Title: The Confluence of History and Hiking
Age level: 6th grade & up
Discipline: History, Social Studies
Description: Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, is many things: the confluence of two major rivers, the scene of dramatic events in U.S. history, and the psychological halfway point of the Appalachian Trail. There are only a few miles of the Trail in West Virginia, but those miles are chock-full of historical significance. Come along with local experts as we explore the history of our nation, and the history of the A.T., by following the white blazes from the Shenandoah River to the Potomac.
Isaac Wickenheiser is a Park Ranger at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. He has had a passion for history since a field trip to Gettysburg National Military Park in the 5th grade. He attained a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Penn State University and a Master’s Degree in History from Shippensburg University. Isaac loves to hike in his spare time, often hiking Maryland Heights and Loudoun Heights in Harpers Ferry. He loves coffee and National Parks so he loves to collect National Park coffee mugs from every park he visits.
Jeff Metzger is the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Visitor Services Supervisor. He manages the ATC Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry, WV.
Jeff’s role in the Visitor Center includes working alongside Volunteers and staff to provide visitors with interpretation of the A.T. and services to hikers that come in off the trail. This includes taking hiker photos, giving group presentations, and developing events and programs to promote the A.T. and educate its users.
Born and raised in Oregon, Jeff comes to ATC with a background in Natural Resources and Public Lands monitoring. His work history with the Bureau of Land Management gave him experience collecting scientific data in remote wilderness locations across the Pacific Northwest, often along the Pacific Crest Trail.
Jeff graduated from Oregon State University with a focus in Natural Resources Sociology – connecting people and the environment. His school and work experiences across the country have help him relate to the wide variety of visitors coming to ATC.
In his spare time, Jeff is an avid Disc Golfer and loves to snowboard.
His favorite part about working in the Visitor Center is how he and his team get to be a part of so many of the visitors’ and hikers’ journeys on the Appalachian Trail.