California moves forward with fossil fuel-free power sector

first_imgCalifornia moves forward with fossil fuel-free power sector FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press: California would accelerate its efforts to generate most of the state’s energy from carbon-free sources and set a goal of phasing out fossil fuels entirely by 2045 under legislation approved Tuesday by the Assembly.The bill would require California utilities to get half their energy from wind, solar and other specific renewable sources by 2026 — four years sooner than current law requires. They would then have four more years to get 60 percent from renewables. The 2045 deadline of phasing out fossil fuels is a goal that does not include mandates or penalties.Most Democrats cheered the renewable energy bill as another way for California to show global leadership in addressing climate change by charting a path for other large economies to follow.“We have to be a leader. We have to show what can be done,” said Assemblyman Bill Quirk, a Hayward Democrat. “If we can get to 100 percent renewables, others will as well.” Quirk, a scientist who has worked on climate change research, said he wasn’t sure if the new goals were feasible, but the state must try.Phasing out fossil fuels would be a massive change in the energy grid. Utilities rely on natural gas plants to meet demand when renewables fall short, particularly in the early evening when the sun sets and people turn on their air conditioners as they get home from work. Renewable energy experts have looked to batteries that can store solar energy generated in the afternoon as one possible solution, but the technology is not ready for widescale deployment.More: California sets goal of 100 percent clean energy by 2045last_img read more

Daily Dirt: Bristol Fisherman Wins Award, Cycling Center in N.C., J.H. Whitley Acquires Confluence Watersports

first_imgBRISTOL FLY FISHERMAN WINS MAJOR AWARDPatrick Fulkrod, a native of Bristol, Virginia, has been named the Orvis National Fly Fishing Guide of the Year. Chosen from hundreds of candidates, Fulkrod took the top prize.Citing his good humor and outgoing personality, Fulkrod, 28, now has another outstanding accomplishment under his waders for such a young career. He is a guide at Mountain Sports Ltd. in Bristol, where he has been fishing since he was 10 years old. Mountain Sports is a locally owned business that has been in operation since 1981. Fulkrod has already made several notable accomplishments prior to this award including: national recognition as a 2012 Orvis-Endorsed Guide of the Year Finalist, graduate of the Western Rivers Professional Guide School (2006), Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Guide since 2007, and a Clackacraft Pro Staff Member.If you’re interested in taking a fly fishing excursion with Fulkrod, stop by Mountain Sports Limited at 1021 Commonwealth Avenue in Bristol, Va.,DOWNTOWN WINSTON-SALEM GETS ELITE CYCLING CENTERA vacant 42,000-square-foot building in downtown Winston-Salem is set to become a premier cyclist training center and a leading candidate for an official U.S. Olympic Cycling training center.The city has been an active hotspot for cycling enthusiasts over the past few years, with the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic drawing national attention and thousands of racers and fans.Dr. Rick Rauck, chairman of the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic committee, toyed with the idea of a training center in response to area interest in the sport. Steve Johnson, CEO of USA Cycling, came to Winston-Salem for a site visit last November, and has since expressed his support.While the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic committee is working with both the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Cycling to bring the official Olympic training facility to downtown, the facility will become a cycle training center regardless of official U.S. Olympic use.J.H. WHITNEY ACQUIRES CONFLUENCE WATERSPORTSPrivate equity firm J.H. Whitney has acquired industry mega-weight Confluence Watersports. With this partnership, Confluence says it will continue to be a leading presence in the paddlesports arena. This opportunity will allow the company to reassess and identify new facets for growth into a full-service outdoor recreation company — and with this new mindset in place, the company has opted to be renamed Confluence Outdoor.The company’s operations and facilities – including manufacturing, design and engineering, research and development, customer service, sales and marketing teams – will remain in its current Greenville, S.C., location. Confluence Outdoor will continue to invest and play an active leadership role in paddlesports and the outdoor recreation industry.last_img read more

Weekend Picks: First Annual Asheville Half Marathon and 10K

first_imgAsheville, N.C., Saturday, June 7, 2014The Asheville Half Marathon and 10K begins and ends in Pack Square in downtown Asheville, N.C., traversing the streets of town and along the scenic French Broad River.Runners will find entertainment provided by the Music Initiative throughout the entire race course with a local artist at every mile marker.Info: Asheville Half Marathon or (828) 200-5498No race-day registration so sign up now!Logolast_img

