Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 17

COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

The wild ponies in Virginia's Grayson Highlands are an added attraction to the
5,000-foot-plus peaks and great vistas.

will send you an exclusive "I did it!"
T-shirt. Enroll through gastateparks.
org.
Virginia: Although the idea is to
get you active in the outdoors of
Virginia, participants in the free Trail
Quest program simply have to visit a
state park's electronic kiosk, park
office, or visitor center and obtain
that park's secret code. As you reach
the reward levels for parks visited,
sign in and complete the on-line
rewards claim form to receive up to
five different pins for verifying that
you have visited one, five, 10, 20, and
every one of the 36 state parks.
Going to the parks that are located

just within the Old Dominion's Blue
Ridge and Allegheny Mountains will
enable you to obtain the first three
pins, take in the diverse topography
of these areas and engage in a number of outdoor activities.
It's hiking that you will do to see
the wild ponies in Grayson Highlands
State Park near the Virginia/North
Carolina border, while it's your choice
of miles of hiking and/or mountain
biking trails that will deliver you to vistas of wave after wave of Allegheny
Mountain ridgelines in Breaks
Interstate Park along the Virginia/
Kentucky border. Paddling a kayak or
canoe is usually a laid-back experience along the fairly serene waters of
the south fork of its namesake stream
in the Shenandoah River Raymond R.
"Andy" Guest Jr. State Park. The park
also has more than 24 miles of trails
open to hikers, mountain bikers, and
horseback riders.
Sign up at virginiaoutdoors.com.
North Carolina/Tennessee: The
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
900 Miler Club is not the program of
a governmental entity, but is a private
organization founded by Lou Murray
in 1995. You don't become a member
until you have hiked all of the approximately 900 miles of the open, maintained trails in the park. The award is

a bumper sticker, patch and a certificate. At the time of the writing of this
article, fewer than 400 people had
earned membership. The one-time
dues are $15 and you can register at
900miler.com.
Not only will this endeavor take
you to the most visited places in the
park, such as Clingman's Dome,
Cades Cove and Charlie's Bunion,
but you'll also have to hike some of
the lesser-used trails like Roundtop
Mountain (which never does attain
the summit of its namesake) and the
portion of the Benton MacKaye Trail
that parallels the north shore of
Fontana Lake. In order to hike all of
the park's trails, you will have to
backtrack or walk some of the same
pathways more than once but, as the
900 Miler website says, "The good
news about '900' in the 900 miler
club is that no hiker can hike all of
the trails in the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park in 900
miles. The lowest number of hiking
miles claimed by a club member is
1025. Many hike about 1500 trail
miles."
Of course, the real purpose of all
of these programs is to provide nice
little incentives to get you and your
family out into the woods. Why not
accept the challenges? 
JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2014 | 17


http://www.900miler.com http://www.gastateparks.org http://www.gastateparks.org http://www.virginiaoutdoors.com

Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014

Cover
Table of Contents
Letters/Worth a Click
From the Editor
Creature Feature
From the Farm
Great Home Buys
Digital Help Guide
Mountain Report
The Hike
Festivals & Events
Mountain Curios: Racing Lawn Mowers
Mountain Curios: Stamping Out Squirrel Sex!
Mountain Curios: A Library as Big as a Breadbox?
Mountain Curios: Mill from 1794 Still Turns!
Mountain Curios: Indian Mounds in Downtown!
Travel Guide 2014: A Year of Great Festivals!
The Blue Ridge Parkway Photoessay
Travel Guide 2014: A Foodie's Dream Journey
Travel Guide 2014: The Retro Pilgrimage
Wilderness Institute in the Smokies
Mountain Garden
Cabin in the Woods: Royal Oaks Retreat
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Letters/Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Great Home Buys
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Digital Help Guide
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Racing Lawn Mowers
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Stamping Out Squirrel Sex!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: A Library as Big as a Breadbox?
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Mill from 1794 Still Turns!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Curios: Indian Mounds in Downtown!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Travel Guide 2014: A Year of Great Festivals!
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - The Blue Ridge Parkway Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Travel Guide 2014: A Foodie's Dream Journey
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Travel Guide 2014: The Retro Pilgrimage
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Wilderness Institute in the Smokies
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: Royal Oaks Retreat
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - January/February 2014 - Cover4
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