Gifts for the Spontaneous Explorer

Shopping for a friend who's constantly on the go, but ready for an adventure at a moment's notice? You know, the one who always has a headlamp and hiking boots in their trunk, just in case the opportunity for a quick hike presents itself. We've…

Crew Picks: Low Key Style

With nearly 30 years in outdoor retail, footwear and apparel buyer, Stephanie has seen the evolution of outdoor clothing. Women's apparel, in particular, has gone from nonexistent or frumpy, to sleek, flattering, and comfortable.Stephanie's…

New at DBO: Denim That Keeps Up

Can your jeans go from brunch to yoga, then take on an afternoon hike or bouldering sesh? Sounds like a pretty stout list for an average pair of jeans to measure up to. But our new jeans from Du/er and Dish are no average jeans. These denim…

7 Tailgating Must Haves

Crisp fall weather is on it's way, along with the beginning of tailgating, picnic, and bonfire season. Take your casual gatherings to the next level with our top picks for grilling and chilling. Check 'em out below, then stop by for personalized…
Walking down the trail with Bedrock Sandals!

Bedrock Sandals Available at Our Asheville Stores

Back in 2011, a few guys in Northern California got together and decided that traditional sandals couldn't hold up to every-day wear and tear, so they launched a Kickstarter campaign to get their business going.  Seven short years later and…

Hiking Boone Fork Trail

The Boone Fork Trail is renowned not only for the sultry beauty of the mountains it passes through, but also the range of ever-changing terrain that one will encounter on this dynamic five-mile loop. The hike begins and ends in Julian Price…
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Hiking Charlie's Bunion

Intro Delving into the etymology of Charlie’s Bunion reveals a historical tale of exploration during the earliest days of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Famed author and adventurer, Horace Kephart, was leading a reconnaissance trip…

Whitewater Paddling Near Asheville

With 38 inches of annual rainfall and dam released rivers that run throughout the year, the Asheville area in Western North Carolina is one of the top paddling destinations in the United States. The laid back Blue Ridge culture compliments…
The Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding Asheville are home to a number of oasis-like hikes, perfect for summer.

6 of the Best Summer Hikes in Asheville

The Blue Ridge Mountains are a paradise in the summer, alive with flowers and fireflies. But the blazing heat can sometimes feel brutal, driving many people indoors to the comfort of air conditioning. There's no reason to stay cooped up…

Teresa Baker to Deliver Keynote at Asheville Outdoor Show

The Asheville Outdoor Show returns to Salvage Station on the banks of the French Broad River on Sunday, September 23. The fourth annual iteration of the festival celebrating all things outdoors promises big changes. The one-of-a-kind community…

The Best of One Person Tents

If you like to hit the trail solo and you’re serious about saving weight, a one person tent might be the way to go. If you like a little more space, want  to make sure your gear will fit inside your tent, instead of just under the fly, or…

Summer Trail Challenge

At Diamond Brand Outdoors, we believe that the outdoors are for everyone — and we love helping our community discover new places to get outdoors. To celebrate the arrival of summer, our local experts have put together a list of their favorite…

Racks, Trailers, + Bed Extenders for Boats

When it comes to carving out time for outdoor adventures, we think bringing your gear should be stress free and simple - not a huge production. That's why we've partnered with innovative brands like SylvanSport, Thule, and Boonedox to offer…

Family Camping Essentials

Spring is here - forests are budding, days are getting longer, and getting outside is a must. Share your love of the outdoors with your whole crew by planning a family camping trip. Our family camping essentials have you covered with everything…

Make the Most of Lake Julian Park

We host demo days and intro to paddling classes on the waters of Lake Julian throughout the summer. While it's easy to enjoy these paddlers' parties from the comfort of a kayak or stand up paddleboard, there's plenty more to experience. 1.…

Outdoor Festival Must Haves

Outdoor music festival season is right around the corner and grabbing the right gear means staying hydrated, happy, and comfortable. To make sure you've got the stuff you need for an epic festival, we asked thru-hiker and festival aficionado, Jimmy,…
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Paddling the South Fork of Mills River

The South Fork of the Mills is a rarely run gem in the heart of Pisgah National Forest. It features classic Western North Carolina scenery and good whitewater. It is the only stream around that lacks difficult and dangerous whitewater while…
Waterrock Knob

Done in a Day: Exploring the Southern Smokies from Sylva

Just 20 miles from the southern edge of the Smokies, the western North Carolina town of Sylva provides a strategic launch point for exploring one of the country’s most beloved natural wonders — Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The national…
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10 Must-Visit Waterfalls in Western Carolina

Western North Carolina is a land of waterfalls. Countless cascades punctuate the waterways braiding the vast expanses of forest and lofty Appalachian peaks dominating the western corner of the state, lending the landscape an undeniably enchanting…
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3 Amazing Weekend Backpacking Loops in the Smokies

Across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, miles of interconnected trails meander through lush, green valleys, hug the banks of moss-laden, rocky creeks, and climb through thickets of mountain laurel and rhododendron to the blue-tinged…
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6 Best Stargazing Spots in the Southeast

When you live near a city, it can be easy to forget just how many stars are in the night sky. But if you take the time to get away from the light pollution, spread out a blanket, and look up, there are more to see than you can imagine. It’s…

3 Gregory Packs You've Gotta Try

It's no secret that spring is one of the greatest times to hit the trail. In fact, between thru-hiking attempts, weekend backpacking trips, and day hikes, we'd be willing to wager that you have at least a few days on the trail ahead of you.…

1/2 Price Kayak Rentals

A kayak or paddle board can provide years of great times on the water. Choosing the right one can be a challenge. In addition to free community demo days on the water (like Paddlefest at Lake Julian on May 6), we also offer our demo kayaks and…
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A Tour of America's Greatest Swamps

