Local guitar legend Luke Brandon dies
Published 02/16/2012 at 6:04 p.m.
Luke Brandon, whose rich baritone singing voice and incomparable guitar playing charmed generations of fans, died of lung cancer Wednesday at the Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge. He was 87.
Hike of the month: Waterfalls, virgin forest highlight short Rhea County trail
Published 03/04/2011 at midnight
SPRING CITY - Knoxville is sandwiched between two physiographic regions - the Blue Ridge Province to the east and the Cumberland Plateau to the west - that are prime breeding grounds for waterfalls.
Hike of the month: Snowy day captures solitude of John Litton Farm loop at Big South Fork
Published 02/04/2011 at midnight
A skier or snowboarder would have characterized the snow as "loose powder." It was 6 inches deep, and untouched except for animal tracks. On this cold winter morning, it felt like we had the 125,000-acre Big South Fork National River ...
Teenage dulcimer player feels like youth ambassador for new generation of musicians
Published 01/29/2011 at 10:05 p.m.
SHARPS CHAPEL - On a recent afternoon in this small community in Union County, 16-year-old Sarah Morgan sat on the couch with her favorite dulcimer, the one she won at last year's Southern Regional Mountain Dulcimer Competition in Batesville, Ark.
Hike of the Month: Smokies' Little River and Cucumber Gap loop offers range of hiking experiences
Published 01/07/2011 at midnight
GATLINBURG - It was the first day of winter, and U.S. Highway 441 through Great Smoky Mountains National Park was closed due to ice and snow.
Hike of the month: Northern section of Cumberland Trail begins where three states meet
Published 11/05/2010 at midnight
CUMBERLAND GAP, Tenn. - At the southwest end of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is a 1,990 foot-high overlook called Tri-State Peak where you can stand in three states at once.
Filmmaker endured his own trials for documentary
Published 10/17/2010 at midnight
Hailed by critics as one of the most powerful sports documentaries of all time, "Bicycle Dreams" profiles the Race Across America, a 3,000-mile transcontinental race that draws some of the best ultra-endurance cyclists from around the world.
Hike of the month: Hidden stream puts on a dramatic show at Virgin Falls
Published 10/01/2010 at midnight
SPARTA, Tenn. - Some of the most impressive waterfalls in Tennessee are tucked away in the geologic folds of the Cumberland Plateau. Some, like Fall Creek Falls and Burgess Falls, are surrounded by state parks, while others, like Virgin Falls ...
Little Bottoms route is a quieter - but longer - option to popular Abrams Falls
Published 08/06/2010 at midnight
Abrams Falls is one of the top hiking destinations in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, especially during the dog days of summer.
Hike of the month: Bald River Falls wilderness study area offers accessible hikes and pristine scenery
Published 06/03/2010 at 11:14 p.m.
TELLICO PLAINS - For sheer mass and thundering sound effects, Bald River Falls in Monroe County might be the most impressive waterfall in Tennessee.
Mount Sterling fire tower and panorama makes tough climb worthwhile
Published 05/07/2010 at midnight
WATERVILLE, N.C. - There are a number of ways to reach the Mount Sterling fire tower, the shortest being the 2.8-mile Mount Sterling Trail, which starts at Mount Sterling Gap on the eastern border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Hike of the month: Birds big draw on Oak Ridge reservation trail
Published 04/02/2010 at midnight
OAK RIDGE - Don't go hiking or biking on the Dyllis Orchard Road Trail expecting to find scenic vistas or waterfalls. Instead, listen to the songbirds calling from the brushy corridors beneath the power lines.
Hike of the month: New Norris lakeside trail open to hikers, bikers and riders
Published 03/05/2010 at midnight 1 Comment
NORRIS - Completed in 1936, Norris Dam impounds the Clinch and Powell rivers to create Norris Lake, the cleanest of all the Tennessee Valley Authority's reservoirs.
Hike of the month: Rock Creek Loop goes from ridge top to rock houses to railroad bed
Published 02/05/2010 at midnight
JAMESTOWN, Tenn. - The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area showcases some of the prettiest river gorge scenery on the Cumberland Plateau, and the Rock Creek Loop is one of the park's finest trails.
Event to recognize fiddler Charlie Acuff's 90th birthday
Published 12/06/2009 at midnight
A birthday bash for old-time fiddler Charlie Acuff remains on schedule despite recent setbacks in the guest of honor's health.
Hike of the Month: Meigs Mountain Trail with the leaves gone reveals Smokies' bones
Updated 12/07/2009 at 12:08 p.m.
GATLINBURG - Knowing where the park service sends its snow plows can make winter hiking in the Smokies a lot easier. On the Tennessee side of the Smokies, the Gatlinburg Spur is one of the first roads to be cleared ...
Bluegrass players swear by pick made in Knox County
Published 11/27/2009 at midnight
Toss a BlueChip pick into a fire, and it won't melt. Step on it, and it won't break. Put one in your hand, and you have what a growing number of professional bluegrass musicians say is the best sounding, best ...
Hike of the month: Colditz Cove State Natural Area
Published 11/06/2009 at midnight
ALLARDT, Tenn. - Some of East Tennessee's finest - and most often overlooked - hiking destinations can be found among the state's natural areas.
Hike of the month: Chadwell Gap offers serenity, short route to Hensley Settlement
Published 10/02/2009 at midnight
CAYLOR, Va. - Chadwell Gap on Cumberland Mountain is one of those paths of least resistance that has been everything from a buffalo trail to a coal mining road.
Hike of the month: Devil's Racetrack
Published 09/04/2009 at midnight
CARYVILLE, Tenn. - Just north of the Caryville-Jacksboro exit on Interstate 75 is the Devil's Racetrack, a rock formation so eye-catching it challenges you to keep your eyes on the road.
