Leigh Ann Henion

Henion is a writer and photographer based in western North Carolina. Her essays and articles have appeared in Washington Post Magazine, Smithsonian, Oxford American, Orion, Preservation, and a variety of other publications. She has garnered a number of accolades for her work, including a Lowell Thomas Award, and her stories have been noted in three editions of The Best American Travel Writing. Her debut book – Phenomenal – was published by Penguin Press in March 2015.


A Perfect Winter Weekend in Beech Mountain

The highest town east of the Rockies draws some 10,000 people during the winter months — to ski, snowboard, snowshoe, sled, tube, and cap it all off with a beer in a bar in the sky.


The Pipes of Sparta: Dr. Grabow

While most North Carolina communities were manufacturing textiles, a small town in Alleghany County became famous for its finely crafted pipes.


Living Cliffside

A retired biology professor at Appalachian State University studies the new species, the rare species, and the really old species that grow on Linville Gorge cliffs.


Making Blue Ridge Memories on Max Patch

A marriage proposal in a sprawling meadow. Mating warblers in the brush. Orphaned boots on the Appalachian Trail. We are drawn to the majesty of Max Patch — a gorgeous bald in Madison County, 4,600 feet above sea level, where forest ends and 350 acres of open land begin — to gather life-changing memories.


Beneath Still Waters

Pioneering environmentalist Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, began her writing career on a 2,300-acre network of islands a short paddle south of Beaufort. At the reserve that now bears her name, marine scientists follow in her wake.


Gathering Wool & Wisdom

On a typical sheep, one year of fleece growth will yield three sweaters. But there are precious few shearers to tend all of the flocks in North Carolina. For the last traveling shearers, an age-old trade has become a kind of modern artistry.