When you think of “wilderness,” what image pops into your brain? I’d wager a lot of you first thought of snowcapped peaks — or maybe a convoluted canyonland, a lake-pocked boreal forest, or some windswept desert badlands.All of these…
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The Best Paddle-In Campgrounds in the Carolinas

Imagine unloading your kayak or canoe and setting up camp on an island in the middle of a mountain lake. A brilliant Carolina sunset reflects on crystal clear water as you finish tying off your hammock. Or maybe you’ve reached a coastal oasis…

5 Asheville Hikes with Amazing Views

Asheville sits in a valley that's surrounded by so many mountains it’s hard to keep track of which ones you’re looking at. Collectively, they’re the Southern Appalachians, but there are different ranges in every direction: the Black Mountains…
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French Broad Riverkeeper Float

The French Broad is one of the world’s oldest rivers and one of the most important natural assets in Western North Carolina. In 2012, the 140-mile-long French Broad River paddle trail was completed, improving recreational access with eight…
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Paddling the Nantahala River

The Nantahala River is ideally set up for intermediate paddlers. It has myriad small surf waves, forgiving eddy lines, and rapids with just enough power to challenge and entertain. There is also the capability to set up elite slalom courses…
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Paddling the Green River

The Green River is a place that has had a large influence on the world of whitewater paddling and on many boaters' lives. It is a highly convenient run because of its proximity to Asheville, Greenville, Charlotte, and Atlanta. Since…

Our Top 12 Paddling Picks

With an unseasonably warm weekend on the way and spring just around the corner, we've got paddling on the brain. We asked our paddlesports experts to share their favorite apparel, boat, gear, and accessory picks for a great day on the water.Apparel…

$6,000 for Local Youth Environmental Education — Again!

We believe the outdoors are for everyone. That’s why we teamed up with Patagonia again this year to award $6,000 to area programs that support environmental and stewardship education for local kids and teens. You helped us by voting in the…

4 Featherweight Boats You Need to Try

In a time when paddlesports brands are trending toward heavier boats, Hurricane Kayaks offers a refreshing contrast. They've consistently produced featherweight boats that handle beautifully, thanks to thermoformed Trylon construction.  It's…

Love Asheville Go Local Week

"Adventure Is Local" isn't just a tagline — it's a philosophy that guides the decisions that we make. A lot of things have changed since we opened Western North Carolina's first outdoor gear shop, but our sense of community and commitment…
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Keep Your Gear Like New: Cleaning, Repair, and Storage Tips

After a few days in the great outdoors, one the last things you want to do when you get home is tackle the task of cleaning your gear. But, as any outdoor enthusiast knows, gear is pricey stuff — and that’s if you only buy it once. However,…

Gear Picks for Outdoor Dates

From gorgeous waterfalls to breathtaking vistas, WNC is full of great places to get outside and explore with your main squeeze (like these romantic excursions). This Valentine's Day, ditch the chocolates and head outside with our top gear picks…
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Paddling the French Broad Paddle Trail

The French Broad Paddle Trail is a series of campsites along the French Broad River connecting over 140 miles of river. It was created by MountainTrue, a non-profit in Western North Carolina that houses the French Broad Riverkeeper, who works…
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Paddling the Pigeon River

Primarily a popular whitewater rafting destination, the Pigeon River is a dam controlled river that winds its way through North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee before emptying into the French Broad River.What Makes It Great Situated along…
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Hiking Skinny Dip Falls

The waters of Yellowstone Prong spring from the peaks of the Great Balsam Mountains and gather themselves in Graveyard Fields. Born from springs above 6,000 feet and purified through the 5,000 foot meadow, these waters run crisp and clean. The…
Romantic hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains

7 Romantic Excursions in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Lovely evening light settles over the ski slopes. Timo Newton-Syms 1. Share Some Powder Love birds by day, powder hounds by night: Hit the slopes of one of Western North Carolina's ski resorts after dark for an out-of-the-ordinary romantic…

2018's Best Outdoor Company

Thank you! Diamond Brand Outdoors has been named Best Outdoor Company in Blue Ridge Outdoors' annual roundup of readers’ favorite places, people, events, businesses, and organizations from Maryland to Alabama. We’re excited to be…

How to Select the Perfect Sleeping Bag

It’s the coldest time of year, but that’s no reason to not get outside and camp. With the right knowledge and gear, anyone can spend a cozy night out in the wilderness! So, we here at Diamond Brand would like to give you all the necessary…

Hiking Doughton Park

Doughton Park, located between milepost 238 and 246, is the largest recreation area along the 469 mile of the Blue Ridge Parkway. It also happens to be one of the most spectacular locations to soak up fall color changes in area.It’s easy…
Just out of frame to the left is the welcoming Spring Creek Tavern and Inn

Visiting Hot Springs

On any given summer weekend in Hot Springs, North Carolina, pack-laden hikers and paddlers in wetsuits can be seen traversing the sidewalks of this tiny, no-traffic-light Appalachian Trail town, population 575. Acoustic music drifts from the…

Elk Knob State Park

The nearly 3,500 wild acres of Elk Knob State Park, which includes the second highest peak in Watauga County, was nearly lost to developers in the early part of the 21st century. The area was being considered for the construction of a summer…

7 Winter Adventures in North Carolina Other Than Downhill Skiing (and Where to Do Them)

Why waste the winter months hibernating indoors? Snow, ice, and frosty temperatures provide plenty of fodder for outdoor adventure from moderate to extreme. When winter weather rolls into the Southeast, North Carolina’s wild spaces are briefly…
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Hiking Calloway Peak

What Makes It Great Grandfather Mountain's forests house plenty of wildlife and almost 200 different species of birds. Profile Trail hikers can spot woodland species such as warblers (especially in spring), scarlet tanagers, Louisiana water…
Even on otherwise temperate days, Grandfather can be frigid and frosty

