Gov. Cooper (NC) signs bill to officially create Pisgah View State Park

Karen Chávez, Asheville Citizen TimesPublished 4:40 p.m. ET July 20, 2019



It’s official. Buncombe County will get its first state park, where residents will get a front-row seat for viewing Mount Pisgah and watching wildlife, hiking ridge lines, and maybe even take in a horseback ride.

On July 19, Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law SB 535, authorizing the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to create Pisgah View State Park, which will be roughly 1,600 acres, sitting mostly in Candler, with a small parcel in Haywood County.

Earlier in the month the governor also signed into law two bills creating the Northern Peaks State Trail in Watauga and Ashe counties, the Wilderness Gateway State Trail in the South Mountains range in McDowell, Rutherford, Burke and Catawba counties, and the Overmountain Victory State Trail reaching across Avery, Mitchell, McDowell, Burke, Rutherford, Polk, Caldwell, Wilkes and Surry counties.

Mount Pisgah can be seen in the distance from Pisgah View Ranch, the site of what is set to become North Carolina's newest state park.

Mount Pisgah can be seen in the distance from Pisgah View Ranch, the site of what is set to become North Carolina’s newest state park. (Photo: Courtesy of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy)

“These new parks and trails will conserve important wildlife habitats and support North Carolina’s flourishing outdoor recreation industry,” Cooper said in a statement.

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Proclamations: June is Great Outdoors Month

More than half of the states have already proclaimed June 2019 Great Outdoors Month!  Since 2008, Governors from across the country have joined the President in proclaiming this month-long celebration of America’s great outdoors.  Click here for images and PDF versions of each proclamation.

Trails Are Life … Arkansas State Parks



“These trails mean life to me, physically and mentally,” hiker Jerry Brown says. We feel the same way. Yes, a lot of thought goes into building and maintaining trails but it’s really about how they breathe life back into you; that is the magic. And that’s our focus at Arkansas State Parks. #ARStateParks


Scenic Train Rides in Each State

The clichéd old adage “it’s not about the destination, but the journey” rings especially true when it comes to train travel.

Easily the best part of traveling by train is looking out the window and staring at the passing landscapes. Whether you’re a tourist exploring a new region or a commuter getting to and from work, you can catch the country’s natural beauty aboard one of the many trains crisscrossing the United States.

From Mount Rushmore to Miami Beach, every state has awe-inspiring landscapes and beautiful landmarks to enjoy by train.

Many of the trains are in or provide very scenic views of state parks and natural areas across the country.

Cass RR SP       MtWash RR

Cass Scenic RR, West Virginia & Mount Washinton Cog RR, New Hampshire

Find the most scenic train ride in your state according to INSIDER here

#escapetheoutdoors…National Public Lands Day…Sept 22

Lightning storm at the Grand Canyon



The 25th Annual National Public Lands Day is happening on September 22, 2018!

Mark September 22 on your calendar and make plans to head to your favorite outdoor spot as NEEF gets set to celebrate the 25th annual National Public Lands Day, nationally sponsored by Toyota Motor North America. No matter what is happening in the world, on National Public Lands Day, outdoor enthusiasts turn out in droves to give back to and enjoy their favorite outdoor places.

Every day, natural disasters and extreme weather, human activities, and a host of other factors take their toll on our public lands, threatening the health and wellbeing of the people and wildlife who depend on them. Public land managers, volunteers, and others who steward these special places work tirelessly to restore these areas, make them more resilient to future threats, and ensure that people and wildlife continue to enjoy them for years to come.

This enduring support and commitment to public lands year after year inspired NEEF to focus National Public Lands Day 2018 on resilience and restoration. Our natural resources are resilient, but only if we treat them right and give them the care they need. Through volunteer service on National Public Lands Day as well as grant support to local organizations, NEEF helps ensure people of all ages and abilities connect with public lands for recreation, hands-on learning, and community-building—now and in the future.


More about NEEF here

ME – Maine’s Katahdin is forever wild

OH – Women in the outdoors

83 learn skills during Ohio Women’s Outdoor Adventure

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    Instructor Cindy Orth teaches a group of women on how to paddle a kayak.

The moment a flame was detected, Heather Franks broke into what she referred to as her “happy dance.” Building a fire with flint and without the use of matches is cause for celebration, especially when the flame rises during a workshop at the Ohio Women’s Outdoor Adventure.

“Before I got there, I couldn’t do that to save my life, but we built a fire,” the 37-year-old from Findlay said. “Me and the gal beside me were pretty happy. We learned a new skill, and we did it in a really fun environment.”

The event took place recently at Maumee Bay State Park, and 83 women of all ages and backgrounds went through sessions on archery, fishing, backpacking, standup paddleboarding, and many other outdoors skills.

“It was all women, and it was so much fun,” Ms. Franks said. “It was a relaxed atmosphere where we could face new challenges and try our luck at a bunch of different outdoor activities.”

Valerie Cox from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the outdoors for women workshops have been very successful and wildly popular. In the three years the program has been in operation, 250 women have taken part. Registration for this year’s program was full in less than 24 hours.

“It’s an opportunity to meet other women with similar interests and then share the experience with them,” Ms. Franks said. “A lot of my friends don’t have the same interest as I do in these outdoors activities, but this brought women who enjoy the outdoors together.”

Jennifer Warnement of Perrysburg got connected with the OWOA event at Maumee Bay through her sister.

“Growing up, we were always doing things outdoors. We loved being around the water and hiking, and we still love those things, so this day of outdoors adventures was ideal for us,” she said. Ms. Warnement, 41, took part in the kayaking, standup paddleboarding, and archery and also learned how to make maple syrup.

“It is just a better learning environment when it is all women, and that is definitely one of the reasons I went,” she said. “When it’s all women, everyone is a little more relaxed and it’s a better situation for bonding, I believe. I was new to the kayaking and paddleboarding, and those turned out to be a lot of fun.”

Ms. Warnement said she had not picked up a bow since attending 4-H camp as a kid, but she shot both a compound bow and a crossbow in the archery workshop. While she does not expect to shoot much on her own, she has been kayaking a couple of times since the event, testing her recently acquired skills.

“The instructors were all awesome — very patient and very thorough with us — and I think that makes it much easier to pick up something new,” she said. “There is a lot to learn, but I loved it. If I go again, I want to try the power boat course and the personal watercraft (jet ski) sessions.”

Ms. Franks said the sailing and paddleboarding workshops introduced her to outdoors skills that she might previously had been hesitant to pick up.

“I’ve had this weird fear of water all my life, and to actually get out there and do those things was awesome,” she said. “I told my husband I want a Hobie Cat (sailboat) and a paddleboard for Christmas. But he said I’ll have to pick just one of those.”