On a trail high above western North Carolina’s spectacular Linville Gorge, I’m hacking at the base of a stubborn Carolina rhododendron with a pulaski ax. The trunk and roots of this “rhodo” seem to get broader and stronger the deeper I dig.
Befitting a pioneer nation, many of our most revered natural landscapes, from the Grand Canyon to Yosemite, are in the west. However, the roots of American conservation lie firmly in the eastern half of the country, as do many pieces of extraordinary designated wilderness.
Designated wilderness areas are delightful places to experience the magical unfolding of spring. Wild lands offer magnificent destinations for outdoor recreation - whether it's hiking, wildlife-watching, climbing, canoeing or snowshoeing.