Winter Hiking at Grandfather Mountain

The wind just always seems to be blowing at the top of MacCrea Peak. The bare rock that caps the roughly chimney-shaped precipice offers no protection from the frigid gusts of the season. Just below, a ring of alpine forest (a biome common…
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4 Reasons to Hike Mount Mitchell in the Winter

Thousands of years ago, when extreme cold gripped the North American continent, flora and fauna most suited to northern latitudes migrated south, covering what is now North Carolina. As the cold retreated and temperatures climbed, the trees…

503 Coats for Eblen Charities

Even after 54 years, the spirit of the mountains we call home continues to amaze. We issued a challenge to collect 300 coats during our annual Bundle Up for Good coat drive for Eblen Charities. You helped us blow past that goal by donating…

3 Resolutions Worth Keeping

As 2017 winds down, many people have their sights set on achieving ambitious New Year Resolutions. While the drive for self-improvement is commendable, the reality is that most resolutions fail epically and quickly. But that doesn't mean you're…
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Beech Mountain Resort

Intro Sitting at 5,506 feet in the heart of Appalachia, you'll find Beech Mountain. Beech features amazing skiing and snowboarding terrain accompanied by an array of après activities that are sure to make your visit memorable. Grab your…
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Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Intro  “Come Ski the Wolf.” Wolf Ridge Resort offers this enticing invitation. How could a skier or snowboarder turn down an invitation that sounds so cool? The greatest thing about coming on up to Ski the Wolf? It only involves a 35…
Sugar Mountain Resort

Sugar Mountain Resort

Intro Sugar Mountain Resort boasts one of the highest vertical drops and largest amounts of skiable terrain in Western North Carolina. From Asheville, a scenic hour and forty minute drive into the North Carolina high country will have you skiing…

Crew Essentials: Layering for Cold Weather Adventures

DBO Crew Member, Taylor L. grew up exploring the wilds of Northwestern NC, but spent nearly a decade in ski towns out west. As a result, he developed a keen understanding of how to gear up for winter outdoor pursuits.  His philosophy is that…

Our Winter Look Book

Our winter look book has arrived. Check your mailbox or stop by the store for your printed copy — or view it online! While you can always shop many of the outdoor products we carry on our website and hold them for free store pickup. The look…

7 Great Disc Golf Courses Near Asheville

Asheville continues to rank high on travel lists for outstanding food, beer, and popular outdoor activities such as hiking and biking, but hidden behind all of the hype are some of the best disc golf courses in the North Carolina. The goal of…

Ultimate Gift Guide for Hammocking

Hammocks have come a long way in recent years. Once a staple of beach houses and backyards, hammock camping has made its way into festivals and campsites due to increased comfort, easier setup and takedown, and an enjoyable time. ENO made its…

Hide a Boat

Hide A Boat isn't just a fun way to sound Canadian. It's an easy way to purchase an awesome gift and keep it hidden even if you're personally at a loss for space. It's a service we offer all year, but comes in especially handy during the holiday…

Lake Julian Festival of Lights

Time spent with family creating lasting memories is what the holiday season is all about. Lake Julian's 17th annual Festival of Lights is a local favorite with games, crafts, s’mores, and an impressive collections of 50 animated light displays.…
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Bent Creek Experimental Forest

Bent Creek Experimental Forest is, without question, the most popular destination for Asheville mountain biking. With about 30 miles of mountain bike trail (and many more miles of gravel forest road) a mere 20 minutes from downtown Asheville,…
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Cataloochee Ski Area

Intro Cataloochee is home to great skiing and snowboarding in the Great Smoky Mountains. Make your way over from Asheville and you are sure to agree with this sentiment. With expansive views, varied terrain, a full service lodge, and friendly…
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Hiking Chimney Tops

Intro The twin-peaked, rugged profile of Chimney Tops gained infamy with its appearance on the cover of Horace Kephart's classic, Our Southern Highlanders. The summit of this 4,724-foot peak has weathered away over the centuries leaving behind…
The grassy summit of Max Patch is a beautiful place to play in a windstorm.

7 Short Hikes with Spectacular Views Near Asheville

If it seems too good to be true, than it probably is. These are wise words to live by, yet living in Asheville is the rare exception to this rule. In the Blue Ridge Mountains, you can find wild, rolling meadows, exposed peaks of bare rock,…
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10 Lesser Known Autumn Adventures in North Carolina

Autumn is that seasonal sweet spot between the balmy, bug-bitten days of summer and the frigid frost of winter. Fall is a time when fiery foliage makes outdoor excursions even more alluring. While leaf-peepers flock to the mountains of North…
The invigoration and tranquility you'll experience as the sun rises will last all day long.

10 Reasons to Wake Before Dawn in WNC

Dawn patrol is the practice of heading out before sunrise and beginning the day with a paddle, run, ski, hike, or whatever form of outdoor adventure you most crave. Crawling out of bed into the cold and making your way to the trailhead in darkness…
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4 Frozen Waterfall Hikes in Western North Carolina

While subzero temperatures and dwindling daylight can really put a damper on our motivation to hit the trail, the Blue Ridge Mountains are never quite as dramatic and ethereal as they are in the depths of winter. Familiar trails are transformed…
Nothing beats a boozy winter warm up.

4 WNC Winter Hikes + Their Perfect Beverages

Among the many perks of winter hiking (fewer people, the sweet silence that a blanket of fresh snow brings to the mountains, the diamond sparkle of frost on the grass), none can compare to the bright taste of a well earned hot toddy, the…
A vista in Mt. Mitchell State Park.

