Trail Facilities Manager (NC/TN/GA)
Stephen, 29, is a native of Durham, NC and a 2011 graduate of Virginia Tech, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Conservation and Recreation Management and minored in Forestry. He also earned the rank of Eagle Scout with Boy Scouts of America. During his college summers, he took a National Outdoor Leadership School course and worked for the US Forest Service as a Wilderness Ranger intern in the Sierra National Forest. After graduation, he worked as a Wilderness Ranger all over Cherokee National Forest with the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS). Stephen alternated summers in the mountains with winters in the frozen North, working as a guide and dog handler at sled dog kennels in Maine, Vermont and the Upper Peninsula area of Michigan. In 2014, Stephen fulfilled his long-time and well-researched dream of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail. As Stephen and any “thru hiker” will tell you, the trail is a magical place to experience the wilderness and community with people who genuinely love the outdoors. Stephen joined the inaugural Appalachian Trail Next Generation Advisory council and has continue on it to this day.
The past 3 years, Stephen has been working as the Lead Wilderness Ranger and Information Cabin Manager based out of the Linville Gorge Wilderness.
In the last 6 months of 2018, Stephen married his best friend, bought a home with her, and started his dream job. Today, Stephen lives in Arden, North Carolina with his wife and their two retired sled dogs Max and Panda. Stephen is looking forward to providing value to as many heroic volunteers he can.