15 episodes

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.

Virginia Outdoor Adventure‪s‬ Virginia Outdoor Adventures Podcast

    • Places & Travel
    • 5.0 • 30 Ratings

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.

    14. Linda and Mandi, She Opts Out

    14. Linda and Mandi, She Opts Out

    “I love to just be outside. It fills my bucket, keeps me creative and recenters me. Life is busy and there's always going to be challenges in our lives. So it's really nice to unplug, disconnect, take some deep breaths, listen to the breeze, and find another way to channel ourselves.” -Mandi, She Opts Out
    Linda and Mandi are empowering the “Wiser Female Adventurer” by building an inclusive community of women who are connecting with the outdoors to support physical and mental health. She Opts Out is an organization providing a safe space for women to venture outside together. Group hikes, workshops, and partnerships with local nonprofits all focus on recharging in nature while giving back to the community. Let’s Go!

    Mentioned Links:
    She Opts Out website: www.sheoptsout.com
    She Opts Out Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sheoptsout
    She Opts Out Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sheoptsout/
    She Opts Out Podcast on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/56VwCfCEVmp06oQGIVBscP
    Oxygen and Iron Fitness Studio: https://oxygenandiron.com/
    RVA OCR: https://rvaocr.com/
    Artwork and graphic design by Caitlin Olszewski: www.thedesignpunk.com
    Keep Virginia Cozy: https://keepvirginiacozy.org/
    7 Principles of Leave No Trace: https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/
    James River Park System: https://www.rva.gov/parks-recreation/james-river-park-system
    James River Park System Trail Overview: https://jamesriverpark.org/visit-the-park/trails-overview/
    Buttermilk Trail, James River Park, Richmond: https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7011875/buttermilk-trail
    Texas Beach, James River Park, Richmond: https://gohikevirginia.com/texas-beach-trail/
    Belle Isle, James River Park, Richmond: https://gohikevirginia.com/belle-isle-trail/
    Trails near Wintergreen: https://www.traillink.com/city/wintergreen-va-trails/
    Doyles River Falls Trail, Shenandoah National Park: https://www.nps.gov/thingstodo/doyles-river-falls.htm
    Pocahontas State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/pocahontas
    Powhatan State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/powhatan
    Book: 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles Richmond by Phil Riggan: https://www.menasharidge.com/product.php?productid=16906&cat=0&page=3
    Facebook groups-
    Backpacking Beginners/Mentors & Day Hike Opportunities - Ladies – Virginia: https://www.facebook.com/groups/829656920860882/?multi_permalinks=1021414358351803
    Hikerbabes Community, Central Virginia Chapter: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CentralVAHikerbabes
    Women Who Hike Virginia: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1736632403070040
    Nellysford, Virginia: https://www.virginia.org/Cities/Nellysford
    Sony Cameras: https://www.sony.com/electronics/cameras
    Peak Designs: https://www.peakdesign.com/
    First Landing State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/first-landing
    Kiptopeke State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/kiptopeke

    Follow VAOA Podcast:

    Website: www.VirginiaOutdoorAdventures.com


    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VAOAPodcast


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/virginia_outdoor_adventures/


    Twitter: https://twitter.com/VAOAPodcast 


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    • 47 min
    13. Lynn Cameron, Friends of Shenandoah Mountain

    13. Lynn Cameron, Friends of Shenandoah Mountain

    “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): https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/


    Virginia Wilderness Committee:  www.vawilderness.org


    FOSM on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Shenandoah-Mountain-112744795722


    Video - Shenandoah Mountain: Preserving One of Virginia's Most Beautiful Places: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_0uaAixFGM&t=10s


    Video - This American Land: Preserving Shenandoah Mountain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5kxZRz5kWg&feature=youtu.be


    Shenandoah Mountain Hikes: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/short-hikes.html


    Shenandoah Mountain Trails: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/trails.html


    Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC), Southern Shenandoah Valley Chapter: http://www.ssvc.org/


    Shenandoah National Park: https://www.nps.gov/shen/index.htm


    Reddish Knob Trail: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/trails.html


    George Washington National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/gwj


    Avenza App: https://www.avenzamaps.com/


    Gaia App: https://www.gaiagps.com/


    Download Virginia State Parks Maps on Avenza App: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/park-trail-maps


    High Knob Fire Tower Trail: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/hike-to-high-knob-fire-tower.html


    North River Gorge Trail: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/north-river-gorge-trail.html


    Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/confederate-breastworks-trail.html


    Harrisonburg, Virginia: https://www.visitharrisonburgva.com/


    Staunton, Virginia: https://visitstaunton.com/


    Rock Climbing at Hidden Rocks: https://www.mountainproject.com/area/106183819/hidden-rocks


    Potomac Appalachian Trail Club online store: http://www.patc.net/PATC/Store/Shared_Content/Shop/Store.aspx?hkey=32b75779-c131-4224-b76d-17d5f313ed5d