6 Reasons to Be Thankful You Live in Western North Carolina

Although it feels like we were jumping into swimming holes and running through green mountain trails yesterday, the trees are bare, the earth is hard with frost, and the holidays are upon us.Although our gratitude is never limited to one…

Backpacking Mount Mitchell

There’s a bit of Tarheel pride in the fact that Mount Mitchell is the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River. So important is the peak that, in 1915, it was named the first state park in North Carolina.Mt.…
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4 Reasons to Try Personal Outfitting

Since 1964, Diamond Brand Outdoors has been known as the place to go for personal attention from friendly local outdoor experts. We’re extremely proud of this heritage, and are excited to announce that we’re expanding our signature customer…

Bundle Up for Good Coat Drive 2017

Last year, you helped us get over 200 coats to those in our community who need them most. This year, we’ve set a goal of 300 coats for Eblen Charities and you can score a discount for doing good.November 12-December 24, you’ll…
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How to Clean Your Chaco Sandals

It's common knowledge that people who love their Chacos really love their Chacos. They'll wear them anywhere while doing just about anything—from rock hopping, to running errands, to participating in life events as traditionally 'non-Chaco'…
Devil's Courthouse

Hiking Devil's Courthouse

Intro Devil's Courthouse towers ominously above the beautifully delicate pink beds of Pisgah National Forest. At its summit, a sinister looking rock formation is the stage for a devilish local legend. Folklore tells of a cave at the cliff's…
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Hiking Sam Knob

Intro Sam Knob stands tall above a high country meadow. The 6,050 foot summit is located near the confluence of the Western North Carolina "holy trinity:" Pisgah National Forest, Middle Prong Wilderness, and Shining Rock Wilderness. Views from…
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Prayer Flags

Seen everywhere in the mountains, valleys, and sacred sites of Nepal, prayer flags are a symbol of peace, goodwill, and compassion. Originating in Tibet, early versions of prayer flags were used in battle. As time passed, the flags came to take…
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Experience Nepali Food at Sherpa Night

Nepali food is a dynamic mixture of cuisines from all over the world, as complex as the people who make up this wonderful and mysterious country. To better understand the food, we will first have to take a look at the people. Nepal is a landlocked…
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Hiking Mt. Cammerer

Intro Your journey to the top of Cammerer will begin on Chestnut Branch Trail, which runs beside a picturesque creek plunging its way through a rhododendron filled holler for the first mile and half. You will share this section of trail with…
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Cataloochee Campground

Intro Imagine living on the untouched, beautiful lands of a national park. For centuries this was a reality for a wily community of Appalachia’s finest who called Cataloochee Valley home. At the time of the park's inception, a community of…
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Big Creek Campground

Intro When we take the time to relax beside the roaring waters of an Appalachian stream, something incredible happens to our psyche. The roaring thunder of the water drowns out all the worries and doubts you carried from "real life." The continual…
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Hiking Mt. Sterling

Intro Mt. Sterling towers above the Pigeon River Gorge on the northern end of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Sterling is a mountain steeped in history and covered in an elegant mix of hardwood and evergreen forestry.The mountain…

Hiking Stone Mountain State Park

Intro A leg-pumping incline to the top of Stone Mountain gives way to a gentle and serene walk back down. The smooth granite face of Stone is one of the greatest fall watching spots in central Carolina. And the calm, rocky pool at the bottom…
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Hiking Max Patch

Intro The Appalachian Trail follows the crest of the Appalachians along the North Carolina and Tennessee state line. In between the soaring mountains of the Great Smokies and the rolling hills of Hot Springs, the AT passes over the grassy bald…
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Fall Layering

With chilly mornings, hot afternoons, and cool evenings, dressing for a full day in the mountain is no simple task. Our apparel experts share top strategies to dress for work, play, and an full-day outdoor session during fall in the North Carolina…

What You Need to Know About Attending the Asheville Outdoor Show

The Asheville Outdoor Show makes its annual appearance on September 17 from noon to 4:00 p.m. at Salvage Station. Since we're at a new spot, we figured you might have some questions. We've got answers.LocationSalvage Station is located…
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Hiking Biltmore

Intro Famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the grounds at Biltmore with visitors in mind. Flowers, shrubbery, and trees were his brush strokes as he intended the landscape to resemble a "walk through painting." If you are…
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Trail Running Big Creek Trail

Intro The Big Creek/Spencer Gap/Shut-In loop is an excellent trail run in the heart of South Pisgah. The tour begins at the rim of the Mills River Valley and drops down into a forgotten corner of the North Mills area. A long steady climb up…
Big Creek Trail

Hiking Big Creek Trail

Intro When we take the time to relax beside the roaring waters of an Appalachian stream something incredible happens to our psyche. The roaring thunder of the water drowns out all the worries and doubts you carried with you from “real life”…
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Hiking Waterrock Knob

Intro On the crest of the Plott Balsam range, at an elevation of 6,292’, stands the majestic Waterrock Knob. The Blue Ridge Parkway climbs high up the sides of Waterrock Knob to within a few hundred feet of its’  summit. Where the Parkway…
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Hiking Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain

The Appalachian Mountains, the oldest mountain range in the world, is a crown jewel of the American wilderness. Grandfather Mountain, which lies just outside of Boone, North Carolina and boasts four separate summits of rippled rock and stunted…
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10 Best Hikes in Asheville

You're holed up at a coffee shop in downtown Asheville, sipping an espresso and pouring over a stack of trail guides. What would you like to do today—summit the East coast's highest peak, or explore the East Coast's deepest canyon? Scramble…
Looking Glass Rock

Hiking Looking Glass Rock

Intro Dare we say that Looking Glass Rock suffers from Half Dome syndrome? It's prominent presence can be seen from virtually all viewpoints within the Pisgah National Forest. The granite walls of this 600’ Rock Pluton beckon adventurers…
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Hiking John Rock Loop

Intro The 5-mile John Rock Loop is a hike that, on a clear day, affords some of the most stunning views of Pisgah's wilderness and mountains. The hike takes you to the top of John Rock, which is a large open face that you stare at as you climb.After…
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Hiking Shining Rock

