Nicole Markovich is #MadeForKnoxville.

An experienced backpacker, Nicole is building community as a guide to those who want to get outside.

After hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, Nicole quit her teaching job to start Wildwood Hiking Company. She leads a variety of group trips, ranging from 3-6 days to accommodate beginners and more experienced hikers. In addition to organizing trips, Nicole dispels myths and provides helpful tips online about backpacking as a solo traveler or in a group. Through her business, Nicole is on a mission to create more opportunities for people to experience nature in community. 

“If I can hike all the way from Georgia to Maine, I can do just about anything!”

In Their Own Words…

I recently opened a backpacking guide business in East Tennessee called Wildwood Hiking Company. I hope to help others enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature through backpacking.

Last year, I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail all the way from Georgia to Maine. It was a 6 months backpacking trip that covered over 2,000 miles of trail through the Appalachian mountains. The trek was absolutely life changing! Before the hike, I was a teacher in Illinois. I had intended on going back to teaching when I finished, but I fell in love with backpacking, the mountains, and the trail community. When I finished, I quit my teaching job and moved to Tennessee where I opened Wildwood Hiking Company.

Lessons Learned: 

I just started my business this month! The hardest thing for me has just been getting over the fear of going out on my own and taking on this huge task of starting my own business. But I figure if I can hike all the way from Georgia to Maine, I can do just about anything!

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Watch our interview with Nicole Markovich

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