Home » News » Housing Market » London and South East’s million-pound homes monopoly continues, report shows previous nextHousing MarketLondon and South East’s million-pound homes monopoly continues, report showsJust over three quarters of all homes for sale at the moment over £1 million are in the capital or its commuter town counties.Nigel Lewis22nd February 201901,610 Views Britain’s extraordinary million-pound homes market has been laid bare in a report.It reveals that there are 21,484 for sale in the UK at the moment and that 77% of them are to be found in London and the Home Counties.The market therefore contains property worth at least £21.5 billion and, if buyers can be found, generate fees of approximately £322 million for their selling agents.The research by online estate agency HouseSimple also found that 84% of million-pound-plus homes within London are flats and that the majority of this property type are concentrated in just five boroughs.These are Kensington & Chelsea, the City of Westminster, Camden, Wandsworth and Southwark. The Home Counties with the most million-pound homes for sale are: County setSurrey: 1,992Hertfordshire: 700Essex: 685Kent: 625Buckinghamshire: 591Sussex: 588Berkshire: 460Hampshire: 413Areas outside London and the Home Counties feature within the research, but numbers are low compared to the capital.Cheshire has the highest concentration of million-pound properties with 341 followed by Greater Manchester (206) and North Yorkshire (133) although several counties barely scrape in such as Rutland (11) and Durham (12).“Although Brexit has loomed large over house prices in London recently, the capital remains a global city with property values to match,” says Sam Mitchell, CEO of HouseSimple (left).“But for buyers who are lucky enough to have a budget of £1m plus, this is the market where you could negotiate a healthy discount.” HouseSimple prime property million pound homes sam mitchell February 22, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021
IS IT TRUE our “READERS POLLS” are non-scientific but trendy?Today’s “Readers Poll” question is: How do you rate Mayor Winnecke’s performance preparing us for the COVID-19 so far?Please take time and read our articles entitled “STATEHOUSE FILES, LAW ENFORCEMENT, “READERS POLL”, BIRTHDAYS, HOT JOBS”, EDUCATION, OBITUARIES and “LOCAL SPORTS”.You now are able to subscribe to get the CCO daily.If you would like to advertise on the CCO please contact us at City-County [email protected] FOOTNOTE: Recently we detected an issue where our subscribers may have not been getting breaking news alerts from the City-County Observer. This notification is to let you know that you have been added to receive future news alerts. If you no longer want to receive future news alerts please opt-out by clicking the link in your e-mail to unsubscribe. We hope that today’s “IS IT TRUE” will provoke honest and open dialogue concerning issues that we, as responsible citizens of this community, need to address in a rational and responsible way?IS IT TRUE that 50% of things we worry about never happen?…that 30% of things we worry about isn’t important? …we should only worry about the 20% that directly affects us? …we predict starting this week we will be forced to focus on the things that directly affect us?IS IT TRUE according to the United States Surgeon General starting this week you better get ready to experience a 911 and a Pearl Harbor event all wrapped up in one?IS IT TRUE the population of the United States is 327 million people? …it’s been reported by extremely reliable sources that around 2 million people have been tested for the COVID-19 virus? …so far the people that tested positive are very alarming?IS IT TRUE we are told that numerous people are really upset that the Mayor of Evansville and Vanderburgh County officials are allowing area public and private Golf Courses to stay open during a time like this?IS IT TRUE that the Coronavirus pandemic is creating large amounts of anxiety in the minds of Americans all over the nation?…when times of anxiousness are not ended by time people will often drift from anxiety and into desperation and the paralysis of fear?…the common thing that causes anxiety, desperation and fear among people is uncertainty?…uncertainty can be blunted by leaders being transparent about the reality of what is expected when it is expected and what the plans are to do about it?…there are daily updates on the number of cases of coronavirus, the deaths and the number of new cases in a given day?…right now, the most valuable metric is to look at and study the new cases per day?…when that stops increasing for a week or so and starts down that is an indicator that there is light at the end of the tunnel with some idea of when we will get there?IS IT TRUE the decisions on how we should attack the deadly COVID-19 virus should be determined by scientific research and evidence, not by self-serving politicians?IS IT TRUE that every day, the Trump administration held a press conference to update the American people on what is going on with the coronavirus?…the inclusion of Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci in the mix has been an excellent learning opportunity?…these two people have presented significant information that has been instrumental in teaching the nation to shelter in place and showing the dramatic difference it makes?…we have states that were doing the wrong thing and they are paying the price in lives and commerce?…the graphs they show to teach us what to expect to a certain extent and even when the curve may really be flattened?…transparency is what is calming the nation and the few states where governors are doing daily updates?…this is something that should be happening in every significant city in the United States, including Evansville?IS IT TRUE in other locations that are more transparent, people know what plans are being made for the months of April and May with respect to dealing with the projected overcapacity coming to our hospitals?…it is a well-known fact that some cities have created makeshift morgues to deal with the deaths caused by the COVID-19 virus?…makeshift morgues are being prepared in industrial kitchens that are closed, in cold storage facilities used for food, in refrigerator trucks, and in hockey rinks? …a lack of transparency concerning emergency actions promotes fear and anxiety, desperation and fear when transparency would assuage that fear?IS IT TRUE in Evansville, Indiana that transparency is the job of the Winnecke Administration and if there is one thing that Mayor Lloyd Winnecke excels at, it is talking?