Intro In the heart of the Shining Rock Wilderness, high atop the Great Balsam Mountains, stands a peak of other-worldly beauty. Locals consider Shining Rock to be the “crown jewel” of the Appalachians. An elaborate network of Quartzite…
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Hiking Art Loeb Trail

Intro Art Loeb was a man who “deeply loved these mountains.” If you travel to the highest point on the trail bearing his namesake you will see a weathered plaque commemorating these words. On a clear day, from this high point, you will…
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Playing in the Pisgah: How to Spend a Weekend in Western Carolina

It's no secret that the mountains of Western North Carolina have a wide array of wonderful places to live and play. With vibrant mountain towns like Boone, Brevard, and Asheville, as well as well-preserved national forests and serpentine scenic…
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Climbing Rumbling Bald

Intro Rumbling Bald, about 25 miles from downtown Asheville, is really the must see climbing area of western North Carolina. It's one of the biggest and best bouldering destinations in the southeast, if not the country, offering literally hundreds…
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Hiking Black Balsam Knob

Intro Bald is beautiful. Especially when referring to the grassy bald known as Black Balsam. A short ramble through a fragrant forest of Balsam Fir trees leads you to panoramic views atop the Great Balsam Mountains on this high country adventure.…
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Hiking to the Top of Looking Glass Rock

Nestled in the Pisgah National Forest, Looking Glass Rock is an iconic natural presence that beckons climbers and hikers from all over. For trail runners and hikers, it's one of the top 10 hikes around the city of Asheville (which is saying…
DuPont State Forest

Hiking DuPont Forest

Intro DuPont State Recreational Forest is a beautiful 10,000-acre outdoor playground in the Blue Ridge Mountains. With roughly 80 miles of multi-use trails meandering through dense forests, alongside mountain lakes, and next to cascading waterfalls,…
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5 Most Photogenic Landscapes Near Asheville

What are the Blue Ridge Mountains besides an immense exhibition of natural beauty: wide-open vistas overlooking an ocean of rolling mountain peaks, rivers of whitewater and clear pools with wildflowers clustered at the banks, sunlight catching…
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5 Outdoor Dates to Enjoy in the Blue Ridge This Fall

It is a well-documented phenomenon that romance flourishes in the outdoors, particularly in autumn, when chilly temperatures flood us with relief from the sweltering summer. Maybe it’s the brisk wind that pinks the cheeks and sparkles the…
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How to Spend a Weekend Climbing at Rumbling Bald

Once again, nature generously provided us with the dry, crisp and sunny fall days in the southeast that climbers wait for all summer. Crunchy leaves under your feet, high friction rock under your hands, and foot jibs that feel like glue. In…
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10 Family-Friendly Summer Adventures Around Asheville

Summer days are long and should be filled from sunup to sundown with adventures and enriching outdoor activities. Now is the season for children to get their hands dirty, to chase frogs and climb trees, to hear songbirds and eat freshly picked…

4 Waterfall Swimming Holes in Western North Carolina

Tucked deep inside the forests and gorges of Western North Carolina are hundreds of wild swimming holes and natural water parks. We've already brought you five of our favorites, but that was only a small taste of what the Blue Ridge has to offer.…
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Top 5 Swimming Holes Near Asheville

The West coast may have hot springs and glacier-fed lakes, but here in the sultry Southeast we have our swimming holes — and we're damn proud of them. Just listen to the Top 40 Country Countdown: people are always jumping into water, fishing…
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A Quick and Dirty Guide to the Best Hiking in Asheville

A voluminous network of trails spiderweb the mountains that surround Asheville. Soaring ridge lines, breathtaking views, and an epic array of terrain have long established this city as one of the hiking epicenters of the country.The tireless…
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4 Epic All-Day Hikes Near Asheville

Despite your alarm going off before it's even light out, despite the relentless climbs and knee-shaking descents that seem to go on forever, you know it's worth it. That moment when the sheltering forest gives way to soaring summit views is…
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5 Refreshing Trail Runs Near Asheville

The days are starting to feel a little shorter, and the copper-hued afternoons of autumn loom just around the corner. You know you should be logging some mountain miles and soaking up the last leg of summer, but we get it—finding the motivation…
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Mt. Pisgah Campground

Intro Mt. Pisgah Campground is located high atop the Pisgah Ledge at Flat Laurel Gap off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Centered amongst the wonders of the Pisgah National Forest, at an elevation of 5,000’, the Mt. Pisgah campground is ideally…
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Hiking Graveyard Fields

Intro The etymology behind Graveyard Fields is somewhat smoky. Centuries ago massive wind storms uprooted a once prominent spruce forest in this 5,000’ high, hanging valley. Root balls from the uprooted trees slowly decayed and overtime left…
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Hiking Chimney Rock State Park

Intro Chimney Rock State Park is one of the most iconic outdoor destinations in the state of North Carolina. From the top of the ancient rock face for which the park is named, visitors can witness amazing views of Lake Lure and the sweeping…
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Hiking Craggy Gardens

Intro One of the closest hikes to Asheville with the best long-range views is Craggy Gardens at Milemarker 364.1 off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Because of its easy access, this is a popular spot and although its never exactly ‘crowded,’ you…
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30 Reasons Why Autumn Is the Best Season to Get Outside in Asheville

The color experts predict our warm, dry winter and wet, temperate summer have set ideal conditions for a bright and healthy 2017 fall color show in the North Carolina mountains. Dr. Howard S. Neufeld, professor of biology and the "fall color…

7 Tips for Packing Light

Repeat after me: traveling light is very important. Why, especially if your destination allows you to check bags for free, is it worth the effort to pack light? Packing light can be the difference between a great vacation and a lot of bag schlepping.…

