Olympic ski hopeful and Kentuckian Jay Panther on his chances of making it to Sochi, Girls at Play founder Anna Levesque on her inspiration, and some of the best regional musicians on their favorite albums of the year.

Our issue also includes our Gear of the Year spread featuring the latest and greatest outdoor apparel and equipment perfect for the holiday season.

And don’t forget about our Annual Snowbound Resort Guide featuring what’s new for the 2013-2014 season at the Southeast’s best ski resorts. If you are contemplating a ski trip this summer, this is your best resource for deals and beta.

We hope you enjoy this issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors!

Features

My Fellow Millennials

Backcountry Boulevards

Gravel Grinder

Essays

Going Solo

Saluda, N.C.: The Next Great Mountain Town

Departments

SALT: New Long Distance Hiking Loop

Wind Energy in Appalachia?

The Roundup: Wild Ponies and Elk

Gear of the Year

Girls at Play Founder Anna Levesque

Olympic Hopeful Jay Panther

Dixie Picks: Best Albums of 2013