|Officers and Administrators|
Richard A. Zalik: President, Trip Leader
Sue M.: Vice President, Trip Leader
Mike C: Vice President,Trip Leader
Bill S: Director of Events, Trip Leader
Libby G: Director of Trip Leader Training and Recruitment, Trip Leader
Gerrilyn: Member Ambassador
Diana: Director of Paid Events, Trip Leader
Doug: Director of Finance
Lisa Maldonado: Director of Social Events. Trip Leader
Jaime: Director of Technology
Joyce T.: Secretary, Volunteer Training Coordinator, Trip Leader
Charlie Cottingham: Volunteer Training Coordinator, Trip Leader
Jerry K: Volunteer Training Coordinator, Trip Leader
Horhay: Volunteer Training Coordinator, Trip Leader
Lisa: Volunteer Training Coordinator, Trip Leader
SusanF: CRNRA Liaison and Trip Leader
See our Job Descriptions for more information.
RonnyJ (Call me Ron)
We always are looking for trip leaders. If you think you may be interested, please email the Director of Trip Leader Training and Recruitment at TLRecruitment@AtlantaOutdoorClub.com.
Richard A. Zalik
Event Interests: Hiking, Backpacking, Trekking, Mountain Climbing, Sailing, and Outdoor Photography.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Richard A. Zalik.
This city girl never experienced the outdoors while growing up in NY. After finding myself wanting to be more active at this point in my life I stumbled across the AOC page on facebook. After viewing pictures of people having fun in the outdoors I decided to give it a try. Since joining the AOC in March 2012 I feel fortunate to have made terrific new friends on dozens of club events and look forward to more activities with the club both as a participant and trip leader.
I enjoy the beautiful trails of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. As an AOC trip leader I enjoy offering members more opportunities to enjoy D2 level moderately paced hikes at Island Ford, Vickery Creek and other CRNRA parks here in the metro Atlanta area.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Sue M..
Event Interest: Hiking and Photography
I grew up in the South Cobb area, hiking and camping in North Georgia and adjacent areas of Tennessee while in High School. I left the area for 29 years due to college and a series of jobs out of state. Returning to the area I returned to hiking with family and by myself. In 2013 another AOC member and fellow employee working for the same company I work for, from Texas I might add, told me about the AOC. One week later I was an AOC member. When I left the Atlanta area in the mid 70’s there were a handful of trails widely scattered. What I found when I returned was a wide variety of both urban and what I grew up calling trails.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Mike C.
|Director of Events|
Bill grew up in the South and has spent the last thirty years in the Atlanta area. His main interests are hiking, biking and anything outdoors. He has been hiking North Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina for the last twenty years. Bill Joined the AOC about three years ago and has appreciated the opportunity to try
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Bill S.
|Director of Trip Leader Training and Recruitment|
Born and raised in Memphis, TN. Lived in various cities up and down the east coast. Been in Atlanta since 1996 and love Hot-lanta. An avid golfer, hiker, and reader of murder mysteries. Favorite authors are Vince Flynn and Lee Child. My parents are my best friends and I am so blessed to have them. Attend Buckhead Community Church and really enjoy Andy Stanley’s messages. Thank you AOC for the exercise and the wonderful friendships.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Libby G.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Gerrilyn.
|Director of Paid Events|
I was born and raised on Long Island, NY and moved to the Atlanta area in 2010. Before moving to Atlanta I ran a very successful canoe and kayak business with my father in Riverhead, NY. Interests: Hiking, gardening, kayaking, cooking
In July of 2014 I met an AOC Trip leader on the Alpharetta Greenway. I had only hiked a handful of times in my life but she felt that I had hiking in me. I tried it, I liked it and within days of joining I hiked Cherokee Trail, Vickery Creek and Island Ford with the AOC and I was hooked. I live in Roswell, within a few miles of most of the CRNRA parks, so those will be my go-to hikes but I also like to explore and on weekends you will often see me posting an "out of town" hike. Most of my hikes will be moderate D2 level although occasionally I will post D3 hikes.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Diana.
|Director of Finance|
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Doug.
|Director of Social Events. Trip Leader|
Lisa was born in NY and moved to Atlanta in 2004. Lisa's adventures and friendly spirit inspired her to becoming a Leader for AOC. She loves to travel and is often searching for unique destinations to explore. Her camera is always close by.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Lisa Maldonado.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Christa.
|Director of Technology|
Event Interests: Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Caving, Scuba Diving, and Whitewater Rafting
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Jaime.
Volunteer Training Coordinator
I was born in Baltimore, but grew up in Miami, Florida and completed my undergraduate degree from Florida State University. (Additional degrees were earned at Georgia State and West Georgia.) I taught school both in Miami and Delray Beach and eventually moved to Georgia in 1979. I taught high school English and Psychology in Cobb County, GA before retiring in 2010.
Having spent 31 years in the classroom as a dedicated teacher (my job defined me), after retirement, I felt the call of the outside world. I was thrilled to discover the AOC in November of 2010, and had my very first hike on November 14th of that year. I became immediately addicted to the thrills of the trails and have loved hiking as well as some of the other events the club offers - - kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, bushwhacking, caving, and socializing!
I have been very proud to serve the AOC as both a trip leader and a Member Ambassador. I am grateful to have made many close friends in the AOC and hope to continue to offer members a variety of hikes both in the East Cobb area and in Gwinnett.
I had two sons. My younger son died at the age of 28 in 2005. My son who is still living is an attorney for the Securities & Exchange Commission in Washington, D.C. He is married and has two young children - - Julian and Serena - - so I am a grandmother! I was widowed in 2019 after 53 years of marriage and now live with just my cat, Cricket.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Joyce T..
|Volunteer Training Coordinator|
Event Interests: Camping, Hiking, Backpacking, Astronomy, Orienteering, Canoeing & Kayaking, Whitewater Rafting, Sailing, Scuba & Snorkeling, Skiing & Snowboarding, Bicycling, Caving, and Nature Photography.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Charlie Cottingham.
|Volunteer Training Coordinator|
Event Interests: Biking (road and mountain), Camping, Caving, Hiking, Kayaking, and open to try most things outdoors
Jerry joined the AOC in 2011 due to the recommendation of a few friends. He quickly found the AOC was a great supplement to his group of friends he had actively been hiking, camping, and paddling with for many years in Georgia, and is now looking to return the experience by contributing his part in leading events.
Jerry grew up in Southern California in a family that took every opportunity they had to camp. Often weekend trips in the desert with dirt bikes, and longer trips in the Redwoods, Sierras, and up and down the West Coast, which he continued to pursue until moving to GA. He relocated to GA in 2001 with his wife and daughter, and was fortunate enough to make good friends with outdoor enthusiasts who introduced him to paddling which quickly became a favorite. Jerry enjoys good company and most outdoor sports. Jerry lives with his wife, daughter, and son n law, all who do not appreciate the outdoors as much as he does, so he feels especially blessed to be surrounded by so many opportunities that are so close and great people to share them with.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Jerry K.
|Volunteer Training Coordinator|
Where to begin? Well, first of all I am here to help others help themselves…just like the AOC did for me as I rehabbed from a car vs bicycle accident that left me with 5 fused vertebrae and a host of other bodily damage. My “more energy than sense” approach to recovery is, in my eyes, the only reason I’m still alive…let alone able to become a Trip Leader with the AOC. So, I am here to continue what I started and share that energy and positive attitude with other like-minded individuals that share the love for the outdoors. As a former competitive cyclist in the SE you may see a couple of bike rides on my events (although you’ll probably never see me race again or even ride on a roadway), but mainly hiking/walking on a trail, paddling a waterway or whatever else comes to mind; I just want to be outside giving thanks to the world around me.
