EIA: Coal Continues To Lose Market Share To Natural Gas FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享The Washington Post:Just a day after federal regulators nixed a major Trump administration proposal to shore up the struggling coal industry, the nation’s top energy forecaster predicted continuing, slow declines in U.S. coal production and in the burning of coal for electricity in 2018 and 2019, thanks to cheap natural gas and coal plant retirements.The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s monthly short-term energy outlook, the first to include predictions for 2019, projected that coal production will decline from 773 million short tons last year to 759 million in 2018 and 741 million in 2019. The burning of coal for electricity — its chief use in the United States — also will decline steadily.By 2019, the report forecasts, natural gas will provide 34 percent of U.S. electricity and coal 28 percent — leaving gas as the top fuel for U.S. electricity generation, a role held by coal as recently as 2015. In 2003, coal provided 51 percent of U.S. electricity and natural gas just 17 percent, which gives some sense of the magnitude and the rapidity of the change.The report offers the latest evidence that while the Trump administration’s focus on energy production may advantage some fossil fuels — the report also predicts a record U.S. crude oil production of 10.3 million barrels a day in 2018, followed by 10.8 million in 2019 — it’s proving more difficult to change the trajectory for coal. That’s because it’s a carbon-intensive fuel that faces not only adverse policies but also market forces, such as the booming production of natural gas thanks to fracking.“I think what the administration is not realizing is it’s not really regulation that’s killing coal; it’s cheap natural gas,” said Christopher R. Knittel, a professor of applied economics at MIT, in response to the EIA findings. He said studies have shown that as much as 70 percent or 80 percent of the decline in coal is the result of competition from cheaply priced natural gas.Tyler Hodge, a member of the electricity analysis team for the EIA, echoed Knittel on Tuesday. The decline of coal is “primarily driven by the sustained low price of natural gas,” he said during a call with reporters. The price of natural gas for electricity deliveries is projected to fall 2 percent in 2018, Hodge said, while the price of coal for electricity delivery should actually rise a bit. At the same time, the power industry is continuing to build more natural gas plants and retire more coal plants.More ($): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2018/01/09/its-the-same-story-under-trump-as-under-obama-coal-is-losing-out-to-natural-gas/?utm_term=.52a7565f3791
Wood Mackenzie: Wind developers ordered record 31GW of turbines in 2nd quarter of 2019 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:For a market that’s increasingly described as mature, the global wind industry still knows how to put up startlingly big numbers.Wind developers placed orders for 31 gigawatts of turbines during the second quarter, the highest volume on record, and 79 gigawatts over the past 12 months, according to Wood Mackenzie’s quarterly analysis of the turbine market. The order surge comes as developers race to beat subsidy deadlines in the world’s two largest wind markets, China and the U.S.Developers typically order turbines a year or so before building a project, to take advantage of the latest technology. The biggest year for wind construction so far was 2015, when around 64 gigawatts of new capacity came online around the world.As is usually the case, China played the central role in the record-smashing quarter, with developers there ordering up 17 gigawatts of turbines, including more than 3 gigawatts destined for offshore projects.Denmark’s Vestas, the world’s largest turbine supplier, rode the wave of Q2 demand to capture the largest quarterly order intake for any wind manufacturer in history, at 5.7 gigawatts.WoodMac expects the global wind market to climb to new heights over the next few years, pushing past 70 gigawatts of annual installations in 2020 amid record construction in key markets like the U.S.More: Wind developers ordered more turbines in Q2 than ever before
Fed survey finds most oil and gas executives think U.S. oil production has peaked FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Reuters:Nearly two-thirds of U.S. energy company executives polled by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas believe U.S. crude oil production has peaked, according to a survey released on Wednesday.The COVID-19 pandemic has knocked global oil demand and prices, prompting deep cuts in drilling this year by shale oil producers. The United States last [year] pumped 12.2 million barrels per day, taking top spot in global crude oil output.Survey results said 66% of 154 oil and gas firm executives contacted by the Dallas Fed this month believe U.S. crude oil production has peaked. The survey includes executives from Texas, Louisiana and New Mexico.Global demand destruction during the COVID-19 pandemic, work from home policies and the continued growth of electric vehicles has energy companies looking to a prolonged downturn in crude oil and fuel consumption.Earlier this year, BP Plc said the pandemic would reduce demand by 3 million barrels per day (bpd) through 2025 and forecast a peak in demand between 2019 and 2050, according to the company’s energy outlook.Executives surveyed, on average, expect the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil to be $43.27 a barrel by the end of 2020. On Wednesday, WTI was up 36 cents at $40.16 a barrel.[Erwin Seba]More: Energy executives say U.S. oil production has peaked: Dallas Fed survey