Trail Mix: Joseph Huber

first_imgSongwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Chris Smither, and John Prine can marvel listeners in the simplest of acoustic settings, with nothing more than a guitar and a song.In my mind, that’s the measure of a gifted songwriter. From time to time, I stumble upon a new singer/songwriter whose work warrants comparison to the luminaries on this list.Right now, I have been spinning The Hanging Road, the latest release by Joseph Huber, quite a bit. Virtually nonstop, actually, and Huber’s songwriting has me comparing him to my favorites above.Huber spent time on the road with the .357 String Band and now has three solo albums to his credit. And when I say “solo,” I mean it. Huber writes all the tunes and plays all the instruments on his recordings. The songs on The Hanging Road certainly don’t suffer from Huber’s lack of company. Both his instrumental chops and songwriting skills are on fine display.Trail Mix recently caught up with Joseph to chat about LPs, iPods, and sweet sounding suitcases.BRO – We are featuring “The Hanging Road” on Trail Mix this month. What’s the story behind the song?JH – The story behind the tune is that I had the chorus, medley, and the final chorus line bouncing around in my head for a while, and then I went home to visit my folks and my father pulls out this old Time-Life book on the American Southwest. He tells me that the Cheyenne used to call the Milky Way the “Hanging Road” and that it was the place where souls go when they die. My old man said that was a good image and line for a song and that I should write a song called that. So . . . . I did. My father comes to me every time he hears something that sounds like a song, and sometimes it just works. So, this was a collaborative effort for sure. And, contrary to what some may think, this has nothing to do with a road where hangings take place. It’s just such a beautiful substitute for where most people would put “heaven” or “the heavens.”BRO – What songwriters are blowing your mind right now?JH – I jump around a lot, but at this exact moment, I’ve been listening to Willy Tea Taylor, of Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit, and Alynda Lee Segarra, from Hurry For The Riff Raff. Willy Tea knows how to make life feel simple and within our grasp. He’s truly a salt-of-the-earth sort of writer who narrows everything down into a world where you can clearly see what is important and necessary for a good life. Hurray For The Riff Raff is a band most folks know about by now. They’ve been putting out great albums for a long time, but this newest one really has some great tunes on it. They certainly don’t need my seal of approval, as they are already blowing up this year, but still . . . my two cents is that it’s really, really good.BRO – Favorite guilty pleasure when out on the road?JH – It’s probably less attractive to admit that passing by the flashing lights of a casino makes your stomach jump into your neck with joy. But if we are truly talking guilty pleasures, then I’ll have to honestly say roulette. Don’t judge me.BRO – When is the last time you fell ass backwards into a song and it just worked?JH – It’s a rare occasion when the mind just opens up and words just flow out, at least for me. Writing just the right phrase can be laborious at times. The wordiest “songwriter” song on the album is probably “Wanchese & Manteo.” I was reading a travel novel called Blue Highway, by William Least Heat-Moon, who traveled the American landscape back in the 70s by taking nothing but off the beaten path back roads. He talked about visiting these coastal towns and the Indian chiefs associated with their towns’ names. The towns and the chiefs were strange microcosms and macrocosms of each other in a way that immediately made me circle the page and write, “This is a song” at the top. After finishing the book, I came back to that page and wrote every line in that song in a day. I reorganized it into a coherent whole and BAM!! It’s a beautiful day when the words just come, and that day was one of them. It’s certainly no radio hit due to its inherent style, but I am certainly proud of it.BRO – LPs or iPods?JH – Why dost thou sow seeds of division amongst my brethren? Ha! No, there’s room for both in my world, certainly. I’ve a soft spot in my heart for LPs and I will probably continue to press my albums on vinyl as long as I play music. But I’m a furniture maker who works in a filthy, dusty shop, and that’s where I do most of my music listening. So, iPods are absolutely necessary then. My records would be ruined pretty quick there. I like to think the world is moving toward a spot where these two formats will live happily together, like pressing LPs with download cards. I’m no predictor of the future, though.BRO – Any secrets to getting good tone out of a Samsonite suitcase?JH – Well, it was by no means on purpose that my two different suitcases I’ve used throughout my suitcase drumming career have been Samsonites. Both were found by my mother at various antique stores. Maybe she knew something about the “Samsonite Sound” before I did. But they both certainly have a great tone to them. From here on out, I’ll probably look for that name so I know it will be sturdy. And, as you can see, it’s a bit of a family affair here. My father comes up with the song titles, and my mother keeps my percussion section stocked.Joseph Huber will take to the road again in early August, with dates in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Ohio. Late August finds Huber in Cookeville, Tennessee, for the Muddy Roots Music Festival.For more info on Joseph Huber and how to get a copy of The Hanging Road, surf over to read more

