Virginia Outdoor Adventures

Feb 16 2021 51 mins 4

Virginia Outdoor Adventures, hosted by Jessica Bowser, brings listeners insights and stories from the Old Dominion's most knowledgeable and innovative athletes, conservationists, authors, park guides, and local business owners. Guests discuss destinations, activities, gear, and the best local flavors across the Commonwealth.

Lynn Cameron, Friends of Shenandoah Mountain
Feb 16 2021 59 mins  
“People say, ‘I had no idea how special this area was’ and they appreciate learning about it. It's easy to take for granted what's in your backyard and not realize just how special it is.” - Lynn Cameron Shenandoah Mountain is one of the largest tracks of wild land in the eastern United States. Located west of the Shenandoah Valley on the state line in the George Washington National Forest, Shenandoah Mountain is an ideal location for outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, backcountry camping, fly fishing, horseback riding, hunting, paddling and wildlife observation. Today’s guest, Lynn Cameron, is the co-chair of Friends of Shenandoah Mountain. She describes the majestic beauty of the forest, the unique ecosystem, and the importance of protecting this land and preserving its natural heritage for generations to come. Let’s Go! Mentioned Links: Friends of Shenandoah Mountain (FOSM): Virginia Wilderness Committee: FOSM on Facebook: Video - Shenandoah Mountain: Preserving One of Virginia's Most Beautiful Places: Video - This American Land: Preserving Shenandoah Mountain: Shenandoah Mountain Hikes: Shenandoah Mountain Trails: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter: Shenandoah National Park: Reddish Knob Trail: George Washington National Forest: Avenza App: Gaia App: Download Virginia State Parks Maps on Avenza App: High Knob Fire Tower Trail: North River Gorge Trail: Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail: Harrisonburg, Virginia: Staunton, Virginia: Rock Climbing at Hidden Rocks: Potomac Appalachian Trail Club online store: Trails Illustrated Map: Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking: The Priest Trail: Ramseys Draft Wilderness: Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition: Virginia Department of Wildlife: Virginia Master Naturalists: Endorse Shenandoah Mountain Proposal: Donate to Friends of Shenandoah Mountain: Contact Senator Kaine: Contact Senator Warner: Appalachian Trail: Tuscarora Trail: Follow VAOA Podcast: Website: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Kevin Divins, Virginia Master Naturalist
Feb 02 2021 58 mins  
“Every little thing has a purpose, even a microorganism in the water. Understanding how everything is connected has given me a better appreciation of nature.” – Kevin Divins Who inspired your love of nature? Today’s guest, Kevin Divins, inspires others as a certified Virginia Master Naturalist, a statewide corps of community-based volunteers who help conserve and manage natural resources and public lands. Kevin explains how understanding the natural world enhances his outdoor experience hiking, camping and kayaking across Virginia. He also shares his favorite lesser-known locations for untouched beaches and pristine outdoor spaces. Let’s Go! Mentioned Links: Virginia Master Naturalists: Chesapeake Bay Foundation: James River Association: Blue Sky Fund: Christmas Bird Count: Virginia Native Plant Society: Audubon-At-Home: Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy: Nature’s Best Hope by Doug Tallamy: iNaturalist App: Merlin Bird ID: Mathews County, Virginia: New Point Comfort Lighthouse: New Point Comfort Nature Preserve: Bethel Beach: DCR Natural Area Preserves: Richardson’s Café, Matthews County: Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources: Mobjack Kayaking: Virginia State Parks: Westmoreland State Park: Caledon State Park: Holliday Lake State Park: Virginia State Parks Trail Quest: Pocahontas State Park: Mason Neck State Park: Smith Mountain Lake State Park: Virginia State Parks Reservation Line: 1-800-933-7275 or Connect and Follow Us: Web: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Ethan Martin, TaleTellers Fly Shop
Jan 19 2021 68 mins  
“Most people want to leave the world better than they found it. It's about equipping people to be able to do that. As a shop, we're kind of like a gatekeeper. There's all sorts of little things that when we do them right, lead to conservation.” -Ethan Martin, TaleTellers Fly Shop This isn’t your grandfather’s pastime. Today’s guest is using a hobby to unite outdoor enthusiasts, protect natural spaces and build community. Ethan Martin is the owner of TaleTellers Fly Shop in downtown Lynchburg. Ethan explains why the intricacies of fly fishing, which is both an art and a science, is causing the hobby to explode in popularity. Fly fishing requires an understanding of ecosystems, and when an ecosystem changes, anglers are among the first to notice and act to protect it. TaleTellers Fly Shop has become a community hub for education and fellowship that is getting more people into the outdoors and connected with nature. Let's Go! Mentioned Links TaleTellers Fly Shop, Lynchburg: Contact Ethan Martin: Visit Lynchburg: Constitution Park, Waynesboro: Shenandoah National Park Fishing: George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Fishing: James River Fishing – Upper and Middle River: James River Fishing – Tidal Area: Smith Mountain Lake State Park: Washington Post Article: Onx Hunting App: Follow VAOA Podcast: Virginia Outdoor Adventures Website: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Michelle Millben, Outdoor Enthusiast