    Trails Illustrated Map: https://www.natgeomaps.com/ti-791-staunton-shenandoah-mountain-george-washington-and-jefferson-national-forests


    Blue Ridge Parkway Hiking: https://www.blueridgeparkway.org/hiking/


    The Priest Trail: https://www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/ThePriest/


    Ramseys Draft Wilderness: https://dwr.virginia.gov/vbwt/sites/ramseys-draft/


    Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition: https://svbcoalition.org/


    Virginia Department of Wildlife: https://dwr.virginia.gov/


    Virginia Master Naturalists: http://www.virginiamasternaturalist.org/


    Endorse Shenandoah Mountain Proposal: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/endorse.html


    Donate to Friends of Shenandoah Mountain: https://www.friendsofshenandoahmountain.org/donate.html


    Contact Senator Kaine: https://www.kaine.senate.gov/contact/


    Contact Senator Warner: https://www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactPage


    Appalachian Trail: https://www.nps.gov/appa/index.htm


    Tuscarora Trail: https://www.hikethetuscarora.org/



    Follow VAOA Podcast:

    Website: www.VirginiaOutdoorAdventures.com


    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VAOAPodcast


    Instagram

    • 1 hr
    12. Kevin Divins, Virginia Master Naturalist

    12. Kevin Divins, Virginia Master Naturalist

    “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: http://www.virginiamasternaturalist.org/


    Chesapeake Bay Foundation: https://www.cbf.org/


    James River Association: https://thejamesriver.org/


    Blue Sky Fund: https://blueskyfund.org/


    Christmas Bird Count: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count


    Virginia Native Plant Society: https://vnps.org/


    Audubon-At-Home: https://www.audubonva.org/audubon-at-home


    Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy: https://www.alibris.com/Bringing-Nature-Home-How-You-Can-Sustain-Wildlife-with-Native-Plants-Douglas-W-Tallamy/book/24338619


    Nature’s Best Hope by Doug Tallamy: https://www.alibris.com/search/books/qwork/45235654


    iNaturalist App: https://www.inaturalist.org/


    Merlin Bird ID: https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/


    Mathews County, Virginia: https://www.mathewscountyva.gov/


    New Point Comfort Lighthouse: http://www.newpointcomfortlighthouse.org/


    New Point Comfort Nature Preserve: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/natural-area-preserves/newpoint


    Bethel Beach: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/natural-area-preserves/bethel


    DCR Natural Area Preserves: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/natural-area-preserves/


    Richardson’s Café, Matthews County: https://richardsonscafeonmain.com/


    Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources: https://dwr.virginia.gov/


    Mobjack Kayaking: http://www.mobjackkayaking.net/


    Virginia State Parks: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/


    Westmoreland State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/westmoreland


    Caledon State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/caledon


    Holliday Lake State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/holliday-lake


    Virginia State Parks Trail Quest: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/trail-quest


    Pocahontas State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/pocahontas


    Mason Neck State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/mason-neck


    Smith Mountain Lake State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/smith-mountain-lake


    Virginia State Parks Reservation Line: 1-800-933-7275 or www.ReserveAmerica.com



    Connect and Follow Us:

    Web: www.VirginiaOutdoorAdventures.com


    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VAOAPodcast


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/virginia_outdoor_adventures/


    Twitter: https://twitter.com/VAOAPodcast 


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    • 58 min
    11. Ethan Martin, TaleTellers Fly Shop

    11. Ethan Martin, TaleTellers Fly Shop

    “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: https://taletellersva.com/


    Contact Ethan Martin: https://taletellersva.com/pages/contact-us


    Visit Lynchburg: https://www.lynchburgvirginia.org/


    Constitution Park, Waynesboro: https://www.waynesboro.va.us/215/Constitution-Park


    Shenandoah National Park Fishing: https://home.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/fishing.htm


    George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Fishing: https://www.fs.usda.gov/activity/gwj/recreation/fishing


    James River Fishing – Upper and Middle River: https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/james-river-upper-middle/


    James River Fishing – Tidal Area: https://dwr.virginia.gov/waterbody/james-river-tidal/


    Smith Mountain Lake State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/smith-mountain-lake

    Washington Post Article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/science/hunting-pastime-spikes-during-pandemic-conservationists-are-glad-heres-why/2021/01/08/d0342dfa-3e5c-11eb-8bc0-ae155bee4aff_story.html


    Onx Hunting App: https://www.onxmaps.com/hunt-app



    Follow VAOA Podcast:

    Virginia Outdoor Adventures Website: https://www.virginiaoutdooradventures.com/


    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VAOAPodcast


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/virginia_outdoor_adventures/


    Twitter: https://twitter.com/VAOAPodcast



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    • 1 hr 8 min
    10. Michelle Millben, Outdoor Enthusiast

    10. Michelle Millben, Outdoor Enthusiast

    “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: http://www.secondascentconsignment.com/photos.html


