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Outside Excursions Article List

  • Outdoor Excursions: Bad Creek Trail

    Outdoor Excursions: Bad Creek Trail

    There are no shortages for places to hike here in Jackson County and in the surrounding areas. The winter months are a great time to see beloved hikes in a new light.  A favorite of this reporter’s is the Bad Creek Trail that leads to Ellicot and Commissioners’ Rock.

  • Going for a Hike: Why not Tennessee?

    Going for a Hike: Why not Tennessee?

    Western North Carolina is home to many hiking trails, some apparent, and others hidden away. Hiking the same trails many times may become boring. However, visiting the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, just outside of Cherokee, is a great place to find new trails that offer a variety of features without being too difficult to traverse.

  • Mountain motorcycle routes offer two-wheeled joy

    Mountain motorcycle routes offer two-wheeled joy

    For two-wheeled adventurers, Western North Carolina is a diamond in the rough. From the famed switchbacks of the Tail of the Dragon on U.S. 129 to the scenic curves of the Cherohala Skyway, the Smoky Mountains offer a number of gorgeous and exhilarating motorcycle routes to explore on two wheels.

  • Base Camp Cullowhee hosts week-long excursions this Fall Break

    Base Camp Cullowhee gives Western Carolina University students two choices of wild week-long adventures this Fall Break. Andrew Blease, Base Camp Cullowhee’s adventure guide, talked about the trips Base Camp Cullowhee is offering. “We’re [Base Camp Cullowhee] going to the Outer Banks and Red River Gorge located in Kentucky,” reported Blease.

  • Graveyard Fields: The best of all worlds

    Graveyard Fields: The best of all worlds

    Graveyard Fields is a land lost in time. The trail takes hikers through mountains, fields and waterfalls for the best of all worlds. Those looking for an easy to moderate hike will be pleasantly surprised by all Graveyard Fields has to offer. Graveyard Fields is located off of the Blue Ridge Parkway, headed toward Asheville.

  • Pinnacle Park boasts breathtaking views and strenuous climbs

    Pinnacle Park boasts breathtaking views and strenuous climbs

    Pinnacle Park is a well-maintained 1,100-acre area in Sylva where several miles of hiking trails can be found.  By taking a left past the McDonald’s onto Skyland Drive, drivers are on their way to the trailhead. After a few miles, turn left onto Fischer Creek, which dead ends at the parking lot of Pinnacle Park.

  • Grandfather Mountain

    Take in breathtaking views at Grandfather Mountain in Linville

    I look out at the scenery before me. I'm 5,946 feet up and I see history sleeping below me. Where can I go to see breathtaking views, history, fame, rarity and adventure? I didn't go to New York City, Rome, Paris, or Greece. I went to Grandfather Mountain in Linville, N.C., about three hours from Western Carolina University.

  • A Hiker’s Profile:  The road behind Forest Hills Apartments

    A Hiker’s Profile: The road behind Forest Hills Apartments

    One of the things I love the most about Western Carolina University is that there are almost endless opportunities for outdoor fun. Whether your favorite outdoor activity is hiking, backcountry camping, swimming, kayaking, or even rock climbing, there are dozens of places you could go within 45 minutes of Cullowhee.

  • Whitewater Falls

    Take a Trip to Whitewater Falls

    Whitewater Falls, a few miles outside of Cashiers, North Carolina, offers the biggest waterfall east of the Mississippi River. The waterfall, at 411 feet tall, taller than Niagara Falls, is comparable to many beautiful waterfalls throughout the world.

  • Nantahala River Rafting

    A Day on the Nantahala River

    If you take Highway 74 and drive for twenty five minutes or so, you'll get to one of the most popular white water rafting/kayaking locations in the country—The Nantahala River. The Nantahala River gets over 250,000 people annually who have fun paddling through its eight mile stretch of class II and class III rapids.

  • Franklin Gem Mine

    Discover Precious Stones by Visiting Franklin’s Gem Mine

    One of the driving forces in the settlement of this country was the pursuit of wealth. Settlers pushed ever deeper into the unknown wilderness, as rumors of gold and other precious minerals reached civilized lands. Today, gem mining in areas like Franklin offers the public a chance to experience the search that drove their ancestors, as well as the slight possibility of striking it rich.