2009 Outdoor Highlights

What happened in the Outdoor World in the Southern Appalachians? Here’s a short list of outdoor happenings in 2009 – not all of them good

1.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park celebrated its 75th anniversary. To me, that was the biggest story.

2.  A rock slide on I-40 closed the interstate from exit 20 in North Carolina to the Tennessee border. 

3.  A potential problem closed the Blue Ridge Parkway from MP 393.5 to MP 405.5.

4.  The western entrance of Gorges State Park in North Carolina reopened. 

5.  Concealed weapons will now be allowed in national parks starting in February, 2010.

6.  The North Shore Road issue is one step closer to being settled. For a discussion on the background of this issue, see an article that I wrote in National Park Traveler.

7.  Gov. Mark Sandford used the Appalachian Trail as an excuse to see his mistress. Please…. If you’re going to mess around, don’t use hiking as an excuse.

8.  Dry Falls in Highlands has reopened, after being closed since 2007

9. The Art Loeb Trail celebrated its 40th anniversary.

10. Catawba Falls outside of Old Fort is now full accessible.

I am sure that you can think of plenty more. Send them on.

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