What Does the Federal Budget Mean for the Appalachian Outdoors?

This past week, President Trump’s budget was released, causing all sorts of consternation across the rural Appalachian region. Why all the buzz? The president’s budget calls for sweeping cuts to many federal government agencies, including the outright elimination of the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Economic Development Administration, and a host of other groups. The Roanoke…

Backcountry Science: Leaf Peepin’

Fall is here. College football is underway. Local grocery stores are already jam-packed with Halloween gear. You’re starting to hear about pumpkin spice EVERYTHING. And…leaf season is coming. We all know that the Appalachians are famous for our fall color, but you probably didn’t know that we have one of the most vibrant and prolonged…

New Signage in Norton’s Flag Rock Area Trails System

By now, you’ve probably heard of (or maybe even ridden!) the City of Norton, Virginia’s Flag Rock Area Trails. The FRAT system is the mastermind of local resident Shayne Fields and is just an awesome piece of trailbuilding: miles of singletrack crisscross their way between the Flag Rock overlook in Norton and High Knob in…

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…

Flag Rock Area Trails: Norton, Virginia’s Hiking and Biking Wonderland

Hearing about Flag Rock Recreation Area in the city of Norton, Virginia probably isn’t anything new if you’ve lived awhile in the Cumberland Mountains of far southwest Virginia, eastern Kentucky, or northeast Tennessee. The park has as its namesake a giant pinnacle of sandstone rising some 40-50 feet above a spur ridge on High Knob’s northern…

How Not to Get Lost on the Trail

Our most recent posts on two local trails – the Devil’s Bathtub and Jenny Falls – have received a ton of attention (thanks to those of you who have shared them!). It appears that lots of folks in our region are discovering local trails for the first time, which is outstanding. Along with this interest, we’ve…

Viral Trails: The Weird Popularity of the Devil’s Bathtub

If you live in central Appalachia – and maybe even if you don’t – there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Devil’s Bathtub. The “bathtub” is the local moniker given to a small scour pool in the Devil’s Fork of Stony Creek, a stream cascading off of the south side of Scott County, Virginia’s…

Current Conditions in the Highcountry

It’s downright nasty outside this weekend as a full-on winter storm bears down across the Cumberlands and rest of the Appalachian chain. If you’re an outdoors enthusiast, though, you’re probably less interested in the weather forecast for your town and more interested in what’s going on across the higher elevations. After all, official weather forecasts…