…the CCO would like to see Mayor Winnecke initiate some sort of a television question and answer news event where people of Evansville can learn exactly what are his plans to eventually lead us to a safe outcome in the upcoming serge of the deadly COVID-19 virus?…holding this question and answer event would be way more heroic than getting national attention for forgoing haircuts?…this is a chance for Mayor Winnecke to transition from his self-appointed role of a good news ambassador for Evansville to a more important role of a leader during a major health crisis?IS IT TRUE when people get desperate they will do desperate things? …desperation can be caused by loss of employment, not able to pay your water bill, gas and electric bills, mobile phone bill, can’t pay your rent or mortgage payments, experiencing a medical issue, going through a divorce, can’t buy food or medicine, or can’t make your car payment?IS IT TRUE we remember when people felt desperate back in the sixties? …many of those people rioted in most every major city in America which left death and destruction in their wake?IS IT TRUE next time you vote for someone running for public office we highly recommend that you spend some quality time researching and analyzing them to determine if they have the skills to manage a public crisis? …it’s obvious that several elected officials are not managing the Coronavirus crisis very well because they are allowing the crisis to manage them?IS IT TRUE we give five (5) cheers to TV Channels 14 and 44 for doing a phenomenal job covering the Coronavirus news?IS IT TRUE we also give five (5) cheers to Channel 14 TV news anchor Jackie Monroe for doing an excellent job interviewing the President of Deaconess Hospital System, Dr. James Porter?IS IT TRUE when the people fear the Government we have Tyranny! When the Government fears the people we have Liberty? FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Thirty-three cyclists undertook a 333km expedition from Whitehaven to Whitby to raise funds for GroceryAid.The route the cyclists took included 5,300m of ascents, including both the Honister Pass and Boltby Bank (both voted among the top 100 climbs in the UK). More than £28,500 was raised for GroceryAid.Sarah De Wit, new product manager at Asda, said: “The organisation was amazing, as was everyone involved from the guides to the riders. I’m already hoping to enter again next year with a bigger group from Asda!”The Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge will return next year, taking place from the 29 June to 1 July 2017. Visit the GroceryAid website for more details.Last month the GroceryAid Summer Ball raised £188k for the food industry charity, the most it has ever made at the event.
As part of a repair job 3,300 years in the making, Harvard’s Semitic Museum is seeking to undo some of the destruction wrought when Assyrians smashed the ancient city of Nuzi in modern-day Iraq, looting the temple and destroying artifacts.In a high-tech project that would have been impossible even four years ago, technicians are attempting to re-create a 2-foot-long ceramic lion that likely flanked an image of the goddess Ishtar in a temple in long-ago Nuzi, which is the modern archaeological site of Yorghan Tepe. The project will blend fragments of the original statue held by the museum with pieces created through 3-D scans of its intact mirror image, which likely sat on Ishtar’s other side.Adam Aja, assistant curator of collections, carefully examines a piece of the model.Museum assistant director Joseph Greene said the project is partly driven by the desire to re-create the damaged lion and partly by a commitment to use the latest technology to probe the thousands of artifacts in the museum’s collection in search of new data from them.“It’s important to devote our time and attention to objects we have in our collection and to apply the latest techniques, techniques not dreamed of when [the artifacts] were dug up,” Greene said. “There’s a continual curiosity: What more can we learn? What hasn’t been tried so far? Can we wring new data from objects that have been in our basement for 80 years?”The museum holds just two pieces of the fragmentary lion, its front paws and a larger chunk of rump and back legs. Technicians from an outside contractor, Learning Sites Inc., visited the museum Friday to take digital photographs of the fragments to augment more than 120 images taken of the intact statue.According to Donald Sanders, Learning Sites president, the 3-D models are made using the digital photos and sophisticated computer software that knits the images together. The images can be taken with ordinary cameras and even cellphone cameras, but they have to overlap, so that the software can sort and match the images to create the model. The more overlap there is, he said, the more data points the software has, and the more detailed the model can be. By taking more than 120 images of a relatively small statue like the lion, the resolution can be less than a millimeter.A detail from the face of one of the statues. The temple where the lions originated likely contained at least four such statues, two standing and two crouching, flanking an image of the goddess Ishtar, according to Adam Aja.The result, Sanders said, is a 3-D image that can be called up on a computer screen, rotated, zoomed in and out, and examined in detail by scholars off-site, providing accurate access to a museum artifact that they might otherwise have had to visit Cambridge to see. For display purposes, the digital models can be “printed out” on sophisticated, 3-D machines that sculpt from high-density foam.The software will attempt to use the 3-D model of the intact lion to re-create the missing parts for the broken one. The intact original will be returned to its owner, the University of Pennsylvania, next year when the Semitic Museum’s second-floor exhibition hall is closed for renovation.The temple where the lions originated likely contained at least four such statues, two standing and two crouching, flanking an image of the goddess Ishtar, according to assistant curator Adam Aja.The two standing statues, owned by the Harvard University Art Museums, and the crouching lions have been on display at the Semitic Museum since 1998, the first time they’ve been together since the late Bronze Age destruction of the temple, Aja said.Nuzi was inhabited by people called Hurrians near modern-day Kirkuk in Iraq. The city was destroyed by the Assyrians sometime between 1350 and 1300 B.C. Lions, which once roamed the area, were considered symbols of power, and reliefs depict rulers going on lion hunts.The statues and their re-created models will be taken off display next year when the gallery is renovated, but will be public again when the work is completed, probably in 2014.
Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard is a free repository of vetted research, breaking down barriers to information across the world. After reading a journal article on the transgender community in Iran from Harvard’s open access collections, an anonymous reader writes: “I happen to belong the population of this study, namely a genetic male, gender-fluid Iranian. I wish more research was done in this area. It was very heart-warming to know that academia is not oblivious to our plight.”Digital Access to Scholarship at Harvard (DASH) is a free repository of peer-reviewed articles by Harvard faculty and researchers, available to anyone with internet access. From a single mother in Pakistan to a public health researcher in South Africa, personal notes populate an interactive map revealing stories from users around the world—many from countries that restrict access to the free flow of information.“Open access increases the relevance of research to a greater audience,” says Kyle K. Courtney, program manager and copyright advisor at the Harvard Library Office for Scholarly Communication. By removing price and permission barriers from peer-reviewed articles, knowledge that was once the privilege of the elite is available to everyone.
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) has announced that Howard Gardner is the winner of the 2020 Distinguished Contributions to Research in Education Award for outstanding achievement and success in education research. The honor was announced July 23, as part of AERA’s slate of 2020 awards for excellence in education research.Gardner, the Hobbs Research Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is best known for his theory of multiple intelligences, which suggests that human intelligence should be differentiated into modalities, rather than be accepted as a general ability.Part of the original team of researchers at Harvard’s Project Zero when it was established by Nelson Goodman in 1967, Gardner went on to become co-director, then senior director. His research with Project Zero includes The Good Project, which promotes “excellence, engagement, and ethics in education, preparing students to become good workers and good citizens who contribute to the overall well-being of society,” and Higher Education in the 20th Century, a large-scale national study of college today.Gardner, who is also an adjunct professor of psychology at Harvard, is the recipient of numerous other honors, including a MacArthur Prize Fellowship and a Fellowship from the John S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1981 and 2000, respectively. In 1990, he was the first American to receive the University of Louisville’s Grawemeyer Award in Education. He earned his A.B. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.“While I am best known for developing the theory of multiple intelligences, that was basically a work of intellectual synthesis,” said Gardner. “It’s our teams’ empirical work — experimental and qualitative — over many years on the development and expression of artistic cognition, the creation of innovative forms of assessment (including the assessment of intelligences in young children), the nature of understanding and creation in and across the disciplines, the experiences and understandings of contemporary secondary school and college students, and, especially, the understanding and the pursuit of ‘good work’ that is being recognized by this award.“My fondest hope is that, going forward, individuals the world over will draw on their profile of intelligences to carry out work that is excellent, engaging, and ethical — the intertwined virtues of good work,” Gardner added.“This year’s award winners exemplify commitment to the study and practice of education,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine about 2020’s award recipients, including Gardner. “We are proud to honor their outstanding scholarship and service to the education research field.”AERA will honor the recipients for their outstanding scholarship and service at a Virtual Awards Celebration, Sept. 12, 3-4:30 p.m. EDT.Learn more about the impact of Professor Howard Gardner.
Volume XXXINumber 1Page 14 From time to time, someone somewhere in Georgia turns over a rockor log and finds a grayish brown, flat worm with a head shapedlike a half-moon. It’s one of those things that, when you findit, you just have to find out what it is. It’s called a land planarian.You rarely see these curious creatures. Originating in Asia,they’ve traveled around the world in nursery pots, arriving inNorth America a century ago. They’re typically found neargreenhouses. If the habitat is warm and moist enough, they canescape and get established in the wild.Land planarians are in a primitive group of worms called, aptlyenough, flatworms. They don’t have circulatory, respiratory orskeletal systems.Spatula headsTheir semicircular heads look like little spatulas. In some partsof the world, they’re called “shovel-headed garden worms.” Whilethe top is typically gray to greenish-brown with darker stripes,the underside is pale.They don’t have eyes. But light-sensitive cells allow them toperceive light, which they shun. Land planarians can easilydesiccate, or dry out, so they have to remain in cool, dampareas. Because they avoid light, they spend the daylight hiding inmoist places under logs or in the soil.Relaxed, a land planarian may be only 3 or 4 inches long. Whenit’s crawling, though, it can easily double this length.Full-grown, it may be 12 inches long.Like snails and slugs, land planarians glide on mucus, secretingslime to help them move. These dried slime trails are signs ofplanarians, although they look exactly like the tracks that slugsor snails leave behind.Really weirdLand planarians lay eggs, but they can also reproduce by budding,or detaching from the tail end a small segment that develops anew head within a week or so.Strangely, the planarian’s mouth isn’t on its head but halfwaydown its belly. It wraps itself around an earthworm, attackingprey up to 10 times its size, and sucks its juices. Even moreoddly, the same opening serves as its anus.Although they’re found around plant nurseries, they’re harmlessto plants. Some land planarians feed on slugs and insect larvae.The most common species in Georgia, though, feeds on earthworms.And yes, they’re cannibalistic, too.These weird worms are rare in Georgia. Gardeners are the peoplemost likely to encounter them, while digging in the soil orturning over rocks and logs.But it’s OK. They’re not known to be poisonous, although there issome evidence they don’t taste good to dogs.Because they’re harmless, there aren’t any controlrecommendations. Science teachers at your local school willprobably be glad to take any specimens you can provide.
