Popp, who earned Eagle Scout rank at 17 years old, is no stranger to trekking through the outdoors, having completed the entire Appalachian Trail in 2017. The backpacker said he was exposed to hiking and camping at an early age through his parents and the Scouts.
After hitting a lull in his love for the wilderness for his first few years of college, Popp said the spark came back in full force and has continued to burn.
Popp said he recently contemplated the idea of transforming his passion into a career while hiking with his dad. Five months ago, he brought the idea of offering backpacking trips to Charles Hill Morris Jr., co-founder of World’s Best Adventures, and it took off.
Popp left his role as editor of Dawson County News to serve as a full-time guide.
“I’m so excited,” Popp said. “It has been my dream for a really long time to do something professional with the outdoors because it has been such a large piece of my life.”
The trips will run during the fall, spring and summer, taking groups of around six to 10 people. Participants must be 21 or older to join the excursion. The cost is around $1,200 per person.
“We want to ignite a passion for the outdoors in people,” Popp said. “Now more than ever, it’s really important for people to get out and see places like North Carolina, Tennessee and North Georgia that are so beautiful.”
The travel company plans to hold a test-run of the backpacking trek in September for those 21 and up. To apply for the trip or for more information about the upcoming excursions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
World’s Best Adventures is a part of Metro Market Media, which also owns The Times, Forsyth County News and Dawson County News. Proceeds from its tours help fund journalism in those communities.