Blue Ridge Athletes and Experts Discuss the Evolution of Outdoor Recreation
“Ecosports are here to stay,” then editor John Blackburn declared in the inaugural issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors. When the magazine first went to press 25 years ago, a year before I was born, the publication was focused on outdoor recreation spots around Charlottesville, Va. Since then, we’ve seen Blackburn’s statement ring true as the magazine expanded to cover the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.
Today, outdoor recreation is a multi-billion-dollar industry, accounting for 2.2 percent of the U.S. GDP, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Races have come and gone. New fastest known time records have been set. Important wilderness areas have been protected while others have been lost to development. Virginia and North Carolina created offices of outdoor recreation. And, no matter where you look in the outdoor industry, it is undeniable the impact technology and social media