Since moving to WNC 4 years ago, Abbey has become a well-known and respected trail maintainer. In addition to volunteering weekly with Wild South, she also volunteers with Carolina Mountain Club and NC High Peaks. She is a section maintainer on the Appalachian Trail as well as a section maintainer for Hickery Fork in Shelton Laurel Backcountry.
“After moving to the area 4 years ago from Illinois, I quickly realized how the mass amount of trail systems were primarily maintained by volunteers. I have lost over 30lbs and made some great friendships while expanding on my passion for giving back to this land. It’s been an empowering journey!”
What is your favorite wilderness recreation activity and favorite spot?
“A new love for Backpacking, Linville Gorge was my 1st time doing so. After most recently backpacking a stretch of the Appalachian Trail, I really understood what is meant when it’s said for every step taken in the gorge, double it! They are accurate. I haven’t declared a favorite yet in the Gorge. I have so much more to explore. I will tell you how every step I’ve taken from the rims to the river have been nothing short of extraordinary. I’ve fallen madly in love with its wildness.”
What is your favorite Wild South memory or achievement?
“It’s been an honor to be a part of Wild South and to have helped in almost all steps of the Leadmine project. My most favorite achievement has been learning crosscut.”
What is a future goal you have?
“I hope to become certified in crosscut someday and look forward to new days of exploring in the Gorge and tackling the Black Mountain Crest Trail.”
Earlier this month, Abbey completed her crosscut certification through the USFS.