East coast outdoor enthusiasts often suffer from an inferiority complex. We sometimes assume that our 6,000-foot humps don’t compare to the massive, majestic 14,000-footers out West. Like typical males, we think that size is all that matters.But Appalachian adventure can be just as intense as those Rocky Mountain Highs. Greg Melville makes a compelling case for our beloved Blue Ridge in the July issue; you can read it here.Most convincing to me is the accessibility of Appalachia. We can cram more mountain adventure into our everyday lives. We don’t have to drive for hours to get to our adventure; we can reach our Blue Ridge backyard quickly, spending less time behind the wheel and more time immersed in the outdoors.And while we don’t have snow-capped summits and mountaineering, we do have a helluva lot more wildlife and biodiversity in our lush, forested mountains. Our trails are teeming with life. We get a richer, deeper experience every time we step foot on the trail.The best proof is in the people who experience the mountains. Our Eastern outdoor communities are as tough, talented, and diverse as our wildlife.If you’re still feeling size-conscious, get over it and get out there. Find out for yourself why Appalachia is tops among mountains. Most important is not whose mountains are best, but that the mountains bring out the best in you.
This winter, make your first tracks in Tucker County, West Virginia!Grand Prize Winner:-Two-night stay for two at Timberline Four Seasons Resort in Tucker County-Two-day ski lift tickets with choice of equipment rental (ski or board) for two people. (Valid midweek or weekend, non-holidays during the 2012-2013 ski season)First Prize Winner:-$50 gift certificate from The Ski BarnThis giveaway is now closed, but please enter week 3 of our Snowbound Giveaway!Rules and Regulations: Package must be redeemed within 1 year of winning date. Entries must be received by mail or through the www.blueridgeoutdoors.com contest sign-up page by 12:00 Midnight EST on December 15th, 2012. One entry per person. One winner per household. Sweepstakes open only to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 years of age or older. Void wherever prohibited by law. Families and employees of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors are not eligible. No liability is assumed for lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, non-delivered or misdirected mail, or misdirected e-mail, garbled, mistranscribed, faulty or incomplete telephone transmissions, for technical hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connection, or failed, incomplete or delayed computer transmission or any human error which may occur in the receipt of processing of the entries in this Sweepstakes. By entering the sweepstakes, entrants agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine, The Ski Barn, Timberline, West Virginia Tourism Co-op, and Ski The Valley reserve the right to contact entrants multiple times with special information and offers. Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine reserves the right, at their sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes. Winners agree that Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and participating sponsors, their subsidiaries, affiliates, agents and promotion agencies shall not be liable for injuries or losses of any kind resulting from acceptance of or use of prizes. No substitutions or redemption of cash, or transfer of prize permitted. Any taxes associated with winning any of the prizes detailed below will be paid by the winner. Winners agree to allow sponsors to use their name and pictures for purposes of promotion. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value. All Federal, State and local laws and regulations apply. Selection of winner will be chosen at random at the Blue Ridge Outdoors office on or before January 1st, 6:00 PM EST 2013. Winners will be contacted by the information they provided in the contest sign-up field and have 7 days to claim their prize before another winner will be picked. Odds of winning will be determined by the total number of eligible entries received.About Sweepstakes