Bourbon: A Platonic Love Affair

first_imgYou ever met someone and known immediately that you’re going to be life-long friends? Like, you get a flash of your life 30 years in the future, and you see you and this new friend playing shuffleboard and wearing black socks. Together. Forever. I’m not talking about a romantic relationship here. This is something deeper than that. This is true platonic friendship. Like minds, taking on the world together. Laverne and Shirley. Butch and Sundance. In the parlance of our times, BFF.That’s exactly how I felt after the first sip of Abraham Bowman, Pioneer Spirit. It’s as if I met my platonic soul mate. My BFF. I saw us growing old and wearing black socks together. Me and this beautiful bourbon from Fredericksburg, Va.It’s a burly whiskey. 100 proof, but somehow still completely enjoyable neat. A. Smith Bowman Distillery took a 12-year-old bourbon and finished it in port barrels, borrowed from a local winery. There’s a little knife’s edge of saltiness, along with the expected big notes of vanilla and a spiciness that comes with that much time in wood. Finishing the bourbon in port adds a layer of dark, stone fruit—a different kind of sweetness altogether. A little bit of ice in this dark liquor, and it was all over. I had visions of me and Abraham hitting ball games together, celebrating after long hikes. Going on epic road trips. Together. I’m not sure about the legality of this, but I’d like for Abraham to be the godfather to my children. BFF.For whatever reason, if you make a bourbon these days, you have to name it after a Revolutionary War figure. Abraham Bowman was a Virginia-born war hero. I assume that’s him in the ghost-like picture on the back of the bottle. But this booze doesn’t need some trumped up backstory. You could put it in a plastic bottle and call it “Hooch,” and I’d still go out of my way to hang out with this bourbon.It’s true—I fall in love with whiskies on a fairly regular basis, but I really think that this is something different. Something meaningful. Me and Abraham. BFF.– Graham Averill is a longtime B.R.O. contributor and hosts his own blog called Daddy-Drinks.last_img read more

Don’t Follow The Hippie Calendar. Summer Is Here!

first_imgLife is about to get good. That’s what Memorial Day weekend means to me. Because I love summer and this is the beginning of summer. I don’t care if the Summer Solstice isn’t until late June—I don’t follow the hippie calendar, I follow the redneck calendar so I know it’s summer when I see the first barefoot kid at Walmart and the first Jet Ski on the French Broad River. And both of those events will happen this weekend, so that’s when summer hits.The reason why I love summer so much is obvious: tank tops and car camping, outdoor ping pong battles and tubing trips, day drinking and waterfall seeking, mountain biking and skinny dipping…And when Memorial Day weekend arrives, I’m fairly ready itching to do all of it at once. The problem is, the powers that be only give us three days to jump head first into summer’s festivities and you simply cannot do everything that is great and weather dependent in 72 short hours. I want to take the kids camping, but also kick off bike/bar crawl season. I want to see a baseball game but also go mountain biking. Hit the Mountain Sports Festival to revel in the crowds, but also hike deep into the forest to escape all of the tourists. I absolutely have to play ping pong on the concrete table of one of my favorite bars, but then I wouldn’t be able to host a cookout at my house. And what about the beginning of the Suburban Lawn Games tournament? That should kick off this weekend too.Burial Innertube LagerThe long weekend just isn’t long enough. So I’m going to have to focus, maintain a steady diet of Red Bull and Burial Beer’s Innertube Beer and simply try to knock out as many adventures as I possibly can in the next 72 hours. It won’t be easy, but this is what I’ve been training for all Spring. Summer is here. F$&ck yeah.last_img read more

Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes: Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower

first_img<span data-mce-type=”bookmark” style=”display: inline-block; width: 0px; overflow: hidden; line-height: 0;” class=”mce_SELRES_start”></span>Justin Forrest is an outdoor writer, fly fishing addict, and co-founder of Narrative North—based in Asheville, N.C. He posts pictures of cats and fishing on Instagram sometimes. A must-do hike on the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower is easy to find, easy to hike, and offers some of the best views in the area.Due to its ease of access, close proximity to Asheville, and stunning views, the Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower is the first place I take friends and family who are visiting the area.  There are many fire towers in the mountains of WNC, but this one is the tallest. It’s a dog-friendly trail and perfect for the whole family. From the fire tower, visitors have views of Mt. Pisgah, Looking Glass Rock, Cold Mountain, and the surrounding areas that are second-to-none.My mom took her time climbing to the top.Scared of heights? Face your fears. It’s worth it.If you’re scared of heights, this might not be the hike for you. While the views from Fryingpan are breathtaking, the tower itself can be a little terrifying. On top of Fryingpan Mountain, you’re already at 5,340 feet in elevation. So why not climb five stories higher? The tower might seem a little rickety, but it’s safe and well worth the challenge. Don’t worry about that loose floor panel or the gusty wind; those are just there for effect.Sunsets and sunrises alike are incredible here. Climb it in the fall and you’ll never want to leave. It’s one of the few places where you’re actually a part of the clouds, above everything else, looking down on the world below. The vastness of the surrounding mountains and valleys really makes you feel small.One of the many tunnels you pass through on the way.Getting there ain’t half bad either.Winding past scenic vistas and through mountain tunnels, the drive to Fryingpan is almost as beautiful as the tower itself.  Heading west on the parkway from Asheville, Fryingpan is a 30-45 minute drive depending on where you’re at. Located at Milepost 409.6, the parking area to access Fryingpan is pretty unassuming. Luckily, this trail shows up in your favorite navigation app, making navigation a breeze.The tower, jutting out of the mountain above, is a good indicator that you’re in the right spot. There is a gated entrance to a gravel service road heading up the mountain. Pull off and park to the sides of the entrance or the sides of the parkway nearby. Be sure not to block the gate as service vehicles will need access.The final climb up to the tower.You’re going to be walking uphill the whole time.After walking in around the gate, head past the little trails on your right and continue up the main road. While the hike doesn’t offer any views itself, it’s lined with beautiful wildflowers and buzzing insects. Groundwater seeps across the road and over the side of the mountain in some places. About halfway through the hike, you pass a gate that leads to private property. There is a little respite of flat ground at the end right before the steepest part, which is the last haul up to the tower. After a heavy rain, portions of the road can be rutted and a little difficult to walk. Stick to the higher sides of the road for ease of use and the sanctity of your ankles’ wellbeing.My little brother enjoying the views.You won’t need a ton of gear.This is a short hike with a regular amount of visitors so you don’t need to bring your survival rations or Camelbak here. A water bottle and a full tummy will suffice. The road is all gravel, so any old sneakers will get you up just fine. I regularly see folks in flip-flops making the haul to the top. Bring your trusty DSLR of course and if you have binoculars laying around, bring them too!Looking Glass Rock in the distance.Things to keep in mind:While it is a fire tower, and you can climb it, you cannot access the quarters at the top level. It is locked and for official use only. You can, however, access the landings at the top of each flight of stairs up to the 5th level.Take turns with other folks accessing the tower. The landings are limited on space, so respect others that are there before you. Most folks are just up for a quick selfie anyway. Let them share how awesome they are with Facebook and then take your turn.Like all other trails in the area, there are no trash cans, so only bring in what you plan to take out. I’m tired of seeing water bottles stuck into the chain link on the tower. Please don’t leave your trash on the mountain.Fryingpan By The Numbers:Hike Distance: 1.5 miles out and back.Elevation: 5,340 ftHike Elevation Gain: 347 feetYear Built: 1941Height: 70 feetBest Times: Spring-Falllast_img read more