Total Solar Eclipse Checklist

Your opportunity to experience a rare total solar eclipse in western North Carolina arrives on Monday, August 21. To make sure you’re prepared and packed for totality, the experts at Diamond Brand Outdoors have assembled this helpful checklist.…

What You Need to Know About August's Total Solar Eclipse

Are you ready for the Great American Total Solar Eclipse? It’s rapidly approaching, hitting us full force this coming August 21. Millions of people will be traveling to see the moon cover the sun and all the crazy extras that go along with…
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5 One-of-a-Kind Cabins, Cottages, and Yurts Near Asheville

Chilly days, chillier nights and rain showers may deter you from planning a camping trip, but there’s no reason to stay at home. Whether you’re visiting from out of town or a local just looking to change up the scenery, a host of cozy cabins,…
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5 Fire Towers to Explore in Western Carolina

It's hard to deny the lure of mountain fire towers, with their place in history as guardians of the forest, and the intrigue of the solitary, beatnik existence of the watchmen who were once posted within them. Like lighthouses, these imposing…
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48 Hours of Adventure: The Ultimate Weekend Getaway in Jackson County

Filled with sylvan streams winding through vast swathes of contiguous wilderness and crowned by the cloud-swaddled peaks of the southern Appalachians, Jackson County, North Carolina, is awash with natural wonders. Beyond the stunning backdrop,…
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Backpacking North Carolina's Linville Gorge Loop

It was our last day in the Linville Gorge. We were supposed to be back to our car by 3:00 p.m., but by 4:00 p.m. we were still three miles away. We had stopped to eat lunch when a couple of hikers came up from a spur trail and asked us if they…
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Best Spots for Camping Under the Stars: Backpacking Your Way Through Jackson County

Western North Carolina's varied landscape is a veritable buffet for backpackers. Nestled at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, overlaid by the Plott Balsam and Great Balsam mountains, and loaded with strings of soaring 6,000-foot…

4 Tips for Fishing in the Dark

Summer’s arrived in western North Carolina and a very wet spring means mountain rivers and streams are higher and faster than they were last year. While that’s a welcome change, the longer days and higher temperatures of July and August…
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8 Off the Beaten Path Festivals in the Southeast

Perhaps Coachella sold out before you could say Beyoncé, you just can’t imagine fighting the crowds at Bonnaroo for one more year, or maybe you’d rather hang out riverside than beachside. No matter what the reason, we understand your desire…
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A Guide to 15 of the South's Best Places to Paddle

Southern author Eugene F. Walter once wrote, "summer in the deep South is not only a season, a climate, it's a dimension. Floating in it, one must be either proud or submerged." Perhaps this explains why the waters here are so well-explored…
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8 of the Best Waterfall Hikes in the Smokies

The Great Smoky Mountains may be known for their enchanting mist and spectacular views, but these rounded peaks have another claim to fame: they are home to waterfalls of all shapes and sizes. There’s nothing quite like kicking off your shoes…
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An Insider's Guide to Panthertown Valley: The Yosemite of the East

Although big cats no longer prowl the 6,295-acre swath of the Nantahala National Forest dubbed Panthertown Valley, it’s still easy to imagine the namesake predators roaming the sylvan trails. One of the most stunning and ruggedly wild tracts…
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The Best Day Hikes on the Mountains to Sea Trail

Ask someone their favorite part about living in North Carolina, and a likely response will touch on the accessibility of both mountains and ocean. From mile-high peaks to rolling farmland to wind-swept sand dunes, the Tarheel State is, indeed,…

5 Summer Things to Do in Western North Carolina

Our little corner of the world offers amazing access to the outdoors, music and art, picturesque mountain main streets, and the best friends and neighbors anyone could ask for. While you may be headed to the beach or out of town for a summer…

Kayak Fishing: Paddle vs. Pedal

Many of us got into kayak fishing because of its affordability, ease of entry, and overall simplicity. It’s also an eco-friendly way to have fun and get exercise. With the addition of pedal drives becoming more prevalent, choosing your next…

5 Women's on the Water Essentials

Asheville’s easy access to the French Broad River and other great waterways make it an ideal spot for watersports, as the increasing popularity of kayaking and paddleboarding can attest. As these activities gain in overall popularity, more…

Bring Us Your Gently Used Gear

Need some motivation to start spring cleaning? We're offering a chance to clean out your closets and replace that old backpack or tent with something new. Outdoor companies continue to innovate with new technologies, fabrics, and fits. This…

WNC Trail Triple Crown Challenge

April is Hiking Month at Diamond Brand Outdoors, and we want you to hike, run, bike, and explore the outdoors! We’ve partnered with our friends at Asheville Trails for the WNC Trail Triple Crown Challenge.Visit any Diamond Brand…

Asheville's Urban Trail

Ask your neighbor to describe the Great Outdoors and you’ll get plenty of answers peppered with words like “trees,” “trails,” “rivers,” “sky,” and other hallmarks of untamed areas. You’re a lot less likely to get a description…

Asheville GreenWorks Receives Columbia/Grassroots Belay Grant

We're excited to announce our support of Asheville GreenWorks' Youth Environmental Leadership Program (YELP) with a grant for $6,000 through a partnership with Columbia Sportswear and Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. Connecting teens with their…

Hammock Camping

Western North Carolina has been ahead of the curve when it comes to hammocks, most likely thanks to ENO’s headquarters being located in Asheville. You’ve probably got friends who leave their hammock up year round on their porch or backyard.…

$6,000 for Local Youth Environmental Education

We believe the outdoors are for everyone. That's why we teamed up with Patagonia to award $6,000 to area programs that support environmental and stewardship education for local kids and teens. You helped us by voting in the Winter of Love poll…

200 Coats for Eblen Charities

Thanks for helping us collect over 200 coats for Eblen Charities. As the lowest temperatures of winter hit the mountains, they'll make sure they make it to those in our community who need them the most.During November and December, we joined…