Our April 2014 issue highlights the best of the Appalachian Trail—the classic 2,180-mile footpath spanning our Blue Ridge backyard. Our intrepid Travel Editor Jess Daddio talks with members of the A.T. community who share how they came to be a part of the white blaze community as well as their favorite trail sections. Also on the subject of the A.T. is the backstory behind the only roof over the A.T. at Mountain Crossings in Georgia.On the water, gonzo kayaker Chris Gragtmans faces his fears, the kayak polo epidemic spreads across the South, Jay Alley and his non-profit Canoeing For Kids put over 20,000 disadvantaged kids on the water in 20 years, and Charli Kerns offers tips for female paddlers.Two biking stories—for foodie cyclists and rookie riders—will get your wheels spinning, Perhaps most important of all is our feature on the future of national forests. Now more than ever, we need to protect the places where we play. And if you’ve ever heard of Gitmo, have you ever heard about it through the eyes of a marathoning attorney representing a detainee?Our second annual outdoor dog photo contest is also running now, so be sure to share your best shot of your best friend with us.But enough talk…take your own digital spin around our latest issue and let us know what you think here or on Facebook.DEPARTMENTSEditor’s Note: Getting ThereDebate: Should you shave your body hair for better athletic performance?Cycle. Eat. Repeat.Jay Alley: A Man on a MissionKayak Polo EpidemicFreshie Fun: Trail-tested bike gear for springTrail Mix: Indie rock trio Eternal Summers shines beyond Star CityFEATURESFear: Facing the Whitewater Grand PrixGuardians of the White BlazeThe Only Roof Over the A.T.How to be a Female PaddlerCycling’s Secret HandshakeThe Future of Two National ForestsRunning in Gitmo
We may be in the throes of a chilly winter, but this exciting new footage from top surfer George Greenough is sure to bring your mind to a warmer place and inspire you for all the ocean days to come.Greenough, one of the top surfboard innovators and designers since the ’60’s, has recently released new footage from the making of his 1969 film The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun.In the movie, Greenough becomes the first surfer to showcase a surfer’s point of view from within the wave by strapping a camera to his back during his adventures. The film broke new ground for surfers and videographers alike, and has brought this trailblazer unprecedented fame throughout his surfing career.Now, more than 40 years later, enjoy this never-before-seen clip from Greenough’s original filming process and relive the glory.
There is nothing fresher than springtime in the North Carolina Smokies. As the mountains awake from their winter slumber and eagerly welcome the first blossoms of spring color, you will find the ideal seasonal getaway in the picturesque towns of Waynesville, Maggie Valley, Canton, Clyde, and Lake Junalaska. Fondly referred to as “the other color season”, the area comes alive with the early blossoms of spring like daffodils, dogwoods and cherry blossoms. Warmer days and mild evenings offer the perfect opportunity to enjoy a plethora of outdoor adventure and unique local hotspots amidst the scenic backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains. Whether you’re looking for that special “off the beaten path” hiking excursion or an epicurean adventure, the North Carolina Smokies are serving up the freshest springtime experiences around.Haywood County is home to rich agricultural offerings, with over 700 farms encompassing more than 56,000 acres – from sprawling picturesque farms to family-owned and operated homesteads. With that comes endless agritourism opportunities spread across Haywood County’s five towns and rural communities. To experience Haywood County’s unique agripreneurial offerings, grab a copy of Buy Haywood’s “Find Your Adventure!” Agritourism Guide. Haywood County offers year-round opportunities to explore the many agritourism adventures available in our area, like historic Farmer & Tailgate Markets, award winning “Farm to Table” restaurants, specialty retail Shops, heritage festivals, U-Pick farms, and more!Come celebrate it in Waynesville visiting the town’s FOUR craft microbreweries: BearWaters Brewing Company, Boojum Brewing, Frog Level Brewing, and Tipping Point Brewery. All located within a short radius of each other, you can conveniently enjoy their one-of-a-kind brews while experiencing the charm and beauty of downtown Waynesville. Each brewery will celebrate North Carolina Beer Month in their own special way so make time to visit each one. There are also a number of other establishments boasting the area’s local brews, like Mad Anthony Wayne’s Bottle Shop, Sunburst Market, The Classic Wine Seller, and The Strand at 38 Main, just to name a few. Cheers!With several trails offering easy year round access, Haywood County is a basecamp for fantastic spring hiking. Purchase Knob, located in northwestern Haywood County along the border of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, offers butterfly and wildflower abundance, native wildlife, historical significance, and amazing panoramas. The Sam’s Summit Loop Trail, located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway on Hwy 215 is another hiking gem with year round access. This trail weaves you through several ecological systems and boasts incredible sights of the Shining Rock Wilderness Area. Both of these trails have been spotlighted by certified Blue Ridge Naturalist, Ken Czarnomski. His passion for hiking, mapping, and drawing brought to life a unique hand illustrated guides for both Purchase Knob and Sam’s Summit. The free guides are available exclusively in Haywood County through the Haywood TDA. There are a number of other great hiking areas to explore from Cataloochee Valley and the Blue Ridge Parkway to a scenic stroll through the majestic gardens of Lake Junaluska. For more suggestions, visit www.visitncsmokies.com.