Jan 05 2021 42 mins  
“I don't want anyone to think you have to purchase all these things to be a part of a community of people who are enjoying the outdoors. You don’t need to buy a bunch of stuff to enjoy all of the beauty Virginia has to offer. But for me, making this investment is useful because it's not just a hobby or an activity, it's now my lifestyle.” – Michelle Millben How do YOU plan to adventure in the New Year? Today’s guest, Michelle Millben, has resolved to spend more time in the outdoors and is gearing up for her next adventure. Michelle shares her experience shopping for the basics and discusses how to choose gear that is right for you. Be sure to check out the show notes for a listing of local outfitters and consignment shops across Virginia. Let’s Go! Links Mentioned: Second Ascent Outdoor Gear and Clothing Consignment, Arlington: High Tor Gear Exchange, Charlottesville: Trail Hut Gear Exchange, Richmond: Great Outdoor Provision Co., Charlottesville/Virginia Beach: Rockfish Gap Outfitters, Waynesboro: Walkabout Outfitters, Richmond/Harrisonburg/Lexington/Roanoke/Blacksburg: WornWear: REI: Kuhl: Patagonia: Oboz: Merrell: Chacos: Osprey: Danskin: Sky Meadows State Park: Mason Neck State Park: Virginia State Parks: Mount Pleasant: Stoney Man Summit: Michelle Millben: Facebook: Twitter: | Instagram: LinkedIn: YouTube: Connect and Follow VAOA Podcast: Web: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Matt Felperin, Roving Naturalist
Dec 22 2020 80 mins  
“Being outside is really important for our mental and physical health. Birding is a great way to get out and see something new. I really love getting into the stories of how I find some of these crazy rare birds or unusual birds because it's really about the adventure. And because birds fly, you never know what you're going to get.” – Matt Felperin Today’s episode comes with a warning - you may get hooked. Birding has recently surged in popularity as people crave safe engagement with nature. Matt Felperin, Nova Park’s Roving Naturalist, describes the adventure in birding, including exploring habitats, discovering new species, chasing rarities and simply finding joy and respite in birds. Matt also discusses an increasing diversity in the hobby, conservation, community science, and how to get started identifying the birds in your backyard. And yes, we also talk about Virginia’s very rare (and super adorable) avian celebrity from Greenland that has everyone in a frenzy. Links Mentioned: NOVA Parks Roving Naturalist Facebook: Roving Naturalist Instagram: Matt Felperin Photography Instagram: Matt Felperin Photography: Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks): Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria: Friends of Huntley Meadows Park: eBird: American Birding Association: Woodcock adult and chicks walking: Christmas Bird Count: Gravely Point Park: George Washington National Forest: Monongahela National Forest: Reddish Knob: Audubon Bird Guide App: Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Merlin Bird App: Nikon Pro Staff 3 Binoculars: Plant Nova Natives: Audubon At Home: Audubon Chapters in Virginia: Northern Virginia Bird Club: Virginia Society of Ornithology: IDEA Birders of MD and DC: Upton Hill Regional Park: Lets Go Birding Together (LGBT): Black Birders Week: Black and Latinx Birders Scholarship Fund: Potomac Overlook Regional Park: Algonkian Regional Park: Bull Run Regional Park: Pohick Bay Regional Park: Bird Species Mentioned: Osprey, Prothonotary Warbler, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Sora, Clapper Rail, Wilson’s Snipe, American Woodcock, Barnacle Goose, Canada Goose, Snowy Owl, Pine Siskin, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Red Crossbill, House Finch, Blackburnian Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Golden Eagle, White-throated Sparrow, Orange-crowned Warbler, Hairy Woodpecker, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler Northern Bobwhite, Red-headed Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron, American Coot All About Birds: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Jacqueline, RVA Hiker Girl
Dec 09 2020 56 mins  
