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About Us



Mountain Guide

Former British Army – Special Forces veteran – Commercial Helicopter Pilot – Wilderness Emergency Medical Responder – Wilderness Survival Instructor – NC Wilderness Rescue Technician –  Emergency Medical Responder EMR  – EMS/LE Chaplain, Advanced Individual and Group Crises Intervention ICISF.

Justin was born in North Wales. He graduated from Military college in and joined the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards where he trained for Cold Weather Mountain survival in Norway and was then selected for British Army Special Forces.

Justin moved to the USA to work as an FAA commercial helicopter pilot instructor. In 1991, he accepted a leadership position with BMW North America.  Justin helped develop the BMW adventure off-road motorcycle school and their Smoky Mountain motorcycle adventure tours. In 2010, Triumph Motorcycle, a British Company, asked Justin to help develop their off-road motorcycle adventure program in the Appalachian and Smoky Mountains.

In 2015 Justin moved to Highlands NC started Highland Excursion. He has worked closely with the US Forest Service and obtained a USDA special use permit which enables him to operate as an official mountain guide and expedition leader in the Nantahala Temperate Rainforest. Justin’s mountain guide qualifications include:  Wilderness Medical First Responder and Wilderness Survival Instructor.

In 2013 Justin founded and became the President (no longer at present time) at Warrior Survival School, a 501C3 non-profit organization teaching both Veterans and First Responders Resiliency against stress and PTSD, Justin is an Emergency Services and Law Enforcement  Chaplain with training in individual and group crises Intervention (International Critical Incident Stress Foundation) – Warrior Survival School is for veterans and First Responders.

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Mountain Guide

Former manager in the highspeed communication industry.

Terry was a lowlander from Eastern North Carolina, who after a long-time career in the communications industry, chose to make his residence in the Highlands area. He enjoys the woods, exploring and carpentry and is an avid reader, especially of history. 

He now enjoys sharing that history of this area and the beautiful things of Creation to be seen all around us.

Come, join him on an adventure that will create good memories to last a lifetime.

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Mountain Guide

Former USMC Sgt. Intelligence group – Veteran – Respiratory Therapist – Pastor/Clergy.

He was born in Kansas, finished middle and high school in Alabama, and has enjoyed calling North Carolina home.

After high school Orlando started college then left to join the United States Marine Corps. In the Marine Corps Orlando served as an intelligence analyst and intelligence instructor, providing support for many overseas operations and training Marines in the “art of intelligence” at the Marine Corps’ Weapons and Tactics Instructors School. Orlando’s ability to see and understand the information in front of him makes him a valuable asset to Highland Excursions.

Orlando is the Middle School math teacher at Summit Charter School in Cashiers, NC, and is also a licensed and ordained minister having served in pastoral and missionary roles.

Orlando and his wife Kelly married in 2005 and have five wonderful children. They decided to call the mountains of North Carolina home in 2019 and enjoy everything our community has to offer.

Adventure is nothing new to Orlando. He enjoys hiking, backcountry camping, trail running, and has even completed a 50 mile ultra-run!

Orlando is ready to give you a Highland Excursion experience you will not forget!


Office Manager


Our War Eagle call sign “Whisky Echo” – War Eagle – Graduate at Auburn University.

Kelly ” Picklesimer” Kingsland a native Highlander, raised in Dothan Alabama, and graduated from Auburn.

Kelly is the proud mother of two beautiful girls.  Kelly loves the outdoors hiking biking and Kayaking.  Kelly is an essential team member that works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep our guests informed and our guides mission ready at all times.

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