At midnight on Sunday, December 11, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) will close a 1.1 mile section of Route 107 in Stockbridge so work crews can expedite final repairs to the road and replace two culverts that were damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. The road is expected to remain closed for more than a week. Closing this segment will enable the Agency to meet its goal of opening the road before the end of the year. Route 107 between its intersection with Route 100 in Stockbridge and the Post Office in Gaysville is already closed to all but local traffic. Sunday’s closure, however, will shut down this 1.1 mile road segment to all traffic, including to local residents. The Stockbridge section of Route 107 that will close on Sunday will begin approximately 1.4 miles east of Route 107’s intersection with Route 100, and extend 1.1 miles east to Route 107’s intersection with Ranney Road. Ranney Road is located just west of the Stockbridge Central School. Since Route 107 is currently closed to through traffic, VTrans has not designated a detour. However, residential traffic ‘ including those needing access to Stockbridge Central School ‘ will be able to use Blackmer Boulevard to bypass the construction. No residents or businesses will be stranded as a result of the closure because there are no buildings located along the 1.1 miles of Route 107 that will be closed. The new construction will not impact the other sections of Route 107 that were damaged by the storm. A section of Route 107 just west of Tozier’s Restaurant in Bethel has been closed to all traffic since Irene struck on August 28, and will remain closed until the entire roadway reopens sometime in late December. Replacing the two culverts in Stockbridge is among the final tasks necessary before Route 107 can be reopened in its entirety. The seven miles of road stretching from its intersection with Route 100 in Stockbridge, east towards Tozier’s Restaurant in Bethel, experienced heavy damage during Tropical Storm Irene. This remains the last damaged stretch of Vermont state highway still closed as a result of the storm. Irene struck on August 28, 2011 and severely damaged more than 500 miles of state highway, including some 200 state bridges. Today, only two bridge locations along Route 12A in Roxbury and seven miles of Route 107 between Stockbridge and Bethel remain closed to public travel. Questions regarding storm-damaged roads and bridges related to Tropical Storm Irene can be answered by calling VTrans’ Irene Storm Center at 1-800-Vermont. People can also visit VTrans’ website at www.aot.state.vt.us(link is external) and follow the agency’s progress on both Facebook and Twitter. VTrans 12.6.2011
Who’s the coolest raft guide? What’s the best zip line? Where’s the best terrain park? Over 55,000 votes poured in for our Best of the Blue Ridge Readers’ Choice Awards. From the black-diamond runs atop snowy mountaintops to the world-class whitewater in the river valleys, here are your favorite outdoor people, places, and parties.BEST SKI RESORT PARTYCuervo Games, Snowshoe Mountain ResortFor over 20 years, Snowshoe Mountain Resort has welcomed their good friend Jose Cuervo to the slopes for a spring skiing weekend. Mr. Cuervo may not know how to pizza or French-fry on the slopes, but he knows how to margarita off them. In one of the season’s biggest parties, Snowshoe cedes control of the mountain for a weekend of games, revelers, and of course, copious amounts of tequila. For 2013, Snowshoe is doubling down on debauchery by combining the Cuervo Games with their Spring Break weekend in probably the savviest marketing decision of the year. Daytime activities may include a cardboard box race, volleyball tournament, and tug of war competition, among others. When the sun sets is when the party really begins to heat up. The outdoor festivities move inside but continue unabated with margarita relays, thumping dance parties, and live music across the resort, giving new meaning to the term après.2nd place – Freestyle Double Cross Championship Party, Wintergreen, Virginia3rd place – Winterfest, Beech, North CarolinaBEST OF THE RESTSnowy Luau, Timberline; Sugar Fest, Sugar Mountain; Dew Games, Liberty University Snowflex Centre; Jack Frost, White Grass; Bryce College Race Weekend; The Festival of Gnarnia, Beech MountainBEST PLACE TO LEARN TO SKIWinterplace, West VirginiaLearning how to ski can be difficult. Teaching how to ski has left people depressed, divorced, or even worse, without a ride home. If you want to come out of this winter alive, better leave the teaching to the experts. Our readers voted Winterplace Ski Resort outside Ghent, W.Va. as the Southeast’s best spot to do just that. Winterplace is a Professional Ski Instructors of America and American Association of Snowboard Instructors Member. Pupils can learn to ski in peace in their secluded school area. Winterplace’s best asset is its terrain, 37 percent of which is labeled as beginner slopes. Once you link up some turns and graduate from the Super Carpet, it’s easy to advance gradually onto the lifts to access appropriately named slopes like Country Roads or Buttermilk. Winterplace also