So, if you see my name associated with an event you can bet that it’s going to be a good time. My events might not be easy or comfortable all the time, but you can bet money that you’ll leave feeling better about yourself. If you don’t push you’ll never know how far you can truly go…
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Horhay.
|Volunteer Training Coordinator|
Lisa moved around a lot as a kid, living in St. Louis, Chicago, Dallas, and Virginia Beach. However, she says she "grew up" in the suburbs of Detroit because she lived there from kindergarten through 9th grade. Some of her fondest memories were etched in Michigan, through weekly ski trips with the junior high school ski club, riding her bike on the wooded trails behind her house, jumping on the trampoline, skating on the homemade rink in the backyard, playing kick the can with neighborhood kids until dark-thirty, and watching meteor showers from a boat docked on a lake in the Upper Peninsula. Winters were long and cold, and summers were short but filled with the joyous abandon of shedding the many layers of clothing required just for the walk to the bus stop.
Fast forward to adulthood: Until a few years ago, Lisa was more likely to be found with her nose in a book than exploring the outdoors. Oh sure, she played tennis and softball, went fishing, and strolled on the beach, but she didn't rediscover her passion for the outdoors until a friend encouraged her to check out the AOC. On her first event, she was hooked. She had neglected to pay attention to the D4 designation, so she could barely keep up with the group and her muscles ached for days, but she had the bug, all right. Now she can be found on a trail, or on the water, or on a mountaintop every chance she gets. She's still a nerdy bookworm, but now her favorite reading nooks are under a shady tree or on a screened porch. As a trip leader, she hopes to have the honor of journeying with others as they rediscover their child at heart.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Lisa.
|CRNRA Liaison and Trip Leader|
I was raised a city girl in Lima, Peru and discovered the great outdoors in my mid-40s while living in Alaska. I fostered a love for nature during my 22 years in the Pacific Northwest (15 in Alaska, 3 in Washington, and 4 in Oregon). In 2012, I joined the AOC three months after arriving in Georgia. Beautiful trails, bountiful hikes, and like-minded members became good companions as I embarked on a new life. After crisscrossing many trails, I looked for ways to give back and in 2014 became a volunteer with the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA). You’ll frequently find me outdoors, hiking, cycling, paddling, volunteering and sharing a common bond with AOC members and CRNRA volunteers.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by SusanF.
Aaron was born in Otahuhu, New Zealand and grew up spending most of his life in the South Island of New Zealand. He has tramped (NZ term for Hiking) many of the great NZ walks plus a great number of the smaller ones; his most memorable, the Routeburn Track in New Zealand.
Aaron has lived in New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, and Canada. He presently resides in USA and enjoys travelling and hiking extensively around the globe.
Aaron enjoys tramping in the North Georgia Mountains and loves to hike off trail in some of the more remote areas.
He has led AOC trips to New Zealand, Australia and the USA. The following photos are from the first AOC New Zealand trip he led:
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Aaron.
I've been hiking most of my life, and been blessed with many in-depth back-country experiences in New Hampshire's White Mountains, Alaska's Interior and California's coastal ranges and Sierras. I enjoy both trail running and the physical challenge of hiking, and peaceful ambling with others, talking or in silence. The Southeast woodlands and mountains feel familiar to my New England roots, and I'm loving exploring these hills, visiting waterfalls, old rail lines, changing habitats, mushrooms and grand tree stands. I've always loved sharing the wonder and bliss of Nature, a little bit of history, and connection to the land with others. I look forward to many more days of this connection on trips we share together.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Allen D.
In the day I work organizing events at a non-profit organization. On weekends and vacation, I enjoy the outdoors and get my zen from an easy walk or a day at the beach. Join me for some easy walks and paddling.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by allisoncarter.
Allston was born in Atlanta, and moved to the west coast of Florida when she was seven years old. As much as she loves being near the water, she missed the seasons and therefore chose to attend Clemson University, about an hour a half north of Atlanta in the foothills of the Appalachians. During her years there she enjoyed visiting various spots in Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina for hiking and weekend trips, as well as returning home to FL and going to Charleston, to get an ocean “fix” from time to time.
In 1997 she moved back to Atlanta, and has been here ever since, though she has only come to appreciate all that Georgia has to offer in term of the outdoors in the past few years. She joined the AOC in 2010 and has loved every minute of it, from hiking and kayaking to horseback riding, camping and caving. While she already has a wide variety of interests, she loves to try new activities and explore new locations whenever possible.
As a Trip Leader, Allston loves to organize kayaking trips in the warmer months, as well as some in-town hikes and occasional adventures like horseback riding and whitewater rafting. She led one trip to Tanzania, Africa and would love to do some more international trips in the future.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Allston.
Event Interests: Hiking, Backpacking, Kayaking/Canoeing, Biking
Ann joined AOC in March 2006 after moving to Georgia from North Carolina. This is where I got my re-start in hiking. My parents, along, with my seven brothers and sisters did alot of camping when I was growing up. Returning to the outdoors is a satisfying spirtual experience.
I really like meeting people, especially on backpacking trips. You really get to know them.
One of my favorite hikes is at Black Rock Mountain, why? - well, that's where I met Ralph (hubby and frequent co-leader). Hey there really are some great people out there! Come join us!
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Ann.
Armin is from Atlanta, 4th floor of Piedmont Hospital to be specific. He has spent time in the past outdoors as a Boy Scout island hopping GA's barrier islands in the late 80's. Also he spent time on family camping trips in North Georgia fishing, and floating down streams on styraphome pool floats. Armin grew up in Brookhaven and found lots of adventure as a child sneaking onto the sparsely attended golf courses, abandoned construction cites, and cruising the ‘hood on his bmx. Armin is a product of the Boys and Girls Clubs and continues to volunteer there as an adult. He longs for another city, but Atlanta continues to grow and is able to satisfy his desires for adventure, international exposure, and urban lifestyle. He makes frequent extended trips to Spanish speaking countries, but has always called Atlanta home. Armin enjoys rowing, lifting,running, spinning, cycling, hiking, camping, yardwork, golfing, reading, and competitive games (Armin is usually always willing to throw in the towel). Whenever someone asks what is your favorite hike? Armin says it is the hike he is on or the one he just finished. Look forward to venturing with folks of all sorts!
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Armin.
I grew up in Nigeria, where the climate is constantly tropical in the south and arid in the north. These conditions are ideal for spending time in the natural elements as opposed to being indoors. I fell off the outdoors wagon for a few years after moving to the U.S. because of my low tolerance to cold weather.
I'm fortunate to have discovered the AOC, which has reignited the nostalgia of my childhood.
I enjoy hiking, biking, camping, canoeing/kayaking, and whitewater rafting, and climbing. I hope to partake, at least once, in the varied events that the club volunteers have to offer.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Ayo.
| Potential Trip Leader|
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Belinda.