Virginia State Route 80 is paved and winding. From the old timber town of Haysi, Va., the road makes a wide birth around the Russell Fork River, rolling along the Cumberland Mountains until it reaches the Virginia-Kentucky border where it makes a hard right to parallel the river into Elkhorn City, Ky.A scattering of houses face the road, tucked into their respective hollers. Washed-out dirt roads diverge from the pavement and disappear into the forest, leading to old logging sites and mountaintop removal mines. Locals congregate in the gravel parking lot of the Laurel Shop. There’s always a distant rumbling—in some bends of the road, it’s the river you hear, in others, the methodical churning of the Kingsport Subdivision rail line.This is coal country.It’s also home to one of the most overlooked recreation destinations in the Southeast—Breaks Interstate Park, one of only two interstate parks in the country. Established in 1954, commissioners from both Kentucky and Virginia oversee management of the park, which, combined with its funding, is what separates this interstate park from typical state park designations. A major tributary of the Big Sandy, the Russell Fork forms the Breaks’ westernmost border with more than 4,600 acres of rugged terrain sprawling northeasterly in elevations ranging from 920 feet at the river’s edge to 1,978 feet at the Clinchfield Overlook.Kayakers know and love this diamond-in-the-rough. Where the upper stretches of the Russell Fork and the Pound River are relatively mild in nature (class II-III+), it’s the steep class V rapids of the Russell Fork Gorge that have garnered respect and admiration from the international paddling community since the early ‘90s.Here, the river plunges up to 190 feet per mile, snaking through boulder gardens and enshrining paddlers in a 1,650-foot vertical canyon. The Lord of the Fork, an annual downriver race through the heart of the gorge, takes place on the last Saturday of the release season. The likes of professional paddlers such as Pat Keller, Adriene Levknecht, Dane Jackson, and Chris Gragtmans regularly compete in the Lord of the Fork, and spectators and racers alike choke the campgrounds every October.But this year, paddlers may have a little less elbow room at the Breaks, thanks to a recent sanction that allows a new means of recreating within park limits—rock climbing.“[The park] has the potential to have 1,000 routes,” says Kylie Schmidt, 26, of Pikeville, Ky. “It’s like the new New.”Schmidt, who grew up hiking in the Breaks with her family, played an instrumental role in opening the dialogue between climbers and the park back in 2014. A longtime area climber, Schmidt and her University of Kentucky peers mostly frequented the Red River Gorge, an internationally renowned climbing destination just over an hour’s drive from campus. One weekend in 2012, Schmidt convinced her friends to make the trip to her hometown stomping grounds. The park amazed the crew, greeting them with quiet crags, untouched routes, stunning vistas…and a visit from Breaks Superintendent Austin Bradley.“That was my first interaction with him,” Schmidt admits, almost sheepishly.But Bradley didn’t write them up. There was no fine for breaking the rules and hardly a slap on the wrist. That’s because Bradley knew Schmidt and her posse of college friends weren’t the first, and certainly wouldn’t be the last, climbers in the park.“The Civil Air Patrol and some of the local college programs and rescue-and-response agencies were allowed to climb and rappel and do different things in the past,” says Bradley, “but it also wasn’t well posted that climbing wasn’t allowed, so some people just came and climbed just not knowing that, technically, it wasn’t a sanctioned activity.”“In hindsight, I should have gotten serious about pushing for getting climbing established legitimately, but I was so new to climbing, I didn’t understand how great of a resource the Breaks was,” says Schmidt.Two years after Schmidt’s encounter with Bradley, an article in the University of Kentucky campus newspaper announced that the Elkhorn City Heritage Council was seeking opportunities to expand outdoor tourism in the hopes of revitalizing the area’s dwindling economy. For Schmidt, it was the moment the lightbulb finally began to flicker. Could climbing help save coal country?