Randy Johnson stood on his first mountaintop on a bitterly cold Boy Scout camping trip in the Virginia Blue Ridge. He has lived near the Parkway most of his life and has repeatedly hiked the high road’s trails and driven its entire length.
He was an early member of the Virginia Wilderness Committee, and his first published magazine article supported designation of Virginia’s first legislated wilderness.
He proposed and implemented the trail management program at Grandfather Mountain that helped lay the groundwork for the mountain’s designation as a United Nations Biosphere Reserve. He was a trail design consultant for the Parkway’s Tanawha Trail and worked to mesh the private and Park Service trails into the system in place today. Randy was instrumental in making the Tanawha Trail part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and as co-chairman of the Central Blue Ridge Task Force, he helped design and construct a portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
Randy is currently editor for Hemispheres, the magazine of United Airlines and the United States’ most award-winning in-flight magazine. He has written widely for national newspapers and ski and travel magazines and is the author of Southern Snow: The Winter Guide to Dixie, Hiking North Carolina, and Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway and is editorial director and contributing author ofThe Age of Flight: The History of America’s Pioneering Airline.
He is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.