I moved around a lot growing up and lived in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Alabama (Roll Tide!), South Carolina, Ohio, and Georgia. Oh yeah, I was born in Missouri but only lived there six months. I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors and appreciate all of the different geographies that we have on this planet. Hiking out in the woods, climbing trees, playing softball, jumping on a bike with some friends, playing around on a farm where I lived for a few years, camping at the beach with my family, or playing in the snow, I was always happier when I was active outdoors rather than sitting still.
I moved to Georgia in 1995 and got sidetracked with work and sitting still on planes or at a desk. Life, in general, got in the way. In 2011, I discovered the Department of Natural Resources website and began to enjoy some of our state parks where I met someone who told me about the AOC.
Since my first hike in 2012, I have enjoyed hiking, camping, and kayaking all over the country. I have met some of the best people in the world and have a terrific group of friends because of the AOC. I became a trip leader with the hopes of adding my flavor to the mix of events and giving back some of what I’ve gotten. One of the personal goals that I have is to be more proactive in my life versus reactive. One step at a time, one stroke at a time, one marshmallow at a time…
My motto to live by: Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, latte in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, “Woohoo, what a ride!”
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Beth Ash.
When I first started hiking long time ago, I always look for unusual sceneries, beautiful mountains, waterfalls, landmarks, special trees, flowers, plants, birds, critters along the way to enhance my pleasure and fulfillments. Nowadays all of these attractive features still mean a lot to me, but they are just bonuses. They are not required anymore to make my trip worthy and joyful. I feel like staying in the mountains and on the trails as long as I can. Nature seems to have more answers than I ever know how to ask the questions. I simply feel happy and refreshed when I’m out there in the nature.
Originally from Taiwan, I came to America in 1979 on a venture to go to graduate school with everything I had packed into two suitcases. I worked and going to school at the same time to finish my graduate degrees.
Since reaching my early retirement goal in 2012, I started to spend more and more time outdoors. I feel so lucky living in the Metro Atlanta area with abundant natural landscapes in and around the city. I can also go to numerous mountains easily within two hours of driving.
Joining A.O.C. gives me the opportunity to meet many new friends with similar interests. Becoming a Trip Leader allows me to create events I enjoy the most, and really hope you do too so you can join me. Look forward to seeing you soon!
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Bill Wey.
Event Interests: Backpacking, Hiking, Pioneer Camping, Sea Kayaking, Multi-day Adventures
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Bob Bunner.
Event Interest: Hiking, Backpacking, Kayaking, Camping
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Chris L.
Grew up an Army brat. Lived in Germany for several years in the late 70s. Went on many 10km (and some 20km) Volksmarches with my dad and found that I really liked being outdoors and hiking. Also while growing up, rode bikes everywhere. Well, until I got my driver's license. The bike got put away then sold.
Fast forward to the late 90s. Brought a mountain bike and started riding. A lot. Also, started going hiking in the North Georgia mountains instead of just driving through the mountain. Got involved with the regional mountain biking group and progressively got more into riding. I ride most weekends that I can. And some weekdays, too. I still hike, mostly when the weather isn't really good for riding or it's a group hike with the AOC.
I was first introduced to the AOC when I was the team leader for a trail work party in 2008. Most of my crew where AOC folks. During our trail work, they told me all about AOC and that I should join. I went on my first hike with the AOC in early 2009 and have enjoyed it ever since.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Colin S.
Dan is from Los Angeles and from an early age was out camping, digging clams, sailing and collecting insects everywhere from Oregon to Mexico to Texas with his nature-loving Dad. Backpacking in the San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests was usually a monthly event, with lengthier outings in the Sierra Nevadas almost every summer. He loves the mountains and has participated in treks in Canada, France, Spain, Nepal, Peru, and Taiwan. Since retiring from military and government service he focuses on fitness and outdoor activities and is always up for more bike touring in Europe, sailing anywhere, and pretty much anything else outdoors!
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by DanR.
I am originally from Maryland. Grew up just outside Washington DC. I moved Atlanta in 1993. I had always been active as a kid playing football, basketball, running cross country, track, performing in theater and even rugby in college.
I woke up in my 40s and realized I was totally sedentary. So I started hiking. I discovered AOC in 2013. I’ve met many wonderful like-minded people,(folks that enjoy being outdoors), in the AOC. I have traveled to Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Slovenia, Canada and most recently to the Tetons with AOC.
I was inspired to become a trip leader so that I could create hikes near my house at my convenience and eventually start doing some international trips.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by David W..
David's interest in the outdoors started early in life, living in a rural area near acres of woods, a pond, and creek that ran down to the Ohio River. My first hikes. After graduating with a MS in Mathematics; my working career was spent in software design, coding, and support. Luckily a friend introduced me to the AOC in 2017, and have enjoyed many wonderful events with our club. My primary focus is on hiking events with D2-D5 rating.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by DavidV.
I am originally from New Orleans where I grew up with Mardi Gras (Neutral Ground Side), beignets, crawfish and snoballs. I was shocked at age ten to realize that the rest of the country didn’t have Mardi Gras! At eleven I saw the Beatles live in concert. And I really miss Sundays in the French Quarter. I go home at least once a year – usually for Jazz Fest – and every time I do, I wonder why I ever left.
I used to be a tennis player and a runner, but somehow I got sidetracked with work, family and a divorce. So in 2013 I joined the AOC as a way to get back and shape and meet new people. I now have the craziest group of friends a NOLA girl could have away from home!
I became a trip leader so I could schedule hikes after rush hour for those of us who can’t hike during the day. And I plan to schedule weekend hikes in the mountains at a slower pace for those who don’t want to or can’t hike the mountains at a fast pace. Oh yea, I just bought a kayak, so I guess I’ll be doing that too. Whatever event you sign up to do with me, I guarantee you’ll have fun!
Lastly, I leave you with my favorite quote about people from NOLA:
"We dance when there is no music. We drink at funerals. We talk too much, and live too large and, frankly, we're suspicious of those who don't." Chris Rose
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Deb R.
I am one of those rare people in the Atlanta area that is actually from Atlanta. I was born and raised in Cobb county. I feel fortunate to have grown up here and don't have any plans of ever moving too far away.
Most of my adult life I was not a very physically active person. Honestly, raising three kids was just a convenient excuse to be lazy and unhealthy. I came to some realizations as I was approaching 50 and decided to change all of that. With the last kid gone off to college I pretty much turned my life around and am now very active and can only wish that I had started sooner. As part of my transformation I stumbled across AOC in 2020 and eventually became hooked. AOC has become a part of my fitness routine ever since. I try to hike once a week as my schedule permits.
I have met many great and inspiring people in the club and want to be able to share the experience with others. I decided that becoming a trip leader was the best way for me to give something back to the club.
In addition to hiking, I also enjoy running, strength training, and kayaking. Outside of the fitness realm I also enjoy woodworking and making things.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Doug N.
|Trip Leader |
Eric was born in California, but has lived in Georgia most of his life having moved when he was a small child. His family always took him outside for adventures on trails and he grew to love the experiences. Today he can be found doing things ranging from running through wooded mountain trails barefoot to short easy casual strolls through local parks.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Eric P.