“We’ve seen that happen in the Red River Gorge in Kentucky, we’ve seen that in the Obed in Tennessee, and the New River Gorge in West Virginia, and I think we’ll see it at the Breaks as well in coming years,” says Zachary Lesch-Huie, Southeast Regional Director for the Access Fund. “The Breaks is a great example of how opening climbing access isn’t just about a win for climbers—it’s a benefit to the communities as well.”After learning the park was in the midst of a 30-year master planning process, Schmidt became determined to make climbing a part of the park’s future. She enlisted the help of Lesch-Huie and Brad Mathisen with the Southwest Virginia Climbers Coalition. The team didn’t need to look far for proof of climbing’s positive impact.Just this year, Eastern Kentucky University released a study showing that climbers alone spend an estimated $3.6 million per year in the regional economy surrounding the Red River Gorge, $2.7 million of which goes directly to local small businesses and supports 39 full-time jobs in an area with high poverty rates.“The coalfield counties of southwest Virginia and eastern Kentucky are in a kinda enormous economic transition right now,” says Bradley. “That was one of my goals in pursuing opening climbing in this area. I think we have a really significant resource and I think people will come to utilize it and that really fits into the broader scheme of what’s going on in this area in trying to, instead of extracting our resources, utilize what we have left to attract tourism.”“I could see Elkhorn City becoming like a mini Asheville,” says Schmidt. “It has phenomenal opportunities for whitewater rafting, fly fishing, mountain biking, and climbing.”With five miles of quality sandstone clifflines that rival the rock found in the New River Gorge and Obed Wild and Scenic River, the park is long overdue in recognizing the opportunities. What’s more, the infrastructure and amenities are, largely, already in place. The roads are all paved in the Breaks. There’s a visitor’s center, a lodge, a restaurant, and a campground. The park has plenty of trail markings, parking lots, and maps. The 25-mile multiuse trail system in the Breaks practically takes climbers to the base of the climbing areas with minimal bushwhacking involved.Since the sanction went public on May 1, 2016, the Breaks’ five open climbing areas already have 21 sport routes and 37 traditional routes established. Despite concerns about impacts to the park’s resident peregrine falcon population, which has successfully recovered since the DDT scare of the ‘70s, Bradley is confident that climbers will be respectful of the sensitive natural and historical aspects of the park. He is hopeful that more areas at the Breaks, like the iconic Towers formation, will be open to climbing in the coming years.Climbing at the Breaks is on a permit basis only, though the permit is free and easy to acquire at the visitor’s center. Rules and regulations on bolting and route development in the park are available at mountainproject.com.Untapped ClimbingTired of your busy backyard crag? Craving a quiet wall sans gym rats? Look no further. We’ve consulted a handful of the region’s top rock aficionados to bring you a list of off-the-beaten-path climbing destinations. Sure, you might end up off-route, totally lost, and benighted. But that’s when the adventure really begins.Guest River GorgeVirginiaSituated in the westernmost corner of southern Virginia, the Guest River Gorge is like an undeveloped New River Gorge. Sandstone clifflines jut upwards of 100 feet tall and are easily accessible by way of the Guest River Trail (and a few minutes of bushwhacking). If rope climbing’s not your thing, the river bank is littered with quality boulders that have more potential than there are climbers to project them.NEAREST CITY: Norton, Va.Approach: Easy hiking on a reclaimed railroad bedStyle: Sport, bouldering, some tradRecommended Route: Power and the Glory, 5.10bBeta: mountainproject.comSeason: Spring, fall, winterWord from the Wise: “Access here is allowed, but tenuous. Land management here is okay with climbing but not with continued development of new climbs.” —per Access FundOld Rag MountainVirginiaA classic among hikers, Virginia’s Old Rag Mountain also offers stellar splitter, corner, and face climbing for those willing to go the extra mile. It’s like a mini Yosemite, packed into a single pitch.NEAREST CITY: Sperryville, Va.Approach: The car-to-summit distance is 2.8 miles with a vertical gain of about 1,760 feet. Typical hiking time to the summit is 1 to 1.25 hours.Style: Trad and some sportRecommended Route: Strawberry Fields, 5.9+Beta: Rock Climbing: Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland (A Falcon Guide by Eric Horst)SEASON: Fall, late winter, early springWord from the Wise: “Old Rag is a remote and fairly serious climbing area with a long, rugged approach. Bring a headlamp and twice the water you think you’ll need!”