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As Western North Carolina becomes ever more developed, a large tract of wild land has come up for sale, creating a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conserve it for posterity.
European settlement of the United States did not start with Jamestown in 1607 or Plymouth Rock in 1620. Near the northern tip of Florida on the Atlantic coast stands St. Augustine, which was established in 1565 and is the oldest continuously occupied city in the country. While the historic part of the city is filled with T-shirt and coffee shops, two fascinating national monuments nearby, Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas, add depth to the story of Florida's origins.
Every state wants a long-distance hiking trail to show off the best of its natural features. North Carolina’s Mountains-to-Sea Trail starts atop Clingmans Dome in the Smokies, then weaves in and out of the Blue Ridge Parkway before heading east all the way to Jockey’s Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks. Gov. Bev Perdue has proclaimed October MST Month.
I'm a volunteer at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and I recently joined seasonal rangers for interpretive training. In National Park Service lingo, “interpretation” means enabling each visitor to personally connect with a place.
Too many natural wonders, not enough time. That's how I felt when I read the list of winners in Land for Tomorrow's "Natural Wonders" contest. Land for Tomorrow is a diverse partnership of North Carolina organizations and entities committed to protecting critical land, drinking water and historic places.
Your car may express your personality, but your license plate can tell the world what cause you support. North Carolina offers more than 100 specialty plates for you to choose from. For an extra $30 a year, you can support and help promote one of several popular outdoor destinations.
I heard about Catawba Falls as soon as I started hiking in Western North Carolina — how it was so beautiful, but it was such a shame you couldn't hike there anymore. It didn't take me long, though, to realize that the access trail was privately owned, and people shouldn't have been going there in the first place.