Eva grew up in Mexico City surrounded by three tall volcanoes. She felt blessed whenever she could see them, for it meant that pollution was diminishing. After she left, in 1993, the Popocatepetl volcano started to erupt; for decades, the “Po Po” had been lying dormant.
For more than a year, she has lead the almost weekly TGIF hike at Jones Bridge Park, and has made of this hike a fun workout to wind down the week. She is a certified translator and loves to chat in Spanish and French with her fellow hikers.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Eva.
Gary grew up in Buffalo, NY where he enjoyed camping, skiing, and spending time at the lake. He moved to Georgia in 2005 to escape the long, snowy Buffalo winters.. Gary joined the AOC in February 2007 and has enjoyed spending time outdoors with a great group of people. His favorite outdoor activities include hiking, camping, and backpacking.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Gary Hubert.
I LOVE HIKING. Yes, I never feel more alive than when I am hiking. This attraction began with family hikes to waterfalls in the Shenandoah during my elementary school years and was rekindled when I became a scout leader for my son's pack and troop where I was first introduced to camping and backpacking and then taken deeper into the woods. Scouting brought me to lead a couple of 10 day treks in the Rockies and a 2 week trek (with no resupply) portaging lakes in the Canadian wilderness after we were dropped with our canoe from a sea plane.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Gary 'L'.
Born in Dublin Georgia. Childhood years were spent in Houma, Louisiana. Have always loved doing things outside. Played every sport that high school offered. I've always been willing to try new things.
Moved to Atlanta in 1988. Loved water sports, Beach sports, And anything that included sunshine.
Joined AOC in 2012. Soon after, went on my first backpacking trip to Yosemite national Park. Backpacking has become one of my favorite activities. It seems to be the best way to enjoy nature without many crowds.
Moved to California in 2013. Got to experience a lot of what the west has to offer from hiking, backpacking the coast to the Sierras.
Returned to Atlanta in 2015. Looking forward to many more backpacking, hiking, and water sport adventures with the AOC.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by greg.
Greg was born and raised in Alabama, where he grew up hiking in the rolling Appalachian foothills as a Boy Scout. He also spent summers in the West, trekking with his family through Montana, California, and Arizona. After coming to Atlanta for college Greg discovered the trails, lakes, and rivers of Georgia’s Blue Ridge mountains – first with his buddies and later with his wife and their kids.
His favorite outdoor activities include mountain hikes, backpacking, camping and kayaking. Greg is especially keen on AOC hikes in north Georgia, the Carolinas and Tennessee.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Greg Pharo.
I first heard about the Atlanta Outdoor Club from a member in my local sailing club. I joined the AOC in the summer of 2011, but did not attend my first event until several months later. After my first hike, like so many others before me, I was hooked, and that was it. I met my husband, Thomas, on the trail, and we were married in Acadia National Park in 2013. This club is important to me, and I would like to give back to the club and to those who have given so much to me. I grew up in Florida and love all things water. I am also extremely passionate about animals, particularly dogs, so when appropriate, my events will allow dogs. I would like to lead water events, in town hikes for beginners, and mountain hikes at a more leisurely pace. I like to stop and breathe and take in the beauty that surrounds me. I am not interested in racing to the finish line, but rather enjoying the journey and the people that I meet along the way. I hope you will come out and join me.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Heidi W..
A native of Roanoke, VA, I spent my career in audit and compliance (yes a numbers nerd). After spending most of my life in Virginia (with a 5 year stint in North Carolina), I arrived in Atlanta in 2012. One of the first things I noticed upon arriving here was the abundance of great outdoor opportunities in and around Metro Atlanta. I love, backpacking, camping and kayaking but my true passion is hiking.
I have been hiking since my youth but really started getting more serious about it about 6 years ago when I attended a hiker conference. I knew absolutely no one there but had a blast hiking with complete strangers (sound familiar). After the conference I decided to make a goal of completing the entire Appalachian Trail as a section hiker. To date, I have completed about 1200 miles against that goal.
I joined the AOC in 2016 on the recommendation of an acquaintance shortly after retiring. My very first hike was one of Trena and Joyce’s Monday morning hikes and I was hooked on the AOC. I plan on leading mostly D2-D3 hikes at a moderate pace typically within 50 miles of Atlanta. Although I will be leading hikes on various days of the week, I will especially be targeting hikes for weekday mornings.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Holt Ward.
As an undergraduate student at the University of Georgia I was a part time student campus bus driver. A fellow student bus driver suggested that we spend a summer in Yellowstone Park as bus driver / tour guides. Two friends and I made the cross country drive to Yellowstone and it was so much fun that I went back for several seasons. I also spent one summer as a “Jammer” (gear jammer) bus driver in Glacier National Park.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Hugh Baker.
I moved to Atlanta in 1996 from Connecticut. Professionally, I previously worked for publishing companies, and currently work with vacation beach rentals. In my free time, fitness was always a big part of my life; either running, hiking, teaching aerobics, or working out at the gym. While living in Connecticut, I enjoyed the outdoors which included running in the warmer months, and skiing in the winter months. When I moved to Atlanta, I discovered hiking, a physical activity that was full of adventure; and it was possible to engage in year round.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Jan T.
Jasmine joined in 2005 after getting introduced by a friend, but was not actively involved until 2011 when she was looking to get back into hiking in more remotes areas. She loves most outdoor activities and hiking with her 4 legged companion, Brody.
One of Jasmine’s most memorable scenic moments was her visit to Pongong Lake in the Himalayas, and riding an elephant in search for a tiger. She loves traveling, the National Geographic Channel, and most anything animal related.
Jasmine enjoys early morning in town hikes, the North Ga Mountains, and events where doggy companions can join in the fun.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Jasmine.
| Trip Leader|
Jeff joined the AOC in 2010 after being abandoned in the wilderness by a trip leader on another group's event. He decided a little structure and vetted trip leaders are a good thing.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Jeff.
While I was born out of country, my only recollection is growing up in Stone Mountain, GA. As kids we spent most of our time playing outdoors, if we were allowed. I loved swimming, exploring the woods and canoeing. Later I found running and tennis to keep me active outside. I am a scuba diver as well, but more often than not, that is an indoor activity as I am a volunteer diver at The Georgia Aquarium.
As I got older, I found it harder to find friends who had the same free time to hit the great outdoors. Lucky for me I found AOC on an internet search. Since then I have met some great friends, explored some pretty amazing trails and learned more than I ever could out there on my own.
My favorite types of events involve long trails, flowing water and backpacking. I like to challenge myself every now and then and get the blood pumping, but the real goal is to see this beautiful earth. I find the farther I can go, the more I get to see out there.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Jenny.
I grew up stomping through creeks and wandering the woods and fields around my small home town. Soon it was all sucked into the DC suburbs. The woods were cleared, the fields covered with town houses and the creeks straightened, scraped and occasionally even paved to serve as drainage ditches. I reconnected with the outdoors when I went to college then worked for many years in the southern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia - a perfect spot between the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway. I failed to take advantage of all that Georgia has to offer when I moved to Atlanta in the late 90s but have been making up for lost time since joining the AOC in 2011. Now I’d like to give back as a trip leader with events that let others enjoy the hiking opportunities we have available in the immediate metro area as well as an occasional trip to the mountains.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Jim.
|Potential Trip Leader|
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Jim W.
I was born in Massachusetts but raised in Georgia. After law school, I developed an obsession with hiking which soon turned into an obsession with backpacking. My goal was to hike all the long distance trails that start (or end) in Georgia. Since starting backpacking about four years ago, I have backpacked the entire Foothills Trail (2014, 2018), the Benton MacKaye Trail (2015), the Bartram Trail (2015), and the Pinhoti Trail (2016) largely as a series of weekend hikes. I have also backpacked over 400 miles of the Appalachian Trail. I have also backpacked in the Death Valley, Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and the White Mountains in New Hampshire.
I will largely focus on offering AOC members mostly D-5 and D-6 hikes and backpacks. I look forward giving back to the AOC.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by John.
Joseph is a native Georgian. He grew up in Fayetteville, Georgia and moved to Atlanta in 2009. He enjoys many outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, backpacking, biking, and running. He was an outdoor backpacking director and camp counselor at a camp in Asheville, NC for 2 summers. Joseph joined the AOC in 2019 seeking like-minded outdoor enthusiasts.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Joseph Wang.
I am a native Atlantan who grew up in Decatur and Tucker. As a young adult, I lived in Paris for a year and in New York City for 15 years. I have always been a passionate walker, but only got into hiking 10 years ago.
During my year in Europe, I “backpacked” with a Eurorail pass on trains, sleeping in train stations and hostels. In NYC I was an enthusiastic urban hiker. When I returned to Atlanta in 2005, I continued my urban hiking but wanted to go further afield. I started looking for a group to hike with since I was not fearless enough to explore longer trails on my own. An internet search brought up the AOC. After a wonderful first hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park, I was hooked.
I have thoroughly enjoyed hiking trails - in the Atlanta area, the Georgia mountains, and adventure trips with the club - that I never would have done on my own. And just as much the company of many fun and interesting fellow hikers.
While I enjoy shorter hikes, my favorites are 8-10 miles with 1500-2500 elevation gain. I look forward to giving back to the club after it has given me so much over the years.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Joyce B..
|Potential Trip Leader|
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Kip.
Event interests: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Traveling, and Photography.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Kiran.
|Event interests: Backpacking, Hiking, Kayaking, Bicycling, Camping, Swimming, Travel Adventure and Photography.
Kristi grew up with somewhat nomadic parents moving around the United States, Japan, Germany, and has lived in Georgia her entire adult life. She has been active with the Atlanta Outdoor Club since fall of 2005 ever since her former backpacking group became inactive. Besides leading backpacking trips here in the southeast, she wants to explore more western states, including returning to Alaska, remote Patagonian areas such as Torres del Paine and exotic Asian back roads. She likes to study nature and create what she hopes to be unique photographic images.
Kristi's favorite time of a backpacking weekend is when all the tasks are done and everyone is sitting around the campfire conversing at dinner time - before or after the golden light of course.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Kristi.
I was born in a coastal town in Vietnam. When I was little, my family migrated to the United States, where I spent my childhood playing along the coast of Alabama and Mississippi. I was such a beach lover that I never even thought about going into the woods (unless you count bamboo forests).
I discovered hiking as a young adult after I moved to land-locked Atlanta. A coworker had introduced me to hiking in the North Georgia mountains, which brought me a different enjoyment of the outdoors than I had known before.
In October 2016, I joined the AOC after hearing about it from some other hikers. Several months later, I was asked about becoming a Trip Leader. I wanted to be a TL because I enjoy hiking regularly, but living in Decatur, there weren’t many hikes posted on the East Side. I like to challenge myself and to explore Georgia and will hike just about anywhere, but as a TL, my plan is to provide hikes of moderate difficulty and pace on Atlanta's East Side.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Kym.
Larry started hiking in the fall of 2008 for his health, which was in dire
need improvement. He found the AOC in February 2009 and quickly became an active member on
many events. His other outdoor interests are sailing and hang gliding which he experienced this year
courtesy of the AOC. He enjoys long challenging hikes at a moderate pace. He regularly helps
maintain the Appalachian Trail and adjacent trails in Georgia so that we all can enjoy good hiking.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Larry Cooper.
I am a native Atlantan who has also lived in San Diego, CA and England. A self-described travel addict, I have enjoyed an array of outdoor adventure opportunities across the U.S. and the world. My favorite places include Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, New Zealand, North Carolina and Tanzania, but I am always ready to explore more places or discover new ways to experience an old favorite!
I am an avid hiker but also enjoy snow shoeing, kayaking, climbing, cycling and astronomy. My career as a travel planner feeds my travel addiction, and I am very excited to plan and participate in events for the AOC just for the pure joy of sharing the adventure with like-minded folks! I love exploring off the beaten path and plan my events with that in mind. When joining me on an out-of-town adventure you can also enjoy (optional) astronomy by night via my astronomy loving husband and his travel telescope.
In addition to the AOC, my other volunteer passions are the PATH Foundation and the Peachtree Creek Greenway Inc. which I serve on the board for as the chair of the Atlanta Committee.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Lauren R.
Leigh is originally from Manchester in the northern part of England. She has lived in the U.S. since 1990. Leigh’s passion for hiking began in High School when the urban raised children were taken on a week-long trip every year to the beautiful Lake District in England to walk the crags, fells, tarns and lakes.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Leigh B.
I've lived in Alpharetta for 30 years having moved from Ohio with my company. I am now retired and enjoy hiking and backpacking. I also make pottery and enjoy taking poetry and philosophy classes at Kennesaw State.
I started out loving the outdoors in Boy Scouts. In my 20s I hiked trails in several of the National Parks out west. In the last 15 years, I've done a lot of hiking and backpacking in the southern Appalachia Mountains and recently did some extended backpacking in the Rockies and Sierra Nevada Mountains.
I joined AOC in August of 2016. Most of my group hikes before were with various hiking groups on Meetup. I stumbled upon AOC by accident when I Googled, hiking, Atlanta and forgot Meetup. AOC popped up and I sure am glad. 95% plus of my hikes have been with AOC since then. I go at a moderate pace whether backpacking or hiking. I will be leading mostly D3, D4 and D5 hikes and backpacking. Those are the event levels I do when I am not leading. I anticipate leading some traveling hikes perhaps to the Rocky Mountains and even outside the country. I look forward to many outdoor adventures with our exceptionally active AOC that is well organized and has super members of all ages and experience levels
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by LindseyW.
I was born and raised in New York (Long Island) and have been in Atlanta since 1988. I work full-time in marketing so most of my hikes will be on the weekends or in the evenings.
I joined the AOC in 2021 because I wanted to have an outdoor activity during Covid. I thought the hikes were so much fun and I loved all the people I was meeting.
With encouragement from other trip leaders, I decided to become a trip leader so that I could lead D1 hikes in my neighborhood park, Simpsonwood. I hope to add other locations to my repertoire but plan to mostly stick with D1s.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Lisa L.
I was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. My husband of 44 years and I moved to the United States in 1979. We have been in Atlanta since 1985. Atlanta is now our home, our roots are here. We have three "boys", (now young men), ages 41, 39, and 35. We are blessed by having them all live in Atlanta as well. Two of them live less than a mile from us, with all 6 of our grand kids and the youngest one that doesn't have children (yet) lives in Brookhaven , which is about 20 miles from us.