We're 2017's Best Outdoor Shop

After more than 85,000 votes, Diamond Brand Outdoors has been named Best Outdoor Shop in Blue Ridge Outdoors' annual roundup of readers' favorite places, people, events, businesses, and organizations. We're excited to be recognized by the definitive…

Resolve to Get Outdoors in 2017

The turn of the year means 2016 is in the books—and for many of us, it can’t come a moment too soon. The end of a year usually brings a time of self-reflection, a time to get our priorities in line and make a plan for improvement. That seems…

Free Store Pickup

You and your family are busier than ever. That's why we've introduced Free Store Pickup. Browse our inventory online, then pick up your items at the store for free as soon as today. You can pay online or at the store. You'll save money on shipping…

Ways to Explore the Outdoors in Asheville in December

Even though summer hung around longer than usual, we’re lucky to enjoy four distinct seasons in our little corner of the world. Every season is a great season to live in Asheville, but holidays in the mountains carry a special charm all their…

Annual Coat Drive for Eblen Charities Kicks Off November 19

Last year, you helped us get over 400 coats to those in our community who need them most. This year, we've set a goal of 450 coats for Eblen Charities and you can score a discount for doing good.November 19-December 24, you'll receive 20%…

Big Super Saturday Brings Big Names Together for a Good Cause

Join us for Big Super Saturday, a full day celebrating the simple things we can do with family and friends to enjoy the outdoors. The free event features live music, giveaways, apple cider, outdoor treats, contests, and more. In the spirit…

DBO Round-Up Raises $400 for Brother Wolf

We’re proud to share that with your help we have raised $395.44 in just over two weeks for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue!October 15-31, we offered shoppers the opportunity to round up their total to the nearest dollar amount to support…

Fall Kayak Fishing Basics

The sun is setting on summer. Fall is here and brings with it the start of the fall kayak fishing season. With the exception of a few weeks in from the latter half of June to the start of August, Western North Carolina anglers don’t see the…

Fall Footwear Checklist (Casual Edition)

With fall just around the corner it’s time to sip on something pumpkin flavored and bust out the boots. With fresh shipments from Sorel, Salewa, Keen, and Chaco arriving weekly, we’ve haven't been able to resist adding a few new pairs to…

More of Your Favorites Announced for the Asheville Outdoor Show

We couldn’t be more ecstatic to announce the final list of those of you can expect to see at the Asheville Outdoor Show. It's a group of instantly-recognizable leaders in the outdoor industry, as well as locally-based gear companies who…

Additional Vendors, Entertainment Announced for Asheville Outdoor Show

The wait is over! We're happy to join Frugal Backpacker in announcing the entertainment and second set of vendors for the Asheville Outdoor Show. Another bonus announcement: the first 300 attendees will receive a commemorative insulated cooler,…

New at DBO: Easy Going Styles from Prana

Among our staff Prana has become a go-to brand. They combine a modern outdoor vibe with some of the most comfortable and durable materials on the market, to create clothing that will instantly become your favorite. Needless to say, we were thrilled…

Our Sign in Downtown Asheville is as Local as it Gets!

We opened our first store in the Asheville area in 1964. From the very beginning, working with the community and other local businesses has been the bedrock of our success. Our team of outdoor experts still prefers to work one-on-one with…

We're Expanding the Asheville Outdoor Show This Year

We're excited to join Frugal Backpacker to announce the first round of vendors for the Asheville Outdoor Show. In its second year, the free public expo brings top innovators from the most popular outdoor companies to recreation enthusiasts…

New at DBO: Bamboo (It's Not Just for Pandas Anymore)

Those of us who love the outdoors tend to expect a lot from our clothing. We play hard, so we need clothing that breathes, wicks, insulates, and is virtually indestructible, all while looking good. To live up to our rather high standards, a…

New at DBO: Harness the Power of the Sun

Remember the good old days when outdoor adventure meant unplugging? For modern adventurers, electronics are an essential piece of kit. From safety to convenience, having powered up electronics is a good idea. Think keeping in touch with loved…

New at DBO: Water (and Town) Ready Footwear from Astral

From fantastic paddling to river parks, Asheville has plenty of opportunities to hit the water, and the unseasonably warm forecast this week has us dying to get our toes wet. It doesn’t hurt that we’ve just received a shipment of water ready…

Paddling Safety for All Levels of Boating

Safety on the water is one of the least exciting aspects of paddling, but it’s also the most important. Water is a powerful force, it doesn't matter if you are on flat water, gentle rivers, or raging rapids, every paddler should respect it’s…

Gifts for Dad's Next Adventure

Still searching for something to remind Dad that he taught you the value of usefulness and thoughtfulness? Our staff has curated a few items that have all of your bases covered. Gift cards are also a great option. They never expire and can be…

High & Low Angle Paddles: The Long & Short of It

For a new paddler, there are dozens of (often complicated) gear decisions to make, one of the most mystifying is paddle selection. When it comes to recreational kayaking, one of the most important factors is paddle angle. Paddle angles classifications…

What's the Deal with Kayak Fishing in Western North Carolina?

In the last decade, cleanup efforts have lead to an explosion in Stand up Paddleboarding, kayaking, and tubing on our mountain rivers and streams. Kayak fishing has taken off in Western North Carolina over the past couple of years as a relaxing…

Traveling Bug Free

With the start of travel season comes one unfortunate side effect: bug season. While we're fortunate to live in an area where mosquito bites are typically just an annoyance, ticks are a fairly common problem and the rising prevalence of bug…

Easy Going Travel Essentials

It’s finally here- Memorial Day, the official kick-off to the summer vacation season! Personally, we love a beach getaway, but whatever your style, we’re pretty sure your ideal vacation doesn’t involve schlepping tons of bags. That’s…

Festival Essentials

Ahhh festival season, the magical time when your weekends are spent camping, discovering new bands, and enjoying cold brews. Our team is stoked to be kicking off festival season this weekend at LEAF (our sister store, Frugal Backpacker, will…

Yo' Mama's So...

