CONTENTS F E AT U R E S 26 54 Where to Watch the Hawks Former Blue Ridge Country contributing editor and columnist Elizabeth Hunter returns to a favorite place, and we get to read about it. PHOTOGRAPHY BY ED REHBEIN Blue Ridge Parkway: A Loving Lament BY ELIZABETH HUNTER West Virginia's Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory is worth the walk. 56 Elora Overbey Finds a Niche at Allegheny Mountain Institute 36 Get Outside with Kayla Carter The East Tennessee woman's dedication to the outdoors has become her job. BY NANCY NENDERSON The institute's motto of "Growing food, building community" is a perfect fit. BY GINNY NEIL 58 Oils From Old Trees: Ian Montgomery Squeezes Out the Scents 38 Mountain Covered Bridges: The Photo Essay An essential oil can make a fake Christmas tree "real." BY HANNAH MILLER Our contributing photographers create a tribute to a disappearing and cherished piece of the Southern Appalachian landscape. 60 Can the Hemlocks Come Back? 42 Fall Travel: Have Your Leaves New efforts in several realms are yielding promising results. BY BRUCE INGRAM and Lots More Too These treks to fun spots in seven states are full of great dining, things to do and see, as well as some great leaf spots. BY JOE TENNIS DEPARTMENTS 7 8 10 12 14 16 4 Letters/Contributors From the Editor Creature Feature Mill Creek Stories Our Blue Ridge Towns The Good Walk BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM 20 64 68 70 74 Country Roads ON THE COVER Singing in the Garden Photographer Ed Rehbein shot the swinging bridge over Glade Creek at Babcock State Park, West Virginia. Flavors Festivals & Events Guest Column THIS-PAGE PHOTO by Brent McGuirt: Along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia.