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2019 NC Trail Days Speakers Forum

At the Heritage & Trails Visitor's Center

257 Standard Street, Elkin

RG Absher:  

Long-time trail advocate; retired Park Manager with US Army Corp of Engineers; serving on boards of Partnerships of the National Trails System, Overmountain Victory Trail Association, Trail Leaders Council, Yadkin River Heritage Corridor and Yadkin River Greenway Council 


“Developing Partnerships and Leveraging Resources along the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail - A local, regional and national perspective“.  RG and Ben Richardson will provide a presentation which will provide insight on how the Community Trail Associations and NPS work with various partners to grow the Overmountain Victory Trail.


Tony McGee: Landscape architect and planner with over 20 years of design and construction experience; a lifelong cyclist, Tony is responsible for some of the most compelling mountain bike trails in the Piedmont region 


Tony will share his considerable experience designing and building top notch mountain bike trails as he speaks on"Design Considerations for Community Trails".


Kenny Capps: Ultra-marathon runner; Mountains to Sea Trail completer for multiple myeloma awareness 



Kate Dixon: Executive Director, Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail 


“Building a Trail and a Community from the Mountains to the Sea”


Kimberly "Legs" Brookshire: Long-distant hiker and first woman to "yo-yo" hike the Mountains to Sea Trail 


"How an Unlikely Hiker did a solo trek on the MST, and then turned right around and did it again!" - Kimberly will share how during her hike she learned daily about what it takes to push herself mentally, physically and emotionally. By taking it day by day and step by step she found out who she really was for the first time in her life. She will also speak about her PCT trail life and how it’s a very different hike than the MST. 


Tony McGee

Tony McGee is a landscape architect and planner with over 20 years of design and construction experience.  A lifelong cyclist he is responsible for some of the most compelling mountain bike trails in the Piedmont region.  These include the original Moore's Springs Trails, including expert level,  'Rattler' and the ongoing development of the beginner-friendly, Farris Park Trails in Mayodan, NC NICA's championship course.  His hiking trail projects include the newly constructed Climber's Trail and Sauratown Mountain and the ecologically sensitive 'Emily Allen Wildflower Garden Trail' for the Piedmont Land Conservancy.  His focus is on original and creative trail design and construction that meets the needs of diverse trail users.  He is available for consulting and construction within 2 hours of his family farm in Germanton NC.

Kenny Capps

Kenny Capps is the founder and Executive Director of Throwing Bones for a Cure, who's mission is to encourage and inspire Multiple Myeloma patients to stay healthy and active. Multiple Myeloma is a blood cancer with no cure yet, that often affects bones and causes debilitating fractures.


Kenny, a who was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in 2015, ran the entire Mountains To Sea Trail, starting at Jockey's Ridge on April 1 and finishing at Clingman's Dome on May 24, 2019.


Along the way, Kenny wrote about the adventures and challenges with the trail, and was able to see all its beauty within one really wet Spring Season.


He can't wait to do it again.

Kate Dixon

Kate Dixon is Executive Director of Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, a citizen group working to support North Carolina’s state trail which stretches more than 1000 miles across North Carolina from the Great Smokies to the Outer Banks.


Before joining Friends of the MST in 2008, Kate was Director of Land for Tomorrow, a partnership of North Carolina organizations and citizens encouraging the NC Legislature to increase state funding for land conservation.  From 1992 to 2003, Kate served as the first Executive Director of the Triangle Land Conservancy. She has also worked in land conservation in Arizona, Pakistan, and Washington DC. Kate has an MS in Watershed Management from the University of Arizona and a BA in Philosophy from Hamilton College.  She lives in Raleigh with her husband Dan Wilkinson, an environmental engineer.

RG Absher

RG Absher is currently a board member and the chair of the Trail Leaders Council for Partnership for the National Trails System. In addition, he is a board member and past president of the Overmountain Victory Trail Association. RG is currently employed as the Executive Director of the Yadkin River Greenway Council along the Overmountain Victory Trail in western North Carolina. Absher is a retired Park Manager with the US Army Corps of Engineers. Absher has successfully worked with IMBA trail crews to construct over 40 miles of sustainable mountain bike trails and has written my grants for funding to construct trails and greenways along the OVNHT.

Kimberly Brookshire

Kimberly Brookshire, who is known on trails as "Legs", is a 35 year old resident of Charlotte, NC. She adores her family and friends, loves hiking, crocheting, traveling and anything that gets her adrenaline going. In 2016 she completed the Mountains to Sea Trail, turned around and completed the trail again, becoming the first women to YoYo the MST, a total of 2,300 miles. In 2018, she hiked 1,090 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail making it from Campo to South Lake Tahoe. This year, on June 9th, she'll return to South Lake Tahoe and continue her trek North to Canada on the PCT.  Her goals in the next five years are to complete the Camino de Santiago, the Appalachian Trail and the Arizona Trail. Eventually she hopes to complete the Continental Divide Trail to become a Triple Crowner. She is passionate about exploring and experiencing the beauty of trail life. She fully embraces her time in nature as it fills her soul and brings her absolute happiness.