    High Tor Gear Exchange, Charlottesville: https://shop.hightorgearexchange.com/


    Trail Hut Gear Exchange, Richmond: https://thetrailhut.com/


    Great Outdoor Provision Co., Charlottesville/Virginia Beach: https://greatoutdoorprovision.com/


    Rockfish Gap Outfitters, Waynesboro: https://www.rockfishgapoutfitters.com/


    Walkabout Outfitters, Richmond/Harrisonburg/Lexington/Roanoke/Blacksburg: https://www.walkaboutoutfitter.com/


    WornWear: https://wornwear.patagonia.com/


    REI: https://www.rei.com/


    Kuhl: https://www.kuhl.com/


    Patagonia: https://www.patagonia.com/home/


    Oboz: https://obozfootwear.com/


    Merrell: https://www.merrell.com/US/en/home


    Chacos: https://www.chacos.com/US/en/home


    Osprey: https://www.osprey.com/us/en/


    Danskin: https://danskin.com/


    Sky Meadows State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows


    Mason Neck State Park: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/mason-neck


    Virginia State Parks: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/


    Mount Pleasant: https://dwr.virginia.gov/vbwt/sites/mount-pleasant-scenic-area/


    Stoney Man Summit: https://gohikevirginia.com/hike-little-stony-man-cliffs-stony-man-summit/



    Michelle Millben:

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/explanationkids


    Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjmesq | https://twitter.com/explanationkids


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/michelle.millben/


    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellemillben/


    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Milly1776



    Connect and Follow VAOA Podcast:

    Web: www.VirginiaOutdoorAdventures.com


    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VAOAPodcast


    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/virginia_outdoor_adventures/


    Twitter: https://twitter.com/VAOAPodcast



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    • 42 min
    9. Matt Felperin, Roving Naturalist

    9. Matt Felperin, Roving Naturalist

    “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: https://www.facebook.com/NOVAParksNaturalist


    Roving Naturalist Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the.roving.naturalist/


    Matt Felperin Photography Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Matt_felperin_photography


    Matt Felperin Photography: https://mfelperinphoto.wixsite.com/home


    Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks): https://www.novaparks.com/


    Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/huntley-meadows


    Friends of Huntley Meadows Park: http://friendsofhuntleymeadows.org/


    eBird: https://ebird.org/home


    American Birding Association: https://www.aba.org/


    Woodcock adult and chicks walking: https://shorturl.at/H3789


    Christmas Bird Count: https://www.audubon.org/conservation/science/christmas-bird-count


    Gravely Point Park: https://www.nps.gov/places/000/gravelly-point.htm


    George Washington National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/gwj


    Monongahela National Forest: https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mnf/home


    Reddish Knob: https://dwr.virginia.gov/vbwt/sites/reddish-knob


    Audubon Bird Guide App: https://www.audubon.org/app


    Cornell Lab of Ornithology: https://www.birds.cornell.edu/home


    Merlin Bird App: https://merlin.allaboutbirds.org/


    Nikon Pro Staff 3 Binoculars: https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/binoculars/index.page


    Plant Nova Natives: https://www.plantnovanatives.org/


    Audubon At Home: https://www.audubonva.org/audubon-at-home


    Audubon Chapters in Virginia: https://www.audubon.org/about/audubon-near-you


    Northern Virginia Bird Club: http://nvabc.org


    Virginia Society of Ornithology: https://www.virginiabirds.org


    IDEA Birders of MD and DC: https://www.facebook.com/groups/IDEABirdersMDDC


    Upton Hill Regional Park: https://www.novaparks.com/parks/upton-hill-regional-park


    Lets Go Birding Together (LGBT): https://www.audubon.org/news/lets-go-birding-together


    Black Birders Week: https://www.audubon.org/news/black-birders-week-promotes-diversity-and-takes-racism-outdoors


    Black and Latinx Birders Scholarship Fund: www.marylandbirds.org


    Potomac Overlook Regional Park: https://www.novaparks.com/parks/potomac-overlook-regional-park


    Algonkian Regional Park: https://www.novaparks.com/parks/algonkian-regional-park


    Bull Run Regional Park: https://www.novaparks.com/parks/bull-run-regional-park


    Pohick Bay Regional Park: https://www.novaparks.com/parks/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 Woodp

    • 1 hr 20 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
30 Ratings

30 Ratings

Faithful Skeptic ,

Keeps me in touch with home.

This podcast connects Virginians with some of the Commonwealth’s greatest natural gifts. It is a great way to learn about our resources and the naturalists who explore them!

Ongarrett ,

Best Recommendations For Virginia Outdoors Community

Love this podcast and the guests are great too. Would love to hear more recommendations for gear that I should use in my outdoor adventures.

Thomas, Jamie ,

Love this!

What a great Podcast! As someone who is passionate and interested in the outdoors (and a local Virginian), I love that this is VA specific! I’ve learned a lot about how these communities care for our world, and how I can help/get involved and have my own adventures. Jessica is an amazing host!

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