I did my BA in mathematics education at the University of Puerto Rico and my master at Georgia State University. I'm retired now. My free time is spent taking care of myself by lifting weights and enjoying the outdoor through biking, hiking, kayaking, and skiing. I also enjoy playing the guitar during Christmas time and singing with my husband. I'm also a volunteer driver for the Ignatian Spirituality Project.
Having found the Atlanta Outdoors Club has been an answer to my prayers. It is such a pleasure meeting so many wonderful people of all ages that enjoy the outdoors and want to volunteer their time to share it with others.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Lisbelle C.
Born and raised in Bulgaria, I loved hiking and trail running with my friends on the rocky hills around my home town. Later in college, studying Ecology, I kept on exploring some of the higher mountains, and wilderness areas in my birth country.
I've been in Atlanta, Georgia area since 2002. My first hike with Atlanta Outdoor Club was in 2012. I truly didn't know the real beauty of Georgia and other close by states, until I started hiking with the club in the remote areas.
Being a trip leader, I am looking forward to share the beautiful places I have visited and enjoyed, as well as discover many new ones.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Marina.
Growing up in Germany, spending your free time outside is a given. I spent many weekends hiking or bike riding with my family - or just enjoying a quiet afternoon in the garden. Since I moved to the US, I lived in Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas, and moved to Georgia in 2000. Having to spend my weekdays inside, I try to spend as much time outside as I can. I have been actively hiking with the AOC since Spring of 2012 and enjoy meeting other fellow outdoor enthusiasts.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Marion.
Mark grew up in central Illinois where as a boy he spent nearly all of his free time outdoors. As a boy, he would routinely trek off into the woods with his trusty Irish setter, not to be seen until dinner time. Mark spent his high school years in Brazil, where he traveled extensively and learned some entirely new outdoor skills while camping, fishing, and exploring on trips to the Amazon and remote regions of the Pantanal.
After moving to Georgia in 1988, Mark fell in love with the nearby Mountains of N Georgia and North Carolina where he has taken countless trips for camping, whitewater canoeing, hiking, and fishing. When living in Augusta, he also loved to travel to the nearby coastal areas, from Charleston to Savannah, and spent many weekends kayaking the marshlands, hiking the coastal nature areas, camping, and fishing offshore and the inland flats. As an AOC Trip Leader, Mark enjoys being able to offer the club outdoor events and adventures - especially to places less traveled and off the beaten track.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Mark.
Whenever hikers gather together they tell stories. These stories typically recount the fear, suffering, or misery of challenging outings.
Many of my stories are recorded in my years long “outdoor adventure” blog, uphillhikes.com. There you can find stories and photos of snakes, bear, wild pigs, and alligators. There are stories of creatures of the night encountered on night hikes or while lying in my sleeping bag. For those, it is only the glowing eyes or breathing sounds accompanied by an occasional cracking branch that give evidence of the animal.
My outdoor story has been that of a mostly solo overnight backpacker. Maybe that is why I’ve seen so much wildlife. I recall when at 19, I first got up enough nerve to camp alone in Blood Mountain Wilderness. I built a big campfire to keep whatever was out there from “getting me”. I regularly checked the woods around me with a flashlight.
Since then I’ve explored widely on my own. I’ve “hiked the map” of the Smokies, spent weeks exploring remote areas of Yosemite National Park, and thru-hiked the PCT. Now, I’m excited to be with the Atlanta Outdoor Club where I can include companions on outdoor adventures.
My wife and I are retired empty nesters living in Roswell. When I’m not on one of my backpacking trips, we love to travel and enjoy the beach and especially the grandkids.
I look forward to enjoying the outdoors with each of you.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Mark B.
Originally from South Georgia, Mark moved to Atlanta in 1997 after graduating from The University of Georgia.
Mark has had a love of the outdoors since he was a child and his family camping trips. Mark loves a grand adventure and enjoys hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, whitewater paddling among other things. He has visited National Parks all over the country including Evergaldes, Death Valley, Yosemite, Mt. Rainier and Acadia.
Mark has been a member of the AOC since 2012 and is looking forward to many new adventures!
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Mark P.
Russ grew up in Memphis, three miles from Elvis’s Graceland home. He came to love & explore the outdoors while hunting and fishing with his uncles, usually in Mississippi. His love of adventure (and the Vietnam draft lottery) led him to join the USAF as a Communications Technical Controller. He spent 2 ½ years in Japan, where he scouted many Japanese parks, shrines and Mt. Fuji. Russ continued his education at the University of Tennessee. Later, during his 32 years in management at AT&T, he moved to Atlanta in 1979. He continued to explore the outdoors through skiing many western slopes, running 26 Peachtree Road Races, navigating various riverwalks and, of course, hiking trails.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Memphis Russ.
|Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, and spending the summers in Western Michigan, Michael grew up loving the outdoors. After living in a small cabin high in the Rocky Mountains with no running water for a year just after high school, he relocated to Marquette, Michigan on the shores of Lake Superior. There he enjoyed backpacking, cross country skiing and swimming. After graduating from NMU and moving to Atlanta, Michael continued backpacking all over the southeast, and occasionally out west. He also loves skiing out west in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, California and British Columbia. Michael joined the AOC to meet more people with similar passions for the outdoors.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Michael Johnson.
Growing up in southeastern Wisconsin fishing, hiking, and hunting, Mike grew up loving the outdoors. After completing undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI, he moved to Chicago, IL. Summers were spent back-and-forth with frequent trips up to WI enjoying the many lakes and outdoor activities available. In July 1999 Mike moved down to Atlanta, GA which has been home ever since. Prior to finding the AOC in March 2011, he explored the southeast on frequent solo hiking and kayaking trips. Mike enjoys meeting people with similar passions for adventure and the outdoors. Leave no trace.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Mike Pawloski.
I’m originally from rural up state Pennsylvania, so attraction to the north Georgia and North Carolina mountains comes naturally. Being outside participating in athletics, hiking, camping, and biking is how I spent my youth. Then came a hiatus to raise a family. This mostly meant taking children to events with occasional car camping sprinkled in. When I relocated to Atlanta, in 1999, I returned to my love of outdoors, backpacking several times a year. I have backpacked most of the Georgia AT and southern sections of North Carolina. Since discovering the AOC, I have rekindled my love for outdoor adventures of all kinds, day hikes, backpacking, fitness hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and biking. I’ve enjoyed participating in AOC events and meeting likeminded people so much, I hope to be able to give back by introducing others to the AOC as a Trip Leader.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Mike S.
|Myra grew up in North Georgia, a life-long nature lover, who, as a child fantasized about running
away to the forest and living like an indian. She developed an obsession with backpacking in her
mid-twenties, when she read an online blog about a man who had backpacked across Iceland. She
has spent the past several years gaining experience and honing her skills in order to attempt her
own Iceland traverse adventure. Myra's backpacking experience includes section-hiking ~800 miles
of the Appalachian trail, thru-hiking the 485-mile Colorado trail, the 100-mile West Highland Way in
Scotland, and hiking approximately 200 miles of trail in Iceland. She has completed basic training in
wilderness survival, orienteering, and wilderness medicine. Myra will attempt to complete a 500+
mile Iceland traverse in Summer 2014.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Myra Kincaid.