—Eric Horst, Guidebook AuthorBozooWest VirginiaIf you’re looking for a place to take beginners without the pressures of a crowded crag, this is the spot. Top rope setup is easy to come by at Bozoo and with endless moderate bouldering, riverside camping, and south facing cliff bands, this overlooked climbing area is enjoyable practically any time of the year.NEAREST CITY: Bozoo, Va.Approach: Short five-minute hike uphill to the first climbing zone, Iceberg AreaStyle: Trad, mixed, and some sportRecommended Route: Homer, 5.11bBeta: Rock Climbing: Virginia, West Virginia, and Maryland (A Falcon Guide by Eric Horst)Season: Year-round climbing is possible, although spring and fall are best.Word from the Wise: “The crags are located on the edge of Bluestone Lake State Park, and portions of the rock may lie on private property. At present there are no restrictions.”—Eric Horst, Guidebook AuthorLaurel KnobNorth CarolinaThis big, bad, 1,200-foot granite dome is arguably the tallest exposed cliff face in the East.NEAREST CITY: Cashiers, N.C.Approach: Start early. It’s about a two-hour hike in featuring a 600-foot descent down countless switchbacks.Style: Trad, multi-pitchRecommended Route: Have and Not Lead to Fathom Direct, 5.10+ R, eight pitchesBeta: mountainproject.comSeason: Spring, late summer, fallWord from the Wise: “This is the best slab rock I’ve climbed anywhere in the world, from Yosemite to Chamonix. It’s slab climbing, but it climbs more like a technical face with moves well above pieces of gear with big time fall potential.” —Karsten Delap, Professional Rock Climbing Guide, Fox Mountain GuidesBig South Fork National River and Recreation AreaTennesseeBig South Fork is a 125,000-acre frontier with sandstone cliffs here reaching heights in excess of 200 feet. Many areas here also feature large tiered roofs, which means you can climb even in the midst of a Southeast maelstrom.NEAREST CITY: Oneida, Tenn.Approach: Bushwhacking, river crossings, unmarked trails, you name the genre of adversity, and Big South Fork’s got it.Style: Mostly trad, some sport, some multi-pitchRecommended Route: Vertigo, 5.10 A2Beta: mountainproject.comSeason: Spring, fall, winterWord from the Wise: “Many of the harder routes at developed areas have seen only a handful of ascents, often fewer than that, and as a result, loose rock can be a hazard especially on ledges. It would be a complete crapshoot to climb at BSF without a helmet. The biggest hazard to the BSF explorer is venomous snakes—the sheer number of rattlesnakes rivals the number of unclimbed routes.”—Scott Perkins, Professional Rock Climbing Guide, Alpine LeadershipEast Slate RockNorth CarolinaThis 300-foot granite face is situated in Pisgah National Forest, and as of four years ago, it was vertical terra incognito.NEAREST CITY: Mills River, N.C.Approach: It’s a 40-minute hike in from the easternmost Pilot Cove/Slate Rock Loop trailhead.Style: Trad, ice in winterRecommended Route: Slate Night Booty, 5.9Beta: Rumbling Bald Rock Climbs (grounduppublishing.com) outlines the majority of East Slate’s routes.Season: Spring, fall, winter (for ice)Word from the Wise: “East Slate contains some of the best face climbing and edging around, but you’ll find cracks and corners as well. Several routes are an even mix of Rumbling Bald-style edges and flakes, mixed with water grooves reminiscent of Laurel Knob. It’s a diverse mini crag that’s way off the beaten track.” —Mike Reardon, Guidebook Author and Owner of Ground Up PublishingLaurel-Snow State Natural AreaTennesseeThe 2,000-acre Laurel-Snow has waterfalls, shaded coves, cool mountain springs, and stunning views. It’s popular for its bouldering as well as its killer sport and trad climbing.NEAREST CITY: Dayton, Tenn.Approach: Hike for an hour past the bouldering area on relatively flat ground until you reach the ridgeline. Follow signs for Laurel-Snow, which will take you uphill and past more giant boulders and through numerous switchbacks. It’s relatively well-marked and obvious.Style: Sport, tradRecommended Route: Darwinism, 5.10dBeta: Very little – mountainproject.comSeason: Spring, summer, fallWord from the Wise: “People don’t really go there, but it’s really beautiful and secluded with tons of waterfalls. Its sister area, which is across the valley, is called Buzzard Point. It’s received less traffic over the years because of access issues, but it’s still an open crag and it’s huge. People just don’t go there because the hike has become really long to get to it.” —Andrew