caters to the beginner skier by offering lift/rental/lesson packages at deep discounts. Learning to ski all day can wipe you out, but it is easy to stop off at the mid-mountain Mountainhouse to warm toes and sip cocoa. Winterplace also has the largest tubing park in the region, if you need a break from the intricacies of the parallel turn. This ski hill is aimed at fun, from the beginner to the advanced rider.2nd place – Wintergreen, Virginia3rd place – Sugar Mountain, North CarolinaBEST OF THE RESTMassanutten, VA; Sapphire, NC; Beech Mountain, NC; Cataloochee Ski Area, NC; Bryce Resort, VA; Snowshoe, WV; Timberline Four Seasons Resort, WVCupp Runneth Over: Snowshoe Mountain’s Cupp Run is not just for racers.BEST TERRAIN PARKWintergreen, VirginiaWhen it comes to terrain parks, Wintergreen is the little resort that could. Going up against big boys like Seven Springs and Snowshoe, Wintergreen holds its own as our readers’ favorite terrain park. This park features the standard array of boxes, kinked rails, and kickers, but is constantly in flux. The park patrol changes the setup frequently so you always have something new to hit, whether it be a tabletop or a rainbow rail. The actual park is also separated into beginner and advanced, allowing aspiring X-Gamers to gradually work up to that Misty Flip they have been contemplating. Like most of the slopes at Wintergreen, their terrain park is lighted for night skiing. Best of all, there is a lift serving just the park on weekends, making it easy for shredders to lap the park while heckling their friends, or enemies, from the relative safety of the chairlift.2nd place – Snowshoe, West Virginia3rd place – Beech Mountain, North CarolinaBEST OF THE RESTSeven Springs Resort, PA; Wisp Resort, MD; Appalachian Ski Mountain, NC; Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, VA; Timberline Four Seasons Resort, WVBEST RACE T-SHIRTBlue Ridge Marathon, Roanoke, VirginiaHard to say if it was the actual art and design of the race shirt that appealed to our readers or the fact that this grinder outside Roanoke, Va., is billed as “America’s Toughest Road Marathon.” With over 3,600 feet of climbing, the race earns every bit of its reputation. In the lead up to the 2012 Blue Ridge Marathon, race organizers opened the race’s logo and t-shirt design to aspiring artists in a contest. The winning design was slapped on everything from water bottles to banners and, of course, the race t-shirt. While the finisher’s medal is obviously the top goal of any marathon runner, the race t-shirt is something you’ll want to show off, especially when it comes to this brutal marathon.2nd place – Shut-In Ridge Trail Run3rd place – Mountain Junkies Trail SeriesBEST OF THE RESTBaltimore Running Festival; Rock/Creek Stump Jump; Peachtree Road Race; Columbia Marathon; Tribal Quest; Shenandoah Mountain 100 Backcountry Mountain Bike Race; Mad Anthony Mud RunBEST NEW FITNESS TRENDStand Up PaddleboardingOver the past couple of years, the sport of Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) has taken over the world of watersports. Several factors like marketing and design have facilitated this meteoric rise, but one aspect of SUP rises above the rest to explain its popularity: versatility. This is a sport that anyone can do; the equipment and experience needed is minimal; and the activities virtually endless. Paddle around a flat-water lake for an intense, full-body workout, then pull out the fly rod and take a shot at some largemouth. Haul your board to the beach and paddle into waves without having to jump up from a prone position, by far the toughest part of surfing. Boards can be stable enough to practice yoga on, perfecting balance both physical and existential. The adventure seeker can run Class II-III rapids or explore coastal wetlands spotting wildlife. As more and more people discover different uses for the paddleboard, manufacturers are producing more and more specialized boards with features designed specifically for any given activity. As far as SUP has come, it will be even more exciting to see where the sport goes in the next few years.2nd place – Crossfit3rd place – CyclingBEST OF THE RESTBikram Yoga; Barefoot/Minimalist Running; Boot Camp; Paddle Yoga; Natural Workouts; PilatesBEST STATE PARK CAMPGROUNDDouthat State Park, VirginiaDouthat was one of the six original Virginia State Parks established in the early 1930s, and according to our readers it has stood the test of time. The 4,500-acre park has four established campgrounds with 87 sites, the most coveted of which border the 50-acre Douthat Lake. During the summer months, the lake provides the perfect place to take a dip after a long hike on one of Douthat’s 40 miles of trail, most of which are also open to mountain bikes. Each of the campgrounds offers something different, from hot showers and bathhouses to electric hookups and on-site water spigots. If camping is a little too rough for you, Douthat also has 35 cabins available for rent, ranging from one to six bedrooms. Whether you are camping or “glamping,” Douthat State Park is definitely one of the most beautiful areas in Virginia, and should not be missed.2nd place – Blackwater Falls State