“Hiking is nature therapy for me. It's my way to refocus, recharge and re-center myself. It really does make me a better person, a better mom, a better friend, because I'm able to get out there and get away from it all.” -RVA Hiker Girl Known by her trail name, RVA Hiker Girl, Jacqueline is an avid hiker and backpacker who documents her adventures on YouTube as a resource for those who are interested in exploring Virginia. Jacqueline gets real about her experiences outdoors, including the good and not-so-great moments of her time on the trail. Her videos cover all aspects of hiking including planning, gear, food, and safety. Jacqueline’s detailed descriptions and recommendations of locations around Virginia are invaluable for anyone who wants to get outside on their own or with a friend. Let’s go! Links Mentioned: RVA Hiker Girl on YouTube: RVA Hiker Girl on Instagram: Appalachian Trail: Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail: Apple Orchard Falls: Peaks of Otter: Crabtree Falls: Dark Hallow Falls: Natural Areas Preserves: Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area: Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources: Grandview Nature Preserve: Point of Rocks: Dutch Gap Conservation Area: High Knob Fire Tower: Woodstock Fire Tower: Birch Knob Observation (Fire) Tower: Mount Pleasant: Hiking Boots vs Trail Runners: Altra Olympus hiking shoes: Virginia Triple Crown: The Channels: Grayson Highlands State Park: Five Peaks Over 5,000 feet Challenge: Follow VAOA Podcast: Virginia Outdoor Adventures Website: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Scott Stroh, Gunston Hall
Nov 24 2020 53 mins  
“One of the hallmarks of Mason Neck is that it provides such great opportunities for recreation and outdoor adventures but also really provides that restful, nurturing experience that is so critical to our connection with the outdoors and so critical to our community and our society. It's a wonderful place and a very special place.” -Scott Stroh Mason Neck Peninsula in Fairfax County is an outdoor oasis, providing opportunities for hiking, cycling, boating, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking, camping, horseback riding, and wildlife observation on nine thousand acres of public land and open space. Gunston Hall plays a unique role in the historical preservation and environmental conservation of the area. Situated on 550 acres of forest, meadows, and riverfront, it provides opportunities for visitors to enjoy the outdoors via a network of trails, as well as connections to other parks and resources on the peninsula. Executive Director Scott Stroh is leading Gunston Hall in the conservation of a unique ecosystem while providing the fundamental right of outdoor access for all. Let’s Go! Links Mentioned: Gunston Hall: Mason Neck State Park: Friends of Mason Neck State Park: Pohick Bay Regional Park: Elizabeth Hartwell National Wildlife Refuge: Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area: Interactive Map of Mason Neck Peninsula: Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail: Occoquan Water Trail: Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail: Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail: Star Spangled Banner National Historic Trail: Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Mount Vernon: National Museum of the United States Army: Workhouse Arts Center, Lucy Burns Museum: Woodlawn and Pope-Leighey House: Volgenau Virginia Coast Reserve:  Follow VAOA Podcast: Virginia Outdoor Adventures Website: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Brantley Tyndall, Bike Walk RVA
Oct 20 2020 67 mins  
“You cross the state line into Virginia and there’s that kind of magic Appalachian feel that I crave all the time when I want to go out and ride. Virginia is a magical place and I will tell people that forever.” -Brantley Tyndall Brantley Tyndall completed the Trans Am Bike Race, a 4,191 mile ride across the United States. The ultra-endurance cyclist shares stories from his journey across ten states, including what it was like to complete the race right here in Virginia. Brantley discusses his gear, how to get started in bike packing, and the best bike trails across the Commonwealth. But Brantley is more than an athlete. His advocacy for safe streets has resulted in the development of new trails that will connect neighborhoods, boost local economies, and serve as a safe and accessible mode of transportation. Links Mentioned: Chippokes Plantation State Park, Surry Trans Am Bike Race Race Across America US Bike Route 1, Central Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway, Southwest Virginia Virginia Capital Trail, Central Virginia Breaks Insterstate Park, Breaks Sportsbackers, Richmond Bike Walk RVA Richmond Marathon, Richmond Monument Avenue 10K, Richmond Bike Walk RVA Academy T Potter Memorial Bridge, Richmond W & OD Trail, Northern Virginia High Bridge Trail State Park, Farmville New River Trail State Park, Max Meadows Eastern Shore Trail, Northampton Virginia Creeper Trail, Abingdon Ashland to Petersburg Trail Mount Vernon Trail, Alexandria Custis Trail, Arlington Great Allegheny Passage, PA/MD/WV/VA C & O Canal Trail Dynamo Powered Light Trapezium Brewery, Petersburg Ashland Coffee and Tea, Ashland Outpost Bike Shop, Richmond League of American Bicyclists People for Bikes Follow VAOA Podcast: Website: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Donna Shaunesey, Solo Adventurer
Sep 15 2020 45 mins  
