South

April 3, 2020

Best Hikes in Georgia

A view looking over forests hills under a blue sky.

Editor’s note: After a great deal of careful consideration, we are temporarily closing our retail stores nationwide. For more information, review the FAQs regarding REI’s recent store closures. Please consult the CDC or your state health department for advice related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including information on symptoms, testing and how to protect yourself and […]

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February 14, 2020

At Home on the Appalachian Trail

Miss Janet poses in front of her van in an aqua shirt

For the past eight years, Janet Hensley has lived in a van from March to November, never straying more than a few minutes from the Appalachian Trail (AT). The 56-year-old trail volunteer spends most days shuttling hikers from trailheads to hostels, doling out trail magic—small but significant acts of service—among the thru-hiking community, tallying 40,000 […]

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February 12, 2020

Big Bend National Park Hiking Guide

Overlooking a very green landscape during the daytime.

True to Texas style, Big Bend National Park is massive. The 800,000-acre park, located along the U.S.-Mexico border, is larger than the state of Rhode Island by some 23,000 acres. And its size is matched by its geographic diversity, which spans from the banks of the Rio Grande across the sprawling Chihuahuan Desert to the […]

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February 12, 2020

Big Bend National Park Hiking Guide

Overlooking a very green landscape during the daytime.

True to Texas style, Big Bend National Park is massive. The 800,000-acre park, located along the U.S.-Mexico border, is larger than the state of Rhode Island by some 23,000 acres. And its size is matched by its geographic diversity, which spans from the banks of the Rio Grande across the sprawling Chihuahuan Desert to the […]

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October 1, 2019

Re-Riding History

Tour participants stand in front of a historic wall with writing on it in Atlanta

A version of this story appeared in the fall 2019 issue of Uncommon Path.  Hidden under a magnolia tree at the Georgia State Capitol is a bronze statue depicting a complex chapter of the state’s history. It shows the 33 Black legislators who were elected to the General Assembly during Reconstruction only to be expelled by […]

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September 13, 2019

Chesapeake Bay’s Vanishing Island

A landscape shot of Tangier Island surrounded by water

A version of this story appeared in the fall 2019 issue of Uncommon Path.  Tangier Island, Virginia, sits in a 30-mile breadth of the Chesapeake Bay, a dozen miles from Crisfield, Maryland, its nearest mainland port. The isle’s residents—some 475 at most—are mainly crabbers, or families of crabbers, who speak a distinct patois virtually untouched by […]

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August 9, 2019

The SWEAT Crew is the Toughest Crew on the Appalachian Trail

A trail crew celebrates the end of a hard day's work surrounded by leafy green trees

The country's most well-known footpath, the Appalachian Trail (AT), stretches for 2,190 miles along the ridges and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains, from North Georgia to Maine, attracting between 2 and 3 million backpackers and day hikers each year. The majority of the trail is maintained by volunteers and seasonal crews managed by the Appalachian Trail […]

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July 22, 2019

10 Top Swimming Holes in the Southern Appalachians

A mom and her kids at a swimming hole with a waterfall in the background

The South is known for its hot and muggy summers, but the mountains offer a breezy respite from the rising mercury, especially if you spend your afternoon at a crisp, cold swimming hole. Here are 10 of the best dips in the mountains. Alabama Martha’s Falls, Little River National Preserve, Alabama Location: 111 miles west […]

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June 20, 2019

Asheville’s Best Mountain Biking Isn’t Where You Might Think

A cyclist makes their way through thick, green brush on a mountain bike with a blue sky in the background

Asheville’s best flow trail is hidden under three feet of tall grass and briars. That’s what I decide as I ride Alexander Mountain Bike Park, pedaling through patches of thick brush that lead to a few hundred yards of butter-smooth trail before succumbing to more grass and thorns. It’s frustrating, slow-paced riding because of the […]

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