...AWESOME, and we've got great ideas to tell her "thanks!"With Mother’s Day just around the corner, the quest to find the perfect gift is on. But where do you even begin to look for a gift to say “thanks” to the most important woman…

Special Asheville Screening of The Long Start to the Journey, a Film About the Appalachian Trail

We're hosting a special Asheville screening of The Long Start to the Journey, an official selection at the Atlanta Film Festival and RiverRun International Film Festival. Tickets are $7 and benefit the Carolina Mountain Club and Lifelines outdoor…

Picking Up Paddling (Without Blowing Your Budget)

As one of America’s best river towns, it’s not surprising that paddlesports are one of the largest growing forms of outdoor recreation in the Asheville area. With new breweries and other hangouts popping up along the riverfront, a relaxing…

Women's Specific Gear Shakedown: Astral PFD's

Not too long ago women who loved the outdoors had to make do with (often ill-fitting) unisex gear. Now, women’s specific gear is one of the fastest growing segments in the outdoor gear industry. Just about any piece of gear that you can imagine…

Paddlesports Demo Day at Lake Julian is May 1

Are you ready for the largest free paddlesports demo event of the year? Join us on May 1 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at our annual Paddlesports Demo Day at Lake Julian (406 Overlook Rd Ext in Arden, click for directions), made possible by a partnership…

NPS 100: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We're celebrating National Parks Week from April 16-24. The National Park Service (NPS) celebrates an important milestone this year: 100 years of the National Park Service Organic Act. Today, the NPS manages 401 park units and attendance hit…

Half Tank Getaways: WNC Spring Festivals

The time between the middle of April and Memorial Day doesn’t offer much time for full-blown vacations. Kids and college students are preparing for the end of the school year. There’s usually a string of deadlines at work. Those of us who…

New at DBO: Breezy Packs for Warm Weather Adventures

Our DBO team loves to play outside year round, so we know that nothing can bring your enjoyment of a warm weather hike to a halt faster than a sweat-inducing pack sticking to your back. That's why we love the new trend in pack technology of…

New at DBO: Top Backpacking Picks

MSR Carbon Reflex 1If you’re an avid backpacker, you’ve probably owned or dreamed of owning at least one MSR tent. They’re the masters of lightweight livability and their durability is unbeatable. If you’re into lightweight (and…

Campapalooza: Celebrating Our History, Thanking Our Customers

In 1964, we opened the first outdoor gear shop in Western North Carolina: a 900 sq. ft. garage full of factory seconds. Over the years, Diamond Brand Outdoors has grown to include much more than camping products, but our dedication to quality…

New at DBO: Family Camping Favorites

With spring break right around the corner, coming up with family bonding experiences that are fun for you and the kids can be a challenge. One of the best ways to instill in your kids the love of the outdoors (and get them away from screens…

Volunteering with MountainTrue

On a beautiful and sunny day in early March, my husband and I volunteered with the folks at MountainTrue, a local non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining and improving the health of our local forests and waterways. Anna, a second-year…

NPS 100: The Blue Ridge Parkway

On August 25, the National Park Service (NPS) celebrates an important milestone: 100 years of the National Park Service Organic Act. Today, the NPS manages 401 park units and attendance hit a peak last year. While we’ve got easy access to…

New at DBO: Shoulder Season Hiking Favs

The sunny spring temps had us itching for a hike this weekend, but if you’ve lived in WNC for any length of time, you know the weather can be unpredictable- especially when you head up in the mountains. This can make deciding what to wear…

Half Tank Getaways: Mountains to Sea Trail

One of my favorite hikes near Asheville is along the Mountains to Sea Trail (MST) between the Visitor Center (Blue Ridge Parkway Mile Post 384) and the Folk Art Center (BRP MP 382). If you want a walk of five and a half miles, then make it an…

Diamond Brand Named Top 100 Retailer

Outdoor Magazine, the must have trade resource for the outdoor recreation industry, has again named Diamond Brand Outdoors to its annual Top 100 Retailers list. This a direct reflection of our outstanding team of experts and amazing customers…

The Carolina-Colorado #BeerBet

Every week, fans of the Carolina Panthers have put up with comments that the team's winning streak was a fluke, fans were just bandwagoners, and they'd never perform against the strongest NFL teams. Cam Newton and company are now headed to Super…

Show Your Sweetie You Love Local This Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is around the corner. Perhaps your sweetheart is also your favorite hiking partner. Maybe you're both all about the Asheville music scene. Or maybe you find true romance while exploring the trails of Western North Carolina. This…

Diamond Brand Outdoors Short Film Wins Best of Show Award

Western North Carolina attracts some great people. We're happy to call many of them our friends. Our very creative friends at SapidMedia recently brought home a Gold Award and the "Best of Show" Award at the American Advertising Federation Asheville…

Half Day Getaways: Winter Hiking at Daniel Ridge Falls near Asheville, NC

After the blast of snow we got last weekend, forecasters are calling for temperatures in the high 50s and low 60s this week. That's a perfect combination for winter hikes and breathtaking frozen waterfalls. One of our favorites is Daniel Ridge…

National Parks Centennial Tour in Asheville

February 29 | 5:30 p.m., 1378 Hendersonville Road in Asheville (Parkway Center location)Most of us don't need a reason to celebrate the National Parks, but in 2016, the National Park Service turns 100. Backpacker magazine and Subaru have…

Preparing to Hike the Appalachian Trail

Ask any Appalachian Trail thru hiker and you'll hear that it's the adventure of a lifetime. The majority of the trail is in forest or wild lands, although some portions traverse towns, roads, and farms.The Appalachian National Scenic Trail…