Kornylak, Adventure Photographer and VideographerLittle River Canyon National PreserveAlabamaIt’s big, it’s wild, and as any visitor to this 14,000-acre ribbon of protected land will quickly discover, it’s steep. Civil War deserters and outlaws often sought shelter here, finding quiet pocketswithin the canyon’s overhanging walls that were hard to reach.NEAREST CITY: Fort Payne, Ala.Approach: The access roads sit above the cliffs, which means you’ll need to scramble or rappel your way to the base of the wall before beginning your climb.Style: SportRecommended Route: Anything on Lizard Wall. Its slightly overhanging routes stay dry when everything else is wet.Beta: Dixie Cragger’s Atlas: Climber’s Guide to Alabama and GeorgiaSeason: Any but summerWord from the Wise: “The majority of the climbs there are 5.11 or harder. Friends of mine have broken arms and legs on those approaches. It’s the kind of approach where you don’t want to bring your dog or small kid.” —Andrew Kornylak, Adventure photographer and videographerTallulah Gorge State ParkGeorgiaQuartzite, exposure, and scenery abound in this southeastern gem. With the Tallulah River running through it, and camping and hiking available in the park, a trip here can easily span a week without ever scratching the surface of all the gorge has to offer. The park issues a maximum of 20 climbing permits per day, but this limit is hardly ever maxed.NEAREST CITY: Lakemont, Ga., or Long Creek, S.C.Approach: Short scramble or 4th class downclimbStyle: Trad, multi-pitch, some mixed aidRecommended Route: Punk Wave, 5.10a, three pitchesBeta: mountainproject.comSeason: Late fall, early springWord from the Wise: Go during the week. The park closes access to climbing when there are recreational releases on the Tallulah.
It’s no secret that Jackson County is home to some of the best trout fishing this side of the Mississippi River, but did you know that this Western North Carolina county is also the birth place of the country’s first and only fly fishing trail?That trail was established back in 2009 with the help of county officials and longtime local anglers. Alex Bell, who guides on the Tuckaseegee River and other Jackson County waterways, was one of several local fisherman instrumental in developing all fifteen points along the trail.“It just sort of evolved,” Bell said of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail. “We all sat around, got the maps out, showed places that we’d fished and been successful and came up with the fifteen spots that are currently on the map.”These brain storming sessions by Bell and other local anglers have resulted in a rare cache of insider info that’s been aggregated, mapped, and is now available, free of charge, to anyone with an interest and a desire to fish Jackson County’s plethora of top-notch trout streams.I had the opportunity to fish with Alex on the Tuckaseegee River last November, and the trip did not disappoint. I highly recommend his services if you’re ever looking for friendly, knowledgable guide in the area.Check out the details on all 15 fly fishing hot spots below, visit flyfishingtrail.com to download your own copy of the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail map, and start ticking these prime stretches of trout water off your to-do list this weekend!1). Scott CreekThe Stretch: roughly 10 miles from the headwaters near Balsam, NC down to Sylva, NCAccess Point(s): Parking and access available via several pull-off areas along U.S. 23/74Type of Water: Hatchery SupportedAvailable Fish: Brown, RainbowNumbers or Size: NumbersNoteworthy: Stretch also includes North Fork Scott Creek and Buff Creek, which are very scenic2). Small StreamsMoses Creek, Mull Creek, Rough Butt Creek, Chastine Creek, Piney Mountain CreekThe Stretch: Collection of small streams in eastern Jackson County, below Blue Ridge ParkwayAccess Point(s): Via Moses Creek Rd (SR 1740) & Caney Fork Rd (SR 1737), avoid posted landType of Water: Wild TroutAvailable Fish: Brook, RainbowNumbers or Size: NumbersNoteworthy: Mountainous terrain, includes several large waterfallsClick this graphic for a downloadable version of the WNC Fly Fishing Trail map.3). Caney ForkThe Stretch: Roughly 10 miles from East Laporte Park to headwaters at fork of Mull Creek and Piney Mountain CreekAccess Point(s): Access via Caney Fork Road (SR 1737), avoid posted landType of Water: UndesignatedAvailable Fish: Rainbow, Brown, occasional BrookNumbers or Size: NumbersNoteworthy: Respect private land owners4). Tanasee CreekThe Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles from Tanasee Creek bridge