May/June 2019


Joe Tennis

No, you can’t modernize a cave, but the degree of fun in some dark, damp, cool spaces has been on the rise in recent years. Read more


Professor of Biological Sciences Dr. Fred Alsop joined the faculty of East Tennessee State University in 1972. The author of 18 books on the birds of North America, he is the director of the EagleCam Project that has live-streamed around the world. Read more

Guest Columnists

Elk viewing is to be improved in the Virginia mountains. Read more

Mountain Report

Chestnut Leaves

Erik Gerhardt

Almost 20,000 acres of the Cherokee National Forest officially became part of America’s protected wilderness on March 12, when the president signed into law a package of wilderness bills totaling 1.7 million acres nationwide. Read more

Mountain Report


Gerri Wilson/USFWS Volunteer

The Canaan Valley of West Virginia is home to some 580 plant species. Read more

Mountain Report

“Fortnite” creator Tim Sweeney is helping create a different kind of landscape in the North Carolina mountains. Read more

Country Roads

The Orchard at Altapass has expanded its offerings significantly over the past 25 years as a Blue Ridge Parkway landmark. Read more

Country Roads

The walker-friendly Huckleberry Trail will fill in its last gap. Read more

Country Roads

Pipestem’s new zip opportunities include travel over the Bluestone River. Read more

Country Roads


Ginny Neil

When I was growing up, I went to summer camp. It was my most-anticipated event of the year. The small, Christian camp I attended was set below stately pines, hickories, maples and oaks. ... Read more

Singing in the Garden


Fred & Jill Sauceman

As Johnson City, Tennessee, looks back on its 150-year history, a storied business reaches a landmark anniversary of its own. Read more

Food & Flavors


Joan Vannorsdall

This is a story about Story. It’s got unforgettable characters. A beautiful setting. A happy ending. And the promise of more to come. Read more

Our Blue Ridge Towns


Jack Thyen

The Winding Stairs Trail, especially when paired with a visit to nearby Walhalla, combined the outdoors with learning and dining. Read more

The Good Walk

That strange critter crossing the road might not be a possum. Read more

Creature Feature


Joseph Mackareth

Letting sniffs of the world take you back to childhood. Read more

Mill Creek Stories



Our town of Roanoke, Virginia has not had a downtown retail anchor for nearly a quarter century. That will change—and gloriously so—come next year. Read more

From The Editor


David B. Jenkins

David Jenkins, who set out in 1994 to find all of the messaged barns for his book “Rock City Barns: A Passing Era,” laments here that time has greatly reduced the number of barns that once formed a perfect outdoor marketing campaign. Read more



Happy Hens and Highlands Farm

The calf, born without the ability to suckle, and with a near-fatal infection, has become an international inspiration. Read more


Our annual festival guide points the way to great gatherings from the Virginias and the Carolinas to Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky. Find food, beer and wine plus rubber ducky races, apples, peaches, barbecue, bluegrass – and even Santa Claus. Read more



Jon & Gina Phillips of J & G Photos

It’s the pretty season in the Southern Appalachians. Read more