Park, West Virginia3rd place – Pipestem State Park, West VirginiaBEST OF THE RESTCrowders Mountain State Park, N.C.; Frozen Head State Park, Tenn.; Gorges State Park, n.c.; First Landing State Park, va; Breaks Interstate Park, ky.; Roan Mountain State Park, tenn.; Vogel State Park, gaFESTIVAL WITH BEST FOODFloydFestFestival food can take many forms: it can be strictly functional as fuel to keep music lovers operating throughout the weekend, or it can be a showcase of local, creative fare with the power to draw hippies from three stages away. FloydFest falls squarely in this latter category, with a cornucopia of chow from across the nation and world. Their food court is packed with enticing options, ranging from vegan sandwiches to crepes to Cajun gator bites. With ten years of Floyd under their belts, these food stands have their systems dialed, cranking out veggie burritos and French toast at an alarming pace for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The perennial favorite of the Blue Ridge Outdoors staff is the Veggiething from the Sugar Shack. Wash it all down with craft beer flowing at the various beer gardens. FloydFest is one festival where you may here, “Dude, where did you get that sando?” as much as you’ll here, “Dude, who you seeing tonight?”2nd place – The Festy Experience3rd place – Blue Ridge BBQ FestivalBEST OF THE RESTMountain Sports Festival; Bonnaroo; Shenandoah Mountain Bike Festival; LEAF Festival; Lewisburg, West Virginia Chocolate Festival; National Apple Harvest Festival; Roanoke GO Outside FestivalFAVORITE RAFT GUIDELinc Stallings, Southeastern ExpeditionsLike most professional river guides, Linc Stallings chases the seasons. For the past 16 years, Stallings has been living seasonally, moving around the country to guide some of the best whitewater in the U.S. He has had stints in Alaska, Colorado, and Montana but always returns to his home waters in the Southeast.“I’ve been quite fortunate that I’ve been able to work and guide and play in some of the most beautiful places in the country,” he said. “The Blue Ridge has always been my home, and I always come back to it. Honestly, I don’t think there are any more beautiful mountains or more exciting places than the Southeast and Blue Ridge.”Stallings has guided for most of the major outfitters in the Southeast, but lately has moved toward smaller, mom and pop type outfitters like Southeastern Expeditions to guide on his favorite river, the Chattooga. He also cites exposing people to the beauty of rivers and sharing the whitewater experience as the best parts of his job.“It’s usually people from further south or the big city and you get them in the woods and take them out of their comfort zone and just blow their minds on what really exists out there outside their little bubble,” he said. “I think a lot of people haven’t experienced enough of the whitewater industry. They go down the Nantahala or the Ocoee or the New River, but there’s so much more out there and I love to share that with people.”2nd place – Shanna Crompton, ACE Adventure Resort, New/Gauley Rivers3rd place – Brian Jennings, Rivermen, New/Gauley RiversBEST OF THE RESTSquirrel Hager, Class VI River Runners, New/Gauley Rivers; Jay Ann Jones, Songer, New/Gauley Rivers; Cathy Kennedy, NOC, Chattooga/Ocoee/Nolichucky/Nantahala/Pigeon Rivers; Tom Gage, Wildwater, Pigeon River; Steve Reid, ACE Adventure Resort, New/Gauley Rivers; Larry Nibert, Adventures on the GorgeBEST PRIVATE FLY FISHING SPOTHarmans Cottages, West VirginiaIf you are going to pay to fish for trout in the Blue Ridge, our readers say there is no better place than Harman’s North Fork Cottages in West Virginia’s Potomac Highlands. On the property, luxury log cabins line a mile stretch of the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River, some of which have hot tubs on the porch and satellite TV. A 20-yard walk from your cabin door puts you on Harman’s private stretch of river stocked regularly year-round with trout growing to trophy size. Book a guide or head out on your own to catch these bruisers. If you tire of the stocked section, Harman’s is located at the hub of the best trout fishing the state has to offer. Smoke Hole, Seneca Creek, Gandy Creek, and Blackwater are all within 45 miles. Harman’s also offers plenty of other on-site outdoor activities, including hiking, but the fishing is the main draw. With such easy access and luxury, Harman’s has family vacation written all over it.2nd place – Rose River Farm, Virginia3rd place – Mossy Creek, VirginiaBEST OF THE RESTEscatawba Farms, VA; Biltmore Estate, NC; Susie Q Farm, VA; Noontootla Creek Farms, GA; Boone Fork Creek, NC; Smoky Mountains Fly Fishing; Hookers Fly Shop and Guide ServiceBEST PUBLIC FLY FISHING SPOTJackson River, VirginiaThe Jackson River is widely considered the finest trout river in Virginia, and is a very popular spot for anglers. Originating in the Alleghenies of northwest Virginia, the Jackson is split into distinct sections by Lake Moomaw and the Gathright Dam. Above the lake, the Jackson is a relatively small, firestone river fed by cool spring creeks. Caddis and mayfly hatches are abundant, allowing stocked rainbow and brown trout to