I’ve been an AOC member since 2013 and enjoyed all the hiking and backpacking I’ve done with this group. I’d like to be a more active member in this amazing organization. Some of my trip leaders suggested me to be a trip leader to be more helpful.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Nahid.
|Oscar Tarragó grew up in Mexico City, exploring the urban environment and appreciating the historical buildings. As a teenager he became a boy scout, which allowed him to learn about the outdoors and skills for camping and hiking. During his high school years he was an exchange student in GA, providing him with greater exposure to the outdoors.
He lived in Southern Africa for over 4 years and has camped in many locations, including the Serengeti in Tanzania, and has done a 67 mi. bicycle ride (with a mountain bike) in Cape Town, which is said to be the most beautiful ride in the world.
He arrived in Atlanta 12 yrs. ago, where he has enjoyed hiking in the Chattahoochee NRA and Stone Mountain with his children. He also enjoys hiking in northern GA, especially Amicalola Falls and Tulullah Gorge.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Oscar.
I stumbled into hiking when my elder brother visiting from Arizona took my kids (who were 7 & 5 at the time) and I went to Kennesaw Battlefield Park. We lost track of time exploring the different trails going over big & little Kennesaw. That singular experience(the exhaustion & excitement) sparked my interest in hiking. That interest has not waned! First year hiking I was favored to complete 28 miles of Clingman's Dome from rim to rim in 12 hours. Most recent extreme (26 mile) hike was completing GA Loop (Woody Gap to Little Skeenah Creek)October of last year. Being an adrenaline junkie, I have been blessed to experience hikes in Georgia, Tennessee & South Carolina. Hiking has taught me perseverance in the literal sense of the word. That experience transcends into other facets of my life. Adventures are next on the list.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Pam M.
Event Interests: Mountain Biking, Camping, Backpacking, Paddling, Whitewater Rafting, and Photography
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Patrick Barry.
Rafique is a native of Karachi, Pakistan; a city of 18 million people and a densely populated concrete jungle where noise pollution is a 24/7 phenomena. He has made Atlanta his permanent home and he can't be more thankful as he has finally found the peace and tranquility that he craved, in the mountains of North Georgia. In addition to burning calories, a day hike lets Rafique enjoy the silence of the woods. However, he does not mind the musical sounds of the streams or cascades; also chirping of the birds is one sound he can never get enough of. He joined AOC in 2008, since then he has become an avid hiker.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Rafiq.
Event Interests: Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, and Kayaking/canoeing
Ralph is a native of Michigan, where he enjoyed camping, canoeing, and hiking as a youth. He lived in Austin, Texas for 17 years before moving to Georgia in 1996. After sending his youngest child off to college he re-discovered his love for the outdoors, joining the AOC in November 2007. Since then he's been on the trail almost every weekend, usually joined by his wife Ann who he met on the trail.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Ralph Howard.
Ray was born and raised in Houston, TX where he enjoyed hiking, canoeing, camping, and surfing. He continued to spend time in the outdoors with his two sons through Scouting. After a long tenure in corporate life, Ray is now retired and spends his time traveling with his wife and when in town, on organized hikes and paddle trips. He paddles at least weekly on the Chattahoochee and spends 4 to 6 weeks each year kayak touring on the rivers of Georgia and Florida.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Ray S.
I grew up in Sweetwater Texas. I have been active all my life, spending as much time as possible outside. As a teenager, I backpacked Guadalupe Mountain and Big Bend. After high school, I worked in the oil fields and roofed houses. I then turned my hobby of small engine repair into my career.
Just after the Blizzard of ‘93, I decided to move to Georgia to help my sister.
I used my love of small engines to get into racing go carts. Later, I got married and my wife and I started a small business making outdoor furniture. I still have my shop, although I no longer build furniture for sale. Continuing my love of the outdoors, I maintained the church grounds of my former church for about 20 yrs.
While backpacking part of the Appalachian Trail I decided I wanted to hike and be active with other people who enjoyed the same. I heard about Atlanta Outdoor Club in 2018. My first hike was 18 miles in Vogel State Park. I went a few more miles but got lost.
As a trip leader my plans are mostly leading bike rides.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Ray Stewart.
In the fall of 2020 Ron joined AOC at the suggestion of a friend. Ron has been inspired by several trip leaders and club members; before AOC he never would have believed that he could hike twenty miles with over 4000 ft elevation gain nor ever believed he would run unless a dog chased him. His first AOC run was a half-marathon; when Ron ran the half-marathon not only was it his first but the first time he ran since playing soccer in high school. Although he enjoys sunrise solo hikes, he also loves the social interaction and diversity of thought with club members.
The outdoors as well as AOC have grown to be an important part of Ron’s life and supports a great work – life balance. Ron currently hikes weekly, runs and has started regular strength training. In the near future he will add cycling and swimming to his fitness activities. Aside from wellness, fitness and work Ron regularly attends small venue general admission alternative rock concerts, the Atlanta Opera and the Atlanta Symphony as well as hosting small dinner parties and baking cakes for work colleagues; he will add daily enjoyment reading for mental fitness.
As a trip leader Ron hopes to be able to lead underserved sunrise activities that are fun and interactive which inspire members to achieve their personal goals.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Ron Ramspeck.
I am from Huntsville, Alabama and moved to Atlanta in 1989. After hiking off and on with other groups I joined the AOC in 2008.
I enjoy day hikes, backpacking, hut to hut trekking, international outdoor trips, and hiking with my dogs.
I hope to lead trips out of state both in the U.S. and overseas. I especially enjoy the European alps.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Ron Walker.
RonnyJ (Call me Ron)
Ron was born in Chicago where the trails are flat and dull. After moving to Atlanta in 1991 he could usually be found at Sweetwater State Park, Kennesaw Mountain or Redtop Mountain State Park hiking with his wife and kids in tow. It wasn't until he joined the AOC in 2017 that his hikes started getting long and steep and often.
When not on the trail, Ron can be found in his basement woodworking shop where he has been turning out furniture creations since 1995. In fact, he built all of the furniture in his home!
When you hike with Ron, you are sure to sense his quick wit in addition to his quick pace.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by RonnyJ (Call me Ron).
I have lived in Atlanta all my life, and grew up along a creek that I loved to explore. I am at my happiest when I am in the trees and / or near the water; my version of Heaven is anywhere that has ferns and mossy boulders. Kayaking and hiking are some of my favorite pastimes and the events I will likely lead the most, although I also enjoy biking, camping, and backpacking. I primarily enjoy relaxing, leisurely time outdoors and my events will reflect that.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Rosemary P.
Stacey is a native Georgian having grown up in Social Circle where she was a cheerleader throughout middle and high school and attended numerous summer camps. She began her love for the outdoors when her dad bought a lot on Lake Oconee when she was young and they would camp and boat on weekends. She and her son would spend almost every spring and summer weekend on some outdoor adventure, boating, wakeboarding, camping, hiking or rafting.
