The Snot Otter wins as Pennsylvania’s official amphibian Pennsylvania lawmakers have approved the eastern hellbender, also known as the snot otter, mud devil and by other not-so-flattering names, as the state of Pennsylvania’s official amphibian. The hellbender is a giant salamander that is covered in a layer of mucus. Though it looks unappealing, the salamander…

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Virginia Runner Sets Record with 10 Marathons in 10 Days Michael Wardian is at it again. The 44-year-old, Arlington-based ultrarunner, well known in the running world for setting a range of long-distance records that are both amazing and a little strange, won the World Marathon Challenge for the second time in February. Runners in the…

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Full-time Philadelphia nurse Samantha Roecker, 27, is making waves in the distance running world after a third-place finish at the California International Marathon in December. Roecker, who is unsponsored, finished the 26.2-mile race in 2:30:25, two minutes behind the winner. Her finish time smashed her previous marathon PR by nearly eight minutes and ranked her…

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Male camper and dog cook dinner at camp at sunset along the Art Loeb Trail in the Pisgah National Forest, NC.

Thru-hiking for months on end is out of reach for most of us. But a weekend backpacking trip? Most of us can carve that time into our schedules. Luckily, the Southern Appalachians are chock full of sub-100 mile trails that offer a thru-hiking experience in just a few days.

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Who are the top raft guides and most inspiring thru-hikers? What’s the best bike shop in the Blue Ridge? Thousands of readers from across the region voted in our seventh annual Best of the Blue Ridge Awards.

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