Western North Carolina is rife with trails and maps to facilitate exploration of the mountain landscape, but an effort is underway to add a new kind of trail to the mix — a blue trail.
“A hiking trail is a great way to help people explore and discover and connect to the land. A blue trail is a way to allow people to discover and explore and connect to rivers,” explained Mandi Carringer, river conservation associate for American Rivers.
Even as Eastern North Carolina is reeling from flooding caused by Hurricane Matthew, Western North Carolina is plunging deeper into drought, with the drought in Macon, Cherokee and Clay counties now classified as extreme. The rest of the western region is slightly less dry, but only slightly — it is classified as experiencing severe drought.