Our students have class in Iron Foot’s backyard!

Our students have class in Iron Foot’s backyard!

Sep 26, 2019

If you didn’t know the Western North Carolina tale of “Iron Foot” – well here it goes. George Ellison, naturalist and writer recently shared this cool bit of history in our area and I wanted to share it forward. “Hat’s off” to George!

The story of “Iron Foot” is based in Bryson City, NC. More specifically the “Devil’s Dip” or “Island Park” area along the Tuckasieggee River. Iron Foot, with no known given name, lived at the Island in a shack in the late 20th century. Without a bridge, he was often stranded on the island when the Tuckasigee was high. The word in town was that Iron Foot was previously an outlaw with Jesse James who injured his foot during a robbery then retired to Western North Carolina.

Why is that meaningful to Landmark Learning? Well, we annually conduct numerous Swiftwater Rescue courses at this location. Many of our students had class in Iron Foot’s backyard!

Here is the George Ellison article for you to check out! https://www.smokymountainnews.com/outdoors/item/25479-ironfoot-the-hermit-of-island-park

#Landmarklearning #Americancanoeassociation #Swiftwaterrescue  #Bellyak #Brysoncity #WNC


Justin S. Padgett, M.S, Paramedic, WEMT, is the Executive Director of Landmark Learning in Cullowhee, NC.  Justin has been an outdoor trip leader since 1990 with a focus on river and backcountry travel. His work in prehospital care started in 1993 with a focus on vertical cave rescue and then rural paramedic care. The fields of prehospital emergency medicine and guiding have helped Justin combine the two fields for his students. Additionally, Justin is also a Swiftwater Rescue and member of the American Canoe Association's national curriculum committee.