The magic of the wilderness opened up. The outlines of shoulder-high ferns and dense stands of spruce came into focus. Wildflowers and blooming rhododendron popped against lush shades of green. The forest smelled sweetly of pinesap. Birds of unknown origin chirped and twitted above.
Free play, or unrestricted play, allows kids the chance to be unsupervised and choose how they wish to spend their free time, be it through a game of hide-and-seek, playing house, or even reading for pleasure. Anything in which the child is self-directed and is not doing the activity for any ulterior motive (except for the sake of the activity itself) is considered free play.
Despite the well-known competitive music landscape in its home city, Judah & the Lion has quickly become a Nashville breakout act, earning fans with an uplifting acoustic sound that blends high-paced strumming and huge hooks. Potential anthems pile up on the band’s debut full-length album, Kids These Days, which just came out in September.
Jennifer Pharr Davis holds the speed record for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and is the founder of Blue Ridge Hiking Company in Asheville, N.C. Here she dumps out the contents of her pack for both day hikes and overnights.
If you’re planning a late summer or fall vacation, how about visiting a state park? These ecological treasures often have the same vistas, bomber bike trails, epic hikes, and other outdoor creds as their more famous NPS brethren, but without the hordes.
Jeff Deal, senior project manager at the Appalachian Institute for Renewable Energy, says we already have the technology to power up to half of Appalachia with solar alone—and we can do it affordably, if we get our policies and priorities straight.
Colors begin spilling down the mountains this month and Blue Ridge Outdoors talks with four photography pros who share their favorite fall foliage spots and secrets with readers. Pick up the issue for free at newsstands and tune in here for all our Fall content!