After college, she became an aerobics and spinning instructor and has taught hundreds of classes over the years. She is an avid runner having completed numerous half marathons and just completed her 3rd marathon. Stacey also loves cycling and has participated in almost every BRAG (Bicycle Ride Across Georgia) since 1998. She’s excited about being a trip leader with the AOC where she can combine her love for the outdoors with her love of meeting people. She’s met so many wonderful friends through the AOC and can’t wait to share events and experiences with new ones.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Stacey Johnson.
|Co-Director of Events|
Originally from upstate New York, I grew up enjoying the outdoors, camping, backpacking and hiking with family and later in the Boy Scouts. Later, I finally settled to the Atlanta area with my family in 1995 after spending some time in Texas and Alabama. Today, I live in Woodstock and still love the outdoors and have been continuing these activities here in the North Georgia and surrounding area. My favorite activities is hiking, trail running and backpacking D5 and D6 events with the AOC. I enjoy a physical challenge on our hikes and also just love meeting new people who also enjoy these outdoor activities. As far as hiking goals, I'm currently section hiking the AT, and working on my Georgia 4K and North Carolina 6K lists.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Steve H.
A Georgia native, Steven grew up in the west Atlanta County of Paulding. There on his family's small farm he fell in love with the great outdoors and the great adventures that can be had. In fact, his first job was with Pickett's Mill State Park where he worked closely with nature and visitors as a park ranger. It is there that he polished his skills as trip leader guiding history and nature enthusiasts of all ages.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Steven Redmond.
Event interests: Hiking, biking, caving, kayaking, camping, photography
While Thomas didn’t have much say where he was born (Allentown, PA) and raised (south Jersey), at least he had the good sense to move to the south as a young adult. Coming to the Atlanta area to attend college and subsequently becoming a Systems Integration Design Engineer with a focus on Broadcasting.
Thomas joined the AOC in Nov 2011 after a recommendation from an outfitter while hiking at Cloudland Canyon SP. He enjoys hiking day trips at a moderate, photography typed, pace and often leads events on the eastern side of metro ATL.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Thomas W..
I'm a native Georgian and currently live in East Cobb about 5 miles from where I grew up.
I rekindled my love for hiking on a trip with my sister to the Grand Canyon about 10 years ago and
have since taken a week or two each year to hike and backpack throughout the west and southwest.
As inspiring as hiking can be it sometimes takes inspiration to get started and keep it up.
Inspired by a show I saw on Netflix, my first multi-week backpack trip was the John Muir Trail in 2016.
I first heard about the AOC when I met a longtime member at a campsite in the backcountry of Olympic National
Park in Washington. Now I'm lucky to know so many other like-minded people in the club who actually
enjoy getting up before dawn, driving 2 hours and hiking 6-7 hours through the mountains. I'm also an avid
cyclist and an occasional swimmer.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Tim W.
Originally from Wisconsin, Todd grew up around lakes where his parents instilled in him a great love of the outdoors. Later, he discovered he enjoyed climbing just about anything.. trees, rocks, mountains.
In 1988, he moved to the Atlanta area and became active in all types of outdoor activities, including hiking and backpacking with the Sierra Club.
He became a professional arborist, where he found he could make a living climbing trees.
In 1993 Todd moved to Seattle where he joined the Seattle Mountaineers and climbed several glacier covered peaks. He then returned to Atlanta area in 1994. He now makes a living as a software engineer, but considers himself an all around outdoorsman.
Todd discovered the AOC in 2009, and has participated on numerous hikes. He decided it would be a great idea to become a hike leader in order to share some of the great outdoor places he likes to consider his 2nd home. His main club interests are hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, and is open to new adventures such as trips to distant mountainous destinations.
He used to prefer a faster hiking pace, but now prefers a medium pace.. fast enough to get a workout, but slow enough to enjoy the scenery.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Todd M.
Tom is a originally from Chicago and moved to Atlanta in 1993. Since moving to Atlanta, Tom acquired a deep passion for outdoor adventure trips and travel. Tom started hiking & backpacking in 1997. Tom enjoys spending most of his weekends hiking/backpacking in the mountains, long distance running, workouts at the gym, group cycling, and the abundant adventures that the Southeast has to offer. He has completed numerous half and full marathons, hiked the Inca Trail and climbed three of the Seven Summits - Mt. Aconcagua (22,841 ft), Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340 ft), Mt. Elbrus (18,510 ft). In addition, Tom climbed Mt. Rainer (14,410 ft) twice, Mt. Hood (11,249 ft), Mt. Baker, and Mt. Shasta. His favorite local destination is Siler Bald in North Carolina which he tries to visit several times a year and Cochran Shoals for marathon training. Tom completed over 77 full marathons, since 2008.
International Adventure & Travel Experience: Iceland, Poland, Scotland, Argentina (Patagonia & Aconcagua), Ecuador, Peru (Machu Picchu), India, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland, Croatia (Split, Yugoslavia), Canada & Mexico, Egypt, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Africa (Kilimanjaro & Tanzania), Nepal, US & British Virgin Islands.
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Tom.
Event Interests: Hiking, Backpacking, and Camping
See Upcoming Events or Past Events being coordinated by Tony C.
Tricia is a native from Holland, Michigan before moving to Georgia in 2001. A typical summer growing up on lake Michigan was riding her bike to the beach as a kid and staying all day splashing in the water, playing beach volleyball, going out on boats and camping. Winter would bring other sports such as playing in the snow and ice skating. When it came to school sports, basketball, volleyball and track were played up until High School years. Tricia Attended Ferris State University and spent most of her summers canoeing and tubing on the Muskegon River. In those years RV camping was also introduced to her by her family otherwise know as “luxury camping”.
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Trish grew up in north Florida where the terrain is very similar to that of south Georgia. As a child she loved the outdoors. Some of her favorite memories were of swimming, canoeing, water skiing, fishing, horseback riding and camping. She came to love nature and so when in college chose to study Biology and, to understand the details, Chemistry. This helped her earn a living, but something else always called for her attention back outside. For the last few years she trained for and raced foot races, swim races and triathlon. She even finished three full Ironman races, 140.6 miles each. Today she will say she has given all that up and wants to become a hiker, a strong hiker. Racing taught her a lot about endurance events and pace. Trish typically hikes at a moderate pace. She likes weekday hikes of four to six miles long and weekend hikes over ten. She loves the water and plans to offer kayaking and perhaps some swimming events. For now this is where her heart is. Come join her if you would like to see where Atlantans go to play. You’ll probably even get a good workout in.
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I was born in Esfahan Iran, a historic city with many ancient mosques, bridges and a palace. At age 15 I was introduced to the great outdoors by my older brother, and reluctantly agreed to hike with him and his college friends. Beginning with that first hike I fell in love with the mountains, and hiked many of them in Iran such as Tochal (elevation 13,005’) and the country’s highest, Damavand (elev. 18,406’). I hope that within my lifetime Iran and the U.S. will become allies again so I can plan and offer an AOC trip to the beautiful Tochal and Damavand mountains of my youth.
I moved to the U. S. in 1977 and lived in Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania and Tennessee before finally settling in Alpharetta, GA. The Atlanta area offered everything I was looking for - not only the opportunity to continue working, but it was near the North Georgia mountains. I hiked any chance I had with my children, friends or my dog.
In 2010 I was searching the Internet for a hiking club - came across the AOC and consider myself very lucky to have found such a fine club. I feel that the the AOC has re-ignited my youth at heart and given me the opportunity to enjoy many local, national and international hikes and adventures that I otherwise would not be doing by myself. Perhaps more importantly I have made friends with many wonderful people in the AOC. In being a a Trip Leader, I try to help the club continue to provide opportunities to other outdoor enthusiasts as it has provided me.
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