Since John was 7 years old he wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail and own a backpacking shop in Black Mountain, North Carolina. John attended Camp Ridgecrest in Montreat as a camper and staffer for 11 years. In 1989 he hiked 700+ miles of the Appalachian Trail, returning again in 1991 to hike the whole trail, start to finish. He opened the store in 1999. The store is a family-based labor of love with every family member playing some role in its operation over the years. John and Diane's children, Lilly and Jake, grew up working in the store, and Diane has been a buyer and merchandiser for the women's fashion department from the beginning. 

"Take A Hike has been in Black Mountain N.C. since 1999. But it has been a lifelong dream of mine from boyhood. So for all of you who have the same dream, this one’s for you!" -John J. McFerrin