grow large and sometimes weather the hot summer months. The special regulation area above Hidden Valley in Bath County is flyfishing only and sees limited action due to the mandatory two mile hike in. Below the dam, the Jackson spreads out into the largest and best wild trout fishery in the region. Though the legal aspects of wade fishing this tailwater are still working their way through the courts, floating the section in a drift boat or raft is definitely the way to go. Steady water releases from the bottom of the lake ensure consistently cool water flows year round. Pools, riffles, and pocket water bring your whole arsenal into play on any given day, from drifting size 22 midges on 7x tippet to dragging double bunny streamers through dark water. While most famous for its large, wild browns, the river also supports a healthy population of rainbows, neither of which have been stocked since 1993.2nd place – Nantahala River, North Carolina3rd place – Davidson River, North CarolinaBEST OF THE RESTSmith River, VA; Jacks/Conasauga River, GA/TN; Tuckaseegee River, NC; Mossy Creek, VA; South River, VA; New River, WV; Gauley River, WVBEST BLUE RIDGE BREWVienna Lager, Devils Backbone, VirginiaThe Vienna Lager was one of the original beers brewed by Devils Backbone Brewery at the base of Virginia’s Wintergreen Resort, and it continues to impress beer aficionados from around the globe. Since 2008, the Vienna Lager has evolved into the beer it is today, a richly colored, well-balanced session lager that goes down smooth with no bitterness. Beer snobs love the subtle flavor of the malt blend, while the casual drinker can appreciate the light body and crisp finish. The brew took Silver at the 2009 Great American Beer Festival and Gold at the 2012 World Beer Cup—the Olympics of beer—in the Vienna Lager category. These only add to Devils Backbone’s accolades that include a World Beer Cup Champion Brewery and Brewmaster title in 2010, the highest honor of the event. Vienna Lager also won Gold at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival so it has several medals and awards. Devils Backbone also brought home the national title of Small Brewpub and Small Brewpub Brewer of the Year ~ 2012 Great American Beer Festival. As the brewery’s flagship, the Vienna Lager will continue to evolve, but will always be a Blue Ridge favorite.2nd place – Cold Mountain, Highland Brewing, Asheville, North Carolina3rd place – Full Nelson, Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton, VirginiaBEST OF THE RESTBoxcar Pumpkin Porter, Starr Hill; Hopsecutioner IPA, Terrapin Beer Company; Bridge Brew Ale, Bridge Brew Works; Iron Rail IPA, Wedge Brewery; Local Species, Blue Mountain Barrel House; Dark Hollow, Blue Mountain Brewery; Apocalyptic Ale, Lost Rhino Brewing CompanyBEST CANOPY TOURAdventures On The Gorge Canopy Tour, Fayetteville, West VirginiaThe New River Gorge is one of the great scenic gorges in the East, and what better way to get a bird’s-eye view than by zipping around the trees? West Virginia’s Adventures on the Gorge offers not one but three options when it comes to aerial exploration. Their TreeTops Canopy Tour consists of 10 zip lines, five cable bridges, one rappel, and views of the canopy and valley floor you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Those with a bigger thirst for adventure can step up to the Gravity Tour that zips you across valleys above the trees. The final zip ride of the tour is 3,100 feet long and riders can reach speeds of 50 mph. The latest addition is the TimberTrek Aerial Adventure, a system of cables and obstacles designed to challenge participants both mentally and physically in the vein of the traditional team-building ropes course. Adventures on the Gorge has something in the trees for everyone, and our readers recognize that.2nd place – North Georgia Canopy Tours3rd place (TIE) – Navitat Canopy Tours and ACE Adventure CenterBEST OF THE RESTRuby Falls Zipstream; ACE Adventure Center; Hawksnest Ziplines; Pigeon River Canopy Tours; Go Ape Freedom Park; Laurel Highlands Canopy Tour; Carolina ZiplinesBEST CARSubaru OutbackNothing says “outdoor lifestyle” more than the iconic Subaru Outback; in fact, it practically screams it. Since it hit the market in 1994, the Subaru wagon has been the preferred mode of motorized transportation for outdoor adventurers from Vermont to California due to its all-wheel drive, ground clearance, and storage capacity. Longevity and reliability are also key factors, apparent in all the late 90s models puttering around ski and climbing towns across the U.S. Subaru also knows exactly where its bread is buttered, marketing the Outback specifically towards the outdoor crowd. It’s a mobile home, tent, gear closet, tool shed, and storage locker in one package. On snow, backcountry roads, or mountain passes, the Subaru Outback will get you there, and everyone will know what you are all about when you arrive: good times in the outdoors.2nd place – Jeep Wrangler3rd place – Toyota TacomaBEST OF THE RESTHonda CR-V; Ford Escape Hybrid; Toyota FJ Cruiser; VW Eurovan; Honda Element; Toyota 4Runner; Nissan XterraLooking for adventure? Check out our Editor’s Top 25 Adventure Picks!
