Entries by RootsRated

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 […]

Blue Ridge Parkway: our favorite hiking trails near Asheville

Winding, twisting, curving and carving through the landscape, the Blue Ridge Parkway travels some of western North Carolina’s most scenic terrain. This 469-mile, all-American road meanders through Asheville, offering access to some exceptional high-elevation views from the overlooks peppered along its path. But if you’ve only experienced the Parkway for the drive, you’re missing out: […]

Art Loeb Trail – Backpacking/Camping

Intro Art Loeb was a man who “deeply loved these mountains.” If you travel to the highest point on the trail bearing his namesake you will see a weathered plaque commemorating these words. On a clear day, from this high point, you will also see picturesque, long-range Appalachian views in all directions. The 30.1 mile […]

North Carolina waterfalls: our top 10 favorite hikes near Asheville

The rolling, mountainous terrain of western North Carolina near Asheville is simply gorgeous. Tree-covered mountain summits and grassy balds fill the horizon. And deep cut river valleys and gorges slice through the landscape, spilling and tumbling and diving in scores of majestic waterfalls. When river meets towering rock, something seemingly magical happens, as water begins […]