Tag Archives: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

In 2016, GetHiking! The Southeast’s Classic Hikes

Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail

In 2015, we launched our GetHiking! Classic Hikes program with GetHiking! North Carolina’s Classic Hikes. Over the course of the year we hiked a dozen of North Carolina’s most notable areas: Shining Rock, Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains, Panthertown Valley, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and the Appalachian Trail, to name a few. read more

This weekend: Learn a thing


Learn your shorebirds at the coast, learn your wildflowers in the mountains. Meanwhile, in the Piedmont you can learn a new stretch of trail.


Friday morning, our friends at the North Carolina Coastal Federation, along with Wrightsville Beach Scenic Tours, are conducting a Coastal Birding Cruise. The one-hour boat ride, aboard The Shamrock, will explore the marsh and backwaters around Wrightsville Beach searching for shorebirds, from the pelican and black skimmer to (hopefully) the endangered piping plover (pictured). Guides will explain the area’s ecology as well. A great way to learn more about an area you may visit frequently, but likely don’t know well. read more

Rescue on Mt. LeConte (part I)

Pete, Jon, David and Scott outside their cabin on Mt. LeConte.
From left: Pete, Jon, David and Scott outside the dinning area at Mt. LeConte.

This is the first of a two-part account of a rescue two weekends ago on Mt. Leconte. It’s based on a trip report written by Jon Holliday and a subsequent interview. Part two will run Thursday.

Jon Holliday and his buddies were amused by the guy lugging a beach chair and umbrella up the rugged five-mile trail to 6,594-foot Mt. LeConte last Saturday. What’s the deal? they asked. “I just want a comfortable place to sit and watch the sun set over Tennessee,” the fellow told them.
“We thought it was pretty silly at the time,” Jon recalled this week. “It turned out he ended up playing a pivotal role in all this.”
“All this” was the worst-case hiking scenario that would unfold a day later as Jon, who lives in Cary, Pete Sprague of Asheville, David Sprague of Boone and Scott Duffy of Charlotte headed back down the mountain. It’s a scenario that likely crosses every hiker’s mind at some point.
What happens when you fall in the backcountry and can’t get up? read more