Entries by RootsRated

7 Short Hikes with Spectacular Views in Western Carolina

If it seems too good to be true, than it probably is. These are wise words to live by, yet we’ve discovered the rare exception to this rule. Here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western Carolina, if you know where to look, you can find wild, rolling meadows, exposed peaks of bare rock, and views of heart-melting beauty—and […]

4 Frozen Waterfalls To Explore in Western Carolina this Winter

While subzero temperatures and dwindling daylight can really put a damper on our motivation to hit the trail, the Blue Ridge Mountains are never quite as dramatic and ethereal as they are in the depths of winter. Familiar trails are transformed as bare trees unlock long-range views, the balds sparkle under a thick feathering of frost, and […]

11 Tips for Winter Camping

If you typically put away your camping gear during the winter and leave it stowed until spring, you’re missing out on some great days in the outdoors. During the winter, the bare trees reveal mountain views you just can’t get in the warmer months, and the cold conditions drive off the masses, providing a greater […]

Start a New Tradition with a Campfire Holiday Feast

We can all agree that tradition is one of the best parts of the holiday season. Sharing a tradition builds family bonds and provides the comfort of familiarity, but after a while the years can start to blur together until no one can remember what year Uncle Johnny lit the neighbor's yard on fire deep […]

7 Tips for Winter Hammock Camping

With the right strategy, hammock campers can sleep comfortably during cold winter nights. They call it "cold butt syndrome." When you sleep in a hammock, the parts of your body that press against the fabric get cold because they’re more susceptible to the wind. If you camp in a hammock in winter, you need to […]

The 10 Best Reasons to Wake Before Dawn in Western Carolina

Dawn patrol is the practice of heading out before sunrise and beginning the day with a paddle, run, ski, hike, or whatever form of outdoor adventure you most crave. Crawling out of bed into the cold and making your way to the trailhead in darkness requires deep motivation, commitment and prior planning—but the payoff is enormous. […]

4 Great Festivals to Celebrate the Autumn Around Asheville

Summer is coming to an end in the mountains of Western North Carolina. What this means for Asheville residents, aside from the explosion of color and the introduction of cozy favorites like wool sweaters, corduroy pants, warm apple cider, and pumpkin-spiced treats, is a long, healthy list of fall festivities. There's nothing quite like fall […]

Looking Glass Rock – Climbing

Intro Looking Glass! We have to talk about Looking Glass! It’s located in the Davidson River area of the Pisgah National Forest and is one of the premier, if not the premier, multi-pitch traditional multi-route destinations in the south. It’s a huge, exposed granite dome with many many routes of multiple pitch lengths. What Makes […]

6 Reasons to Be Thankful You Live in Western Carolina

Although it feels as if just yesterday we were jumping into swimming holes and running through green mountain trails, somehow the trees are bare, the earth is hard with frost, and the holidays are again upon us. With this time of year comes the ubiquitous reminders to celebrate the season and be thankful. And although our gratitude […]

3 Amazing Weekend Backpacking Loops in the Smokies

Across Great Smoky Mountains National Park, miles of interconnected trails meander through lush, green valleys, hug the banks of moss-laden, rocky creeks, and climb through thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron to the blue-tinged mountain peaks. You could spend weeks backpacking through this rich landscape, but a weekend trip will also allow you to experience […]