Help Local Hikers Give a Second Chance

In 2016, Raleigh backpacker, Craig Dunkley founded an annual hike to benefit StepUp Ministry.  He hiked the 30-mile Art Loeb Trail and raised more than $4,000 from family and friends to help StepUp.  This year, Craig is back, and he’s enlisted the help of three close friends.  Together, they hope to raise $10,000 for StepUp Ministry!  Please sponsor their hike—and StepUp Ministry.

Check out WRAL's coverage of Craig's 2016 hike:

Hiker's Next Journey Will Raise Money for Triangle Nonprofit

2016 Wrap Up

The goal is to raise $10,000 through the hike

“There’s a lot to like about hiking and backpacking: Fresh air, awesome scenery, and a sense of accomplishment.  Then it hit me one day…When I go hiking, the only one who benefits from that is me…”
-Craig Dunkley

The Hike

The hike, from May 5-7, will be on the Appalachian Trail ( ) and on NC’s very own Mountains to Sea Trail (  The team will use the Appalachian Trail to climb Clingmans Dome, a 6,643’ peak near the NC / TN border.  Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Then, the team will use the Mountains to Sea Trail to descend Clingmans Dome and traverse the mountainous terrain between there and the Smokemont Campground near Cherokee, NC.  All total, they will backpack about 34 miles in just over two days.


The Hikers

CRAIG DUNKLEY leads Sales and Marketing for WasteZero, a Raleigh-based environmental services company.  He lives in Raleigh with his wife and two teenaged children.  Craig is a native of this area, and he’s been hiking and backpacking since his college days at Appalachian State University.  Craig decided to use his hobby to benefit StepUp Ministry because he was deeply impressed with how StepUp helps people right here in the local community get on a positive career track.  He founded this hike to benefit StepUp Ministry last year, raising over $4,000 from family and friends.  Now, he’s making it into a growing annual event.

GEOFF ABELL is sales representative for a family-run food services business.  He lives in Raleigh with his wife and three small children.  Geoff has been hiking and backpacking ever since he was a small kid, when he and his Dad would go on a backpacking trip every month.  He kicked his hiking into high gear during his college days at Appalachian State University, hiking large portions of the Appalachian Trail.  His favorite place to hike:  The Grayson Highlands in Virginia.  Geoff’s cousin, Craig Dunkley, introduced him to StepUp Ministry, and he was happy to help StepUp achieve its mission!


GLYN JONES works in the restaurant industry, overseeing operations in North and South Carolina for a popular Asian restaurant concept.  He and his wife moved to North Carolina in the late 90's and with their two children, are happy to call Raleigh home.  A lover of all things outdoors and an avid marathon runner, Glyn has taken to hiking in recent years.  Whether running or hiking, Glyn believes in using that time for a greater purpose.  For him, joining forces with StepUp Ministry and the great work they do for people right here in our area makes a great hike that much more meaningful.


LARRY KAMINSKI is a Special Lines Insurance Adjuster for Progressive Insurance in Raleigh.  He is originally from Chicago, but considers NC the place to be.  Larry loves the mountains and the sea, and he’s always looking for more time to hike and paddle.  Larry accompanied Craig Dunkley on the inaugural hike to benefit StepUp Ministry in 2016, and he decided to get more involved by helping to raise funds in 2017.  He became very enthusiastic about the great work StepUp Ministry is doing to get people back into the workforce, and he’s happy to help in the effort!



Please contact Craig Dunkley at or Carryl Tinsley at if you have any questions!