Hike of the month: Hidden Passage reveals Plateau's diverse geography and plant life
Published 08/07/2009 at midnight
JAMESTOWN, Tenn. - Just half a mile from the trail head, the Hidden Passage Trail passes beneath a rockhouse where the path appears to be blocked by a pile of boulders.
Made in East Tennessee: Area guitar maker uses native trees for his instruments
Published 08/03/2009 at midnight
GRANDVIEW, Tenn. - Cliff Hamby has lived his entire life on the Cumberland Plateau, a region that contains some of the largest tracts of unbroken forests in the Eastern United States.
Hike of the month: Laurel-Snow State Natural Area
Published 07/03/2009 at midnight
DAYTON, Tenn. - Hiking on a hot summer day is a lot more inviting when there's a mountain stream next to the trail. The Laurel-Snow State Natural Area gets its name from two waterfalls, Laurel Falls and Snow Falls. Laurel ...
Hike of the month: Brushy Mountain
Published 06/05/2009 at midnight
GATLINBURG - Brushy Mountain may not be the tallest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but it offers some of the best views. At an elevation of 4,900 feet, Brushy Mountain is overshadowed by its neighbor to the ...
Historian tracks down surviving members of Randolph Family Band
Published 06/02/2009 at midnight
COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - The only evidence was a 1946 photo that showed the Randolph Family Band posing with their instruments in front of a 16 mm movie camera. In Bradley Reeves' line of work, this was tantamount to a treasure ...
The East Tennessee Whitewater Club begins another season
Published 05/15/2009 at midnight
The East Tennessee Whitewater Club is almost as old as the sport of whitewater paddling itself. The club dates back to the early 1960s, making it the oldest whitewater paddling club in Tennessee. Early members explored the river gorges of ...
Hike of the Month: White Rocks, Sand Cave are impressive markers on Cumberland Gap's Ewing Trail
Published 05/01/2009 at midnight
EWING, Va. - Mention Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and most people think of, well, Cumberland Gap, the gateway to the West for hundreds of thousands of settlers between 1780 and 1810.
Big South Fork to offer wildflower programs
Published 04/15/2009 at midnight
The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area is fast gaining a reputation as a park that knows how to celebrate spring.
Hike of the month: Alum Cave route a popular hike to Mount LeConte's peak
Published 04/03/2009 at midnight
Located in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Alum Cave Trail - also called Alum Cave Bluff Trail - is one of five trails that lead up Mount LeConte, the third-highest peak in the park behind Clingman's Dome and Mount ...
Smokies paradise found for hikers
Published 03/29/2009 at midnight 1 Comment
If you live in Knoxville and you love to backpack and hike, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park casts a long shadow.
Hike of the month: River view is point of Obed hike
Published 03/06/2009 at midnight
WARTBURG, Tenn. - The Obed Wild and Scenic River is more of a paddling and climbing park than a hiking park, but that's not to say it doesn't have some exceptional trails.
Hike of the month: Cold weather needn't cancel winter hikes in the Smokies
Published 02/06/2009 at midnight
Sometimes, the biggest obstacle to winter hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is simply getting to the trail head. Certain roads in the park are more likely to remain passable in winter than others. On the Tennessee side of ...
Appalachian Mountain Bike Club uses winter to develop trails at Hastie Natural Area in South Knox
Published 01/23/2009 at midnight
T he ground has been slick and muddy, and more often than not, the weather has been rainy and cold. Not that these are undesirable conditions for mountain bikers. This winter members of the Appalachian Mountain Bike Club have been ...
Intimate home settings for concerts attract artists, appreciative audiences
Published 01/04/2009 at midnight
On a recent Thursday night, a small but appreciative audience gathered in Elam Blackman's North Knoxville home to hear Danny Schmidt and Carrie Elkin, two singer-songwriters from Austin, Texas.
Hike of the Month: River bottom to highest peak
Published 12/29/2008 at 6:34 p.m.
Just about all the parks in Knox County are fine for walking, but if real hiking is what you're after, the options narrow considerably.
Hike of the month: Ijams’ trails offer variety of views and distances
Published 12/05/2008 at midnight
Good things sometimes come in small packages. Such is the case with the hiking trails at Ijams Nature Center, Knoxville's premier urban getaway located just two miles from downtown.
Songs of Appalachia: A love of fiddle
Published 11/26/2008 at midnight
Mike Bryant gets more music out of his fiddle just tuning it than most people get when they play. His bowing is forceful yet relaxed.
New cycling guidebook covers best routes in nine-county region
Published 11/22/2008 at midnight
Knoxville's first bicycling guidebook was worth the wait. Now available in area bike shops and book stores, "Bicycle Routes" includes route descriptions of 40 of the best scenic rides around Knoxville. The book covers a nine-county radius and includes maps ...
Songs of Appalachia: A guitarist's guitarist
Published 10/29/2008 at midnight
When Luke Brandon plays guitar, it’s hard not to watch his hands. He can play sophisticated jazz chords up and down the neck, but he’s equally likely to fingerpick a pop standard in a style reminiscent of his old friend, ...
Mountain bikers may get more to enjoy
Published 10/26/2008 at midnight
The National Park Service is preparing a new rule that would give individual parks more leverage in determining whether or not to expand mountain biking opportunities.
Region defined by mountains, outdoor access
Published 03/30/2008 at midnight
Knoxville's reputation as an outdoor town rests largely on its close proximity to the mountains, most notably the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most highly visited national park in the U.S.
Knoxville area offers plenty of nautical opportunities
Published 03/30/2008 at midnight
Knoxville is surrounded by water, much of it in the form of reservoirs created by the Tennessee Valley Authority.