Ryan P. Ginther Memorial Hike
Over $32,000 Raised for youth programs
If you ever met Ryan Ginther -- even briefly -- you'd remember it. Ryan had a personality that was larger-than-life, a knack for telling stories, and a hearty belly laugh that made you think you're funnier than you really are.
On December 5, 2015, Ryan's life came to a tragic end. He was killed in a car accident north of Charlotte at just 35 years of age.
I lost my best friend of 25 years that day. I also lost a great hiking partner who was up for every adventure. Since moving to the South, Ryan and I developed a mutual affinity for hiking. We've hiked many of the popular spots together and frequently talked about hiking the Appalachian Trail. Sadly, Ryan died before we made it out on the AT.
To honor Ryan's memory, I've committed to hike all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail -- at a pace of one week per year -- through 2040. Ryan's with me every step of the way, as I carry a small urn of his ashes in my pack. We've covered over 400 miles of the trail so far, reaching Elk Park, NC, in 2020.
Each year a group of Ryan's family, friends, and loved ones join me for a day of good food, hiking, and storytelling at the Ryan P. Ginther Memorial Hike. The next annual hike will take place on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia. We hope you can join us!
Our efforts support worthy causes within the community and we've raised over $32,000 since 2016! Our focus is on getting youth outdoors, as that's played a major role in the grieving process for Ryan's son, Noah. This year, we're partnering with Big City Mountaineers, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking down barriers so children can connect with the outdoors. They've been taking children on adventures for 30 years, earning the highest ratings in charity financial stewardship along the way.
We hope you'll support our efforts by joining us at Grayson Highlands, making a donation to the Ryan P. Ginther Memorial Hike Team, and by providing some encouragement along the way.
Thank you for your support and generosity!