Have you seen a snake in far southwest Virginia recently? Let us know!

As we’ve written about recently, it’s snake season both on and off the trail in southwest Virginia and the surrounding Cumberland Mountain region. Since that earlier post, we’ve received a ton of comments and photos of snake sightings¬†from local trails. And, most encouragingly, most of these folks have reported leaving snakes be and not killing…

Chief Benge Scout Trail, Section 1: High Knob Recreation Area to Mountain Fork

Length/Type: 2.55 miles one-way; out and back; Difficulty: Moderate (several unbridged stream crossings, rough footing in places); Other Considerations: Roads leading to both the upper and lower trailheads may be snow-covered and/or icy in cold weather. The road to the lower trailhead (USFS Road 704) may also be gated during poor weather conditions.¬† The Chief…

Backcountry Science: What Is A Topo Map?

There are a ton of skills that are key to a successful and safe hike. Careful planning, knowing how to use a compass, and letting someone know where you’ll be hiking are all part of that list. But one of the most neglected skills among many hikers is being able to read and navigate using…

Fish Pond Lake Loop

Length/Type: Approximately 2.5 miles; loop; Difficulty: Easy (paved surface, flat to rolling grades); Other Considerations: The loop is open to vehicular traffic. Watch for oncoming vehicles if walking, riding, or running this loop. If you’ve ever driven US Highway 119 from Jenkins to Whitesburg, Kentucky, you’ve probably seen a sign for the curiously (and repetitively)…

New Kiosk Installed at High Knob Tower

Around two years ago, the new and improved High Knob Lookout Tower was opened to the public. The structure replaces an older tower that stood for decades atop the 4,200 foot summit in Virginia’s Wise and Scott counties until being destroyed by an arsonist in 2007. Like the old tower, though, the new vantage point…