Outings Program Update

Hike group at Rocky Fork State Park parking area listen to Friends of Rocky Fork volunteer
Bailey Mountain hike group smiling and waving

If you’ve joined a guided group hike or farm tour with us recently, you probably know that Travis Bordley has now become SAHC’s new Outings Program Manager. You’ll recognize his name from the exceptional photography on our website and in newsletters, as well as his work in Roan Stewardship over the past five years. Now, he is stepping in to coordinate our hikes and outings program.

SAHC’s founding members started off leading guided hikes in the Highlands of Roan, and over the decades many talented volunteers, AmeriCorps members, and staff have expanded our outreach across the mountains as we expanded conservation areas in NC and TN. We are excited to take this program to a new level.

Travis Bordley, Outings Program Manager

“The outings program has always existed at SAHC, both formally and informally,” says Travis. “Folks reading this newsletter can probably recall a SAHC outing where we hiked through the forest or strolled across mountain tops. For many people, getting outside with SAHC is what brought them into the organization to begin with. Our outings aim to connect people with the beautiful lands you have helped protect. For the past 6 months I have been operating under a new job title: the Outings Program Manager. I believe connecting people with land is what makes conservation real to people. At SAHC, we have a lot of dates, numbers, and protected acreage to be proud of —  a rich, evolving history that we try to communicate through photos and writing. But two dimensional space only serves us to a certain point. To get outside and have boots (sandals, muddy sneakers, or bare feet) on the ground.. well, that experience is what really helps people connect the dots, between the stories you hear and where you can literally feel the significance of conservation work. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then to stand on top of a mountain is worth a thousand pictures. And I say that as a photographer.”

hikers single file on a snowy, forested trail incline
Travis Bordley standing in front of raft and river surrounded by mountains

“My goal as the Outings Program Manager is to maintain the tradition of guided hikes offered by SAHC with a steady consistency that showcases our many conservation success stories throughout the southern Appalachians,” he continues. “Bringing people into the great outdoors can be a life-changing experience, an opportunity we hope to share with you in the coming year.”

Congratulations, Travis!