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In 2006, using the trail name “Tipper,” Tip Ray thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) and conducted accessibility assessments of 253 shelter sites under a contract with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the National Park Service.
When he moved to Asheville, NC, in 2012, he immediately approached the ATC’s Southern Regional Office staff about volunteering. He surveyed all campsites and recreational impacts on more than 21 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the Roan Highlands and has processed and analyzed the data, which will be used to make recommendations for recreation management in the area.
Tip also helped organized all of the curricula developed by Trail to Every Classroom teachers to be adapted and put onto the ATC’s website. These online resources will support the implementation of place-based service learning and provided educators with the tools needed to meet the diverse learning needs of a variety of students.
A member of the Carolina Mountain Club, Tip attended the 2012 Wilderness Skills Institute. He was formerly a canoe guide for Minnesota-based Wilderness Inquiry, a nonprofit outdoor adventure provider that brings people with and without disabilities together on wilderness waterways throughout North America and the world. He is currently a consultant in private practice with a focus on accessibility and program accommodations for persons with disabilities in outdoor recreation settings. He is also a certified master trainer for the Universal Trail Assessment Process and has taught those skills nationwide.