“We hear a lot about how bad things are in the world. So when you go out and see things that are still happening - the birds are still singing and these little creatures are still out here running around - it gives you the strength to keep going and, also, it gives you a lot of joy.” - Donna Shaunesey Today’s guest, Donna Shaunesey, has been kayak camping and backpacking on her own for over thirty years. Her solo, multi-day trips on Virginia’s rivers, marshes, and swamps have brought her closer to nature AND resulted in some close encounters with wildlife. Donna shares stories of her journeys as well as tips for planning your own overnight adventure. Let’s Go! Mentioned: Rivanna River, Charlottesville James River State Park, Gladstone False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach Bivy Sack Good To Go Dehydrated Foods Head Net Little Island City Park, Sandbridge Merchants Millpond State Park, North Carolina Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Suffolk Chickahominy Wildlife Management Area, Charles City Saint Mary’s Wilderness, Steele’s Tavern Appomattox River Company, Farmville High Tor Gear Exchange, Charlottesville Follow VAOA Podcast: Virginia Outdoor Adventures Website: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Phil Riggan, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles Richmond
Sep 07 2020 53 mins  
“Given the current situation, we call them sanity hikes or sanity bike rides in my family. Hiking is a great thing for social distancing for anybody, especially for families, because you can't stare at the same four walls all day and keep your mental facility straight. So it's important to get out and connect with nature.” -Phil Riggan From his early days as a child on his grandfather’s farm to recent years exploring the outdoors with his own children, today’s guest, Phil Riggan, has spent a lifetime hiking, biking, paddling, and exploring Virginia. Phil recently hiked over 240 miles to write his new book, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles, Richmond. In this episode, Phil highlights some of his favorite routes and outdoor spaces, including some new and lesser-known areas. From Fredericksburg to Williamsburg, and from Charlottesville to the Northern Neck, 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles, Richmond has got you covered. Let’s Go. Links Mentioned: 60 Hikes within 60 Miles Richmond book Blue Ridge Parkway Pilot Mountain, Laurel Fork Wahrani Nature Park, New Kent County Appomattox River Trail Friends of the Lower Appomattox River Richmond Slave Trail James River Park System Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation Natural Area Preserves Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Wildlife Management Areas Crows Nest Natural Area Preserve, Stafford Waller Mill Park, Williamsburg Virginia Capitol Trail, Richmond to Williamsburg Greensprings Park, James City County Walnut Creek Park, Albemarle County Dorey Park, Henrico County Bryan Park, Richmond Leakes Mill Park, Goochland Rivanna Trail, Charlottesville River View Park, Charlottesville Rappahannock River Heritage Trail, Fredericksburg North Bank Trail, Richmond Belle Isle Park, Richmond Pony Pasture, Richmond Walkabout Outfitters W & OD Trail, Purcellville to Arlington Channels State Forest, Saltville: Crabtree Falls, Nelson County Appalachian Trail Devils Marble Yard, Natural Bridge Follow VAOA Podcast: Virginia outdoor Adventures Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Kindra McDonald, Virginia Service and Conservation Corps
Aug 23 2020 51 mins  
“I think there's a silver lining to the pandemic a little bit in that a lot of people have really turned to their outside resources… So it brought people outdoors and brought people closer to nature. And I hope that people will continue to journey outside and into state parks.”- Kindra McDonald Kindra McDonald immersed herself in the outdoors during a turbulent time in her life. Her journey visiting every Virginia State Park led to a turning point in her career and a new outlook on the future. Kindra shares her experience as an AmeriCorps member and discusses how her training is preparing her to conserve and protect the rare and unique ecosystems of Virginia. Mentioned in this Episode: Virginia State Parks: First Landing State Park: False Cape State Park: York River State Park: Belle Isle State Park: Chippokes Plantation State Park: Grayson Highlands State Park: Natural Tunnel State Park: Sky Meadows State Park: Holliday Lake State Park: Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park: Breaks Interstate Park: Kiptopeke State Park: Department of Conservation and Recreation: Department of Wildlife Resources: AmeriCorps: Virginia Service and Conservation Corps: Civilian Conservation Corps: Jamestown Settlement: First Day Hike: Mount Rogers: Appalachian Trail: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge: Department of Forestry: Natural Heritage: Nature Conservancy Virginia: Virginia Master Naturalists: Old Rag Mountain, Shenandoah National Park: Virginia’s Triple Crown Follow VAOA Podcast: Virginia Outdoor Adventures Website: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

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