The lakes of the Blue Ridge Mountains are known for their breathtaking views and fun weekends on the water, but there is often a forgotten history that lurks beneath them. Entire towns have been submerged, sparking the interest of scuba divers, historians, and myth busters.Fontana LakeWith 360 degree views of the Great Smoky Mountains, Fontana Lake is the largest lake in Western North Carolina with the tallest dam east of the Rockies. Beneath the lake rests the remains of the once-bustling town of Judson. Judson had a population of around 600 people with a simple array of shops in town, including a sawmill and a post office. Then, in the 1930s, Swain County sold Judson and other lands to the government in order to create both Fontana Lake and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The dam was built to produce hydroelectric power—mainly for the Aluminum Company of America which produced ships, aircraft, and munitions during World War II. The gain for the war effort became the cost for the people of Judson, whose town was submerged.The highest points of structures from the sunken town of Judson are somtimes visible when Fontana Lake is at extremely low levels. There are visible foundations, graves, and other remnants of the town. With permission during drawdowns, people can access the eerie ghost town, and some venture onto the water by pontoon boat to see, if the water is just clear enough, if they can get a glimpse of the submerged ruins.Lake BurtonThis summer hotspot for family vacations in north Georgia, Lake Burton is one of four lakes created by damming sections of the Tallulah River to produce hydroelectric power for Atlanta and surrounding areas. Up until 1917, Burton was not a lake, but was the largest town in Rabun County. Founded in the early 1800s as one of the first gold rush towns of north Georgia, Burton was a farm town of around 200 people. The town was bought by the Georgia Railway and Electric Company in 1917, and much like the town of Judson, was soon submerged.During the relocation of Burton’s residents, all graves were supposed to be raised and moved beyond the shoreline, and small cemeteries are a common sight today along the roads surrounding the lake. However, for many locals in the area, countless stories have been told and shared of cemeteries that lie beneath the waters, leaving the question: are those grave tenants still haunting the lake today?Lake JocasseeRevered for its emerald waters and abundant recreation, South Carolina’s Lake Jocassee area was filled with rich history before the dam was built in 1973. South of where the dam and the hydroelectric station are currently located was once Keowee Village or Keowee Town, the capital of the Lower Cherokee Indians. The lake’s name “Jocassee” is derived from the Cherokee language and means “Place of the Lost One.”The Cherokee lost their land to settlers, and then the settlers lost the land to the waters of the new lake. Both Lake Jocassee and the neighboring Lake Keowee were formed as a result of the construction by Duke Power for their Keowee Toxaway Project. With the building of the dam in 1973, the waters of Whitewater River began to flow upstream for the first time as Lake Jocassee covered the town.Divers frequent the area. Jocassee Lake Dive Shop owner and technical instructor Bill Routh was the first to discover the Whitewater Bridge, Camp Jocassee for Girls, and the Attakulla Lodge which rests below 300 feet of water. The lodge found by Routh was once a popular place for people to gather together on the river. Debbie Fletcher is particularly grateful for the discovery of the lodge, as it was owned and operated by her grandparents. Fletcher accompanies the divers every time they dive to the lodge. She also keeps up the tradition of her grandmother of feeding guests of the lodge. Every time they go out on the boat, Fletcher brings food along for the divers.A friend of Routh’s was the first to discover the Mount Carmel Cemetery, made famous by the 1972 film Deliverance, which was produced the year before the dam was constructed and the valley was lost. Today, there is underwater diving footage of the cemetery where the names of the deceased can still be read on the tombstones.Summersville LakeBeneath the largest lake in West Virginia is a village whose name has been all but forgotten: Gad. When flooding towns to create man-made lakes for power production was common, typically the lake and dam were named after the town that was once there. However, in this case, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chose not to adopt the name “Gad Dam.” Instead they went with Summerville, the second closest town at the time. In the winter, the lake is drained for repairs, and parts of old roadway, foundations, and stone carvings are visible.Smith Mountain LakeAlthough there is no hard evidence of the rumored town of Monroe beneath Virginia’s beloved Smith Mountain Lake, many still believe that the truth lies beneath the water. When hydroelectric power was of top priority about 50 years ago, the damming process began on the Roanoke and Blackwater Rivers. As the waters rose, the tiny town disappeared under its waters for good. Now, the story has been taken a step further by a brewery in the town of Westlake just minutes from the water’s edge. The name is “Sunken City Brewery,” with the alleged history of this sunken town of Monroe written on its walls.Tellico and Calderwood LakesThese lakes formed after the damming of several sections of the Little Tennessee River and hide perhaps the deepest history of all. Several historic Cherokee townsites—including Chota, Tanasi, Toqua, Tomotley, Citico, Mialoqua, and Tuskegee—are now submerged. An old fort is also buried beneath the water. A crucial part of the region’s pride and history was erased when these lakes were formed. Not surprisingly, there are rampant myths of unsettled souls that haunt the area to this day.