We are pleased to announce our October issue of BRO is on newsstands and online! The leaves are beginning to change and the nights are cooling down; Fall is here and Blue Ridge Outdoors has your autumn adventure plans covered.
Jess Daddio is at it again this month with a feature on the Great Eastern Trail, a long distance hiking trail that parallels the Appalachian Trail from Alabama to New York. The trail is made up of connecting existing trails and is not quite complete as of yet, but that didn’t stop a couple of intrepid hikers from thru-hiking the GET from end to end. We have the story of their thru-hike, plus a guide to the trail. We also give you eight great fall adventures that include incredible views of all the fall colors the Blue Ridge has to offer. There is something for everyone from climbers, to bikers, to hikers, to paddlers. Speaking of paddling, Graham canoes down the new French Broad River Trail with a French Broad River Keeper to check what the new blueway has to offer. Spoiler alert: it’s a lot. There is also an op-ed from pro paddler and North Carolina native Chris Gratgmans on the current state of the Green Race: is it becoming too popular and attracting paddlers that are not suited for the level necessary to negotiate the river? Does the race need a screening process? Chris offers his opinion.
This month’s essays are full of important issues and big adventures. Learn to hang glide, help save one of the most polluted rivers in America right in our backyard, experience what it’s like to be a girl in man’s river guide world, and take a hike with a father and his autistic son.
We discuss and interview a couple of Blue Ridge record breakers in Matt Kirk and Ben Friberg. This summer Kirk set a new “unofficial” unsupported Appalachian Trail speed record, while Friberg paddled his SUP from Havanna, Cuba, to Key West, Florida, becoming the first person ever to do so. These are amazing athletic achievements, which flows right into our Debate question for this month: Should performance-enhancing drugs be legalized? Then our issue wraps with a profile of Americana queen Nora Jane Struthers and her circular path to new grass stardom.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors! We had a blast putting it together, and we hope you have a blast reading it.