up to headwatersAccess Point(s): Parking and access available at bridge on Tanasee Creek Road (SR 1762)Type of Water: Wild TroutAvailable Fish: BrownNumbers or Size: BothNoteworthy: Very scenic stretch in the Nantahala National Forest5). Panthertown CreekThe Stretch: Entire stream, roughly 3 milesAccess Point(s): Parking and access at end of Breedlove Rd (SR 1121), with 2-mile walk to creekType of Water: Catch & Release Single Hook Artificial LureAvailable Fish: BrookNumbers or Size: NumbersNoteworthy: Located in Panthertown Valley, which is known as the “Yosemite of the East” because of its bowl shape and rocky bluffs6). Raven Fork (Cherokee Trophy Water)The Stretch: Starts at Blue Ridge Parkway bridge near Cherokee and goes north for 2.2 milesAccess Point(s): Parking & access via several pull-off areas along Big Cove Road; paths run along streamType of Water: Catch & Release Fly Fishing OnlyAvailable Fish: Golden, Rainbow, Brown, Brook & Donaldson troutNumbers or Size: Both Noteworthy: This stretch is also called Cherokee Trophy Water and fish of 20-30 inches are common; Cherokee annual permit and daily permit required7). Whitewater RiverThe Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles from Hwy. 107 down to the South Carolina state lineAccess Point(s): Parking and access along N.C. 107, a few miles south of CashiersType of Water: Wild TroutAvailable Fish: Brook, Brown and RainbowNumbers or Size: NumbersNoteworthy: Flows into Whitewater Falls, the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi8). Scotsman and Fowlers Creek into Chattooga RiverThe Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles of each stream flowing down into the Chattooga RiverAccess Point(s): Access available via Whiteside Cove Rd (SR 1107) or Bullpen Rd (SR 1100) in Nantahala National ForestType of Water: Wild Trout with Natural BaitAvailable Fish: Brown, RainbowNumbers or Size: Numbers (creeks), Size (Chattooga)Noteworthy: The movie Deliverance was filmed on the Chattooga River9). West Fork Tuckaseegee RiverThe Stretch: From small reservoir at Thorpe Power House upstream several hundred yardsAccess Point(s): Parking and access available both sides of N.C. 107 near Thorpe Power HouseType of Water: Hatchery SupportedAvailable Fish: Brown, RainbowNumbers or Size: NumbersNoteworthy: Although hatchery supported, this has nice concentration of stream-raised fish10). Tuckaseegee River (East LaPorte Park to NC 107 Bridge)The Stretch: Roughly 2-3 miles from park to bridgeAccess Point(s): Parking and access available at East Laporte Park and pull-off areas along Old Cullowhee RoadType of Water: Hatchery SupportedAvailable Fish: Rainbow, Brook and BrownNumbers or Size: NumbersNoteworthy: East Laporte Park has picnic tables and public restrooms11). Savannah CreekThe Stretch: About 10 miles from headwaters in Pumpkintown into Tuckaseigee RiverAccess Point(s): Parking and access available via several pull-offs along U.S. 23/441Type of Water: Hatchery SupportedAvailable Fish: Rainbow, BrownNumbers or Size: NumbersNoteworthy: Access limited the closer you get to the Tuckasegee River12). Tuckaseegee River (NC 107 Bridge to Dillsboro park)The Stretch: Roughly 4-5 mile stretch from bridge to the riverside park in DillsboroAccess Point(s): Parking and access available via numerous pull-offs along North River RoadType of Water: Delayed HarvestAvailable Fish: Brook, Brown and RainbowNumbers or Size: BothNoteworthy: Best place to achieve the Tuckaseigee Slam (catch all three species in one spot)13). Greens CreekThe Stretch: About 3-4 miles from Macon County line to Savannah CreekAccess Point(s): Various places along Greens Creek Road (SR 1370)Types of Water: Wild Trout, Undesignated, Hatchery SupportedAvailable Fish: Rainbow, some BrownNumbers or Size: NumbersNoteworthy: Portion of the creek flows through the Nantahala National Forest14). Tuckaseegee River (in Dillsboro)The Stretch: About 1 mile from Dillsboro park through townAccess Point(s): Various places between park and Best Western River Escape InnType of Water: Hatchery SupportedAvailable Fish: Rainbow, BrownNumbers or Size: SizeNoteworthy: Includes two lodging options: Best Western River Escape Inn and Dillsboro Inn15). Lowe Tuckaseegee River (Barker’s Creek Bridge to Whittier)The Stretch: Roughly 8-10 miles from bridge to WhittierAccess Point(s): Parking and access via pull-offs and businesses along U.S. 19/74 freewayType of Water: Hatchery Supported, UndesignatedAvailable Fish: Rainbow, BrownNumbers or Size: SizeNoteworthy: The stretch is also home to smallmouth bass\More from the Fridays on the Fly Blog: