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Trailblazer Blog

Announcing… the Appalachian High Route

Announcing… the Appalachian High Route

If you follow me on social media, you know that for the past few years, I’ve been infatuated with wildflowers. I’ve sought them out in the Smokies, journaled about them, and posted on my “Wild Flower Wednesdays.” I’ve received tips from friends for nooks and crannies...

Hiking the Appalachian High Route

Hiking the Appalachian High Route

The Appalachian High Route is a ~ 330-mile loop that combines the Appalachian Trail, Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and Black Mountain Trail using the newly established "Burnsville Connector" as a connector. The route also provides access to nearly all the 6000+ peaks in the...

Sustainability Update: Vehicles

It turns out that diving into a Sustainability Initiative is a lot like trying to backpack a long-distance trail. You start out thinking it’s going to go one way, and quickly it looks and feels totally different than the Instagram images of what you thought it would...

Just… Keep… Going (and try to help others)

Not many people get to turn their dream career into a reality, but I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity. In 2008, I started Blue Ridge Hiking Company and have spent the last 15 years introducing people to the wonders of the natural world through writing,...

Keeping a Nature Journal

For me, it started with jealousy and ended with the knowledge of plant and animal species. I have long been interested in learning the names as well as the medicinal and edible uses of plants, wildflowers, and mushrooms. I have struggled to identify specific types of...

A NEW New Year’s Resolution

Make any New Year Resolutions? It’s not too late. But this year, instead of joining a gym or starting a diet, what if your New Year resolution was to do something good for the environment? It can feel overwhelming to think about global environmental issues, especially...

Slowing Down in Order to Keep Going

Slowing Down in Order to Keep Going Take it from someone who has hiked really, really, long trails relatively “fast”… when you are on an arduous journey that lasts for days, or weeks, or months at a time, you are never really going fast. The key to endurance is to...

Camping with Strangers- Mammoth Cave NPS Campout

Camping with Strangers- Mammoth Cave NPS Campout

It had been a long day- six hours in the car, a lengthy cave tour, a couple of miles of “above ground” hiking, and setting up our campsite- before I finally managed to get the kids settled in their tent. You’d have thought they’d be exhausted. But instead, they were...

Pinhoti Trail Recap

What to do when the Trail isn't that Strenuous It’s been a few weeks since I finished hiking the 170-mile Pinhoti Trail in Alabama and I am still reveling in the memories of warm sun on my cheeks, wildflowers such as iris, trillium, and bluets lining the trail, and...