first_img June 24, 2018: Day 2/7 Bonas Defeat  has been described as the wildest terrain and best canyoneering in the Southeast, and its dangers cannot be underestimated. “Its like hiking through the barrel of a shotgun” according to one hiker. Standing on the dam we looked down and saw a wide rock depression holding a shallow reflective pool. Dark silhouettes of trout congregated in one corner as a bald eagle rose from its nest and circled the gorge as we climbed down. The riverbed  made a quick turn to the right and the gorge narrowed. Trees and rocks towered above us. Luke and I casually explored overhanging rock caves and grottos, observing sunlight reflecting in pools of water as the canyon steepened. There is no trail. The dry riverbed affords a rare opportunity to analyze river geology and the boulders and slabs that form rapids. There was an ever lingering fear that a sudden dam release could sweep us all away. Click here to read Day 3 Click here to read Day 1 center_img The four of us were sore and exhausted from yesterday but renewed with anticipation to hike straight down the Bonas Defeat section of the Tuckasegee riverbed. Leaving our boats at camp we traded paddling gear for hiking gear. With  stout hiking sandals, backpacks, water bottles and rope we stealthily made our way to the dam where the Bonas Defeat section begins. It always feels a little “sketchy” walking down a driveway and bushwhacking through private lands to reach a wilderness destination. Local land ownership and history must be respected. The online resource American Whitewater has done a good job highlighting private lands  and making recommendations regarding put-in and take-out. Suddenly, a 400 foot rock wall appeared to our left! The granite rose straight up like a skyscraper with trees visible on the flat grassy rim……. Bonas Defeat! The name Bonas Defeat is clouded in mystery and seems fitting for such a surreal place. One version has it that early settlers named it after the fiddle tune “Bonaparte’s Retreat”. The more common version has it named after an  old hunting dog named Bony Ass. The legend is that ‘Bonas’ would chase deer off the 400 foot cliff and his owner would collect the carcass deep in the valley below. One day Bonas came too close to the edge and fell to his demise immortalizing the name Bonas Defeat. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch of sandwiches, chips and cookies (I had learned my lesson!) and played in a swimming hole. Luke flew his drone for some aerial footage and provided us all with a bird’s eye perspective of the enormity of the river basin.   The skies darkened. Still with some distance to go we packed up and headed downstream. Rain can quickly bring an end to this type of “hike” making the rocks slippery and climbing impossibly dangerous. In some sections we chose different routes. John favored the sneak-crawl-bushwhack, while I preferred solving  a puzzle climbing around the convoluted boulders. The boys chose the shortest distance climbing straight over the ledge down a steep garden of potholes lowering one another by a rope connected at the hip, symbolic of a bond they shared as brothers. The steepness subsided. Taking a side trail through the forest  the rain began and quickly turned into a downpour. We finished the Bonas Defeat and took the obligatory picture under the flood warning sign…..DANGER! Austin and Luke helped us carry our paddleboards and gear back down to the river and said their goodbyes. It was early afternoon as John and I  paddled a small remnant of the East Fork of the Tuckasegee before it opened into Bear Lake. It was late afternoon and the skies had cleared. It was nice to relax and simply paddle. The once mighty East Fork has been truncated into sections by controlling dams and we still had two lakes and dams to traverse. Stopping  at a small island we camped with Jimbo Cottam who paddled his kayak up from the boat access. He was working behind the scenes supporting us moving gear and shuttling people and equipment. We swam and fished and it was nice to relax and fellowship with him around the fire. last_img read more

Trail Mix – July 2019

first_imgIt’s like deja vu all over again. 3:55 Waiting In The Dark The Steel Wheels Audio PlayerSPAGACreedUse Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.00:000:00 / 4:37 3:30 Manhattan Melody (That’s My New York) (featuring Django Haskins with Branford Marsalis) Chris Stamey And The ModRec Orchestra Highway Signs Mark Cline Bates The Lake Wylder 3:31 In the mid-eighties, Violent Femmes were my introduction to punk rock. While I never became a huge fan of the genre, their seminal self-titled debut garnered much time on my turntable. Violent Femmes – featuring founding members Brian Ritchie and Gordon Gano, along with drummer John Sparrow – return this month with a brand new record, Hotel Last Resort. The band might be older and wiser, but they certainly haven’t lost their edge, and Trail Mix is happy to feature “Another Chorus” from the new release this month. 4:12 2:53 Old Aunt Jessie Get Up In The Cool Tui 2:54 Morning Train Grant Farm 3:32 3:11 And, as always, be sure to get out there and buy some music from the artists who are sharing their efforts with us this month. Grab a record or two. Buy a concert ticket. Spread the word about these incredible musicians who keep Trail Mix in business each and every month. The Cuckoo Giri & Uma Peters Late Night Kitchen Hackensaw Boys 3:47 3:52 2:38 Shoe Jaco Be sure to check out tracks from all of these great artists, and keep your eyes peeled for chats with Chuck Hawthorne and Rob Piccolt on this month’s Trail Mix blog. 3:53center_img Drawn To You Robert LaRoche Now, as a 46 year old dad with two kids under twelve in the house, I am doing that same sprint, only for different reasons. 3:28 4:37 3:18 As an adolescent, I used to run panicked to the turntable to pluck the needle from the vinyl during the most personal of ruminations on Violent Femmes’ “Add It Up.” You forty-somethings out there know of what I speak. That one line. Not something I could risk my parents hearing. Embed Odd Numbers Nicholas Altobelli Such Is Life (C’est La Vie) Chuck Hawthorne Ghost Rod Picott Memories and Throttle Michael Paul Lawson Another Chorus Violent Femmes Second Chance Tim Mahoney 4:17 Featured this month are also tracks from the legendary Steve Goodman and old friends like The Steel Wheels, Amanda Anne Platt & The Honeycutters, Chris Stamey, Grant Farm, and The Hackensaw Boys. Katy Bar the Door Ben Winship Go Cubs Go (WGN Radio’s Cubs Theme) [Bonus Track] Steve Goodman with Chicago Cubs Chorus Trail Mix also welcomes for the first time Michael Paul Lawson, Tui, Ben Winship, Jaco, Robert Laroche, Tim Mahoney, Mark Cline Bates, SPAGA, Giri & Uma Peters, Nicholas Altobelli, and Wylder. 3:42 Creed SPAGA Wheels Amanda Anne Platt The Honeycutters 4:41 Copy and paste this code to your site to embed. 3:49 4:00last_img read more

A Winter Wonderland in Allegany County, Md.

first_img While you’re in Allegany County, don’t miss out on these celebrations leading up to the new year: Maryland. Be Open For It. Warm up after a day in the cold at one of several lodging options in the area, from boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts to a lakeside resort and casino. Take full advantage of all that the mountains of Maryland have to offer with a winter trip to Allegany County.   Hit the town on Saturday, December 14 for several holiday celebrations. Head over to Lonaconing for their annual Coney Christmas Celebration, featuring kids activities, craft vendors, and more. Explore all of the retailers, cafes, restaurants, and galleries at Downtown Cumberland’s Hometown Holiday. Shop for your loved ones as you enjoy live music and holiday treats.  This season also features several opportunities to dine with Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves. Sit down for a breakfast of eggs, home fries, and juice on December 14 at Mezzos. On December 21, head to the Queen City Creamery for a breakfast complete with banana bread, cinnamon swirl pancakes, and adult mimosas.  center_img Head to Rocky Gap State Park for a day of hiking the snow-covered trails and searching for the best sledding hills. When it gets cold enough, Lake Habeeb is the perfect place to get in some ice fishing.  End the year with the New Year’s Eve celebration in Downtown Cumberland. Toast the memories you made and the year to come with a DJ, ball drop, and fireworks. Start 2020 with a hike at Rocky Gap State Park’s New Year’s Goals in The Gap on New Year’s Day. This 2.15-mile long hike covers nearly 500 feet of elevation gain across a mountain trout stream and through rhododendron and hemlock forest to a lakeside overlook. Don’t forget to dress for the weather. Grab your tickets and board The Polar Express™ on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. The whole family will get into the holiday spirit on your trip to the North Pole as you enjoy the hot chocolate, cookies, and music from the movie. The train runs Fridays-Sundays from November 23 through December 22, plus Monday, December 23. Reserve your tickets now before the rides sell out.  Get away this holiday season to Allegany County, the Mountain Side of Maryland. With more than 60,000 acres of public lands, enjoy the outdoors, even in the winter.  Grab your cross-county skis and snowshoes, or rent a pair from a local outfitter, to enjoy the Great Allegheny Passage in the snow. Advanced winter campers and hikers will enjoy the more than 50 miles of trails at Green Ridge State Forest, the largest contiguous forest in Maryland.  last_img read more