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Kirby Russell


Kirby Russell is a freelance contributor for TheSmokies.com LLC. She’s also a mom of five boys (including two sets of twins!) and a lifelong outdoor enthusiast.

She grew up in Northeast Georgia and her love for hiking and exploring began in the Blue Ridge Mountains. After graduating from the University of Georgia, she officially became a Mountaineer. She moved to Boone, NC to attend Appalachian State University for graduate school. In 2011, Kirby married her husband, Travis, who happens to be James Overholt’s BFF (and once college roommate). She revealed her “skill with the quill” to James and Morgan in 2019 when she wrote the guest column for their Holiday newsletter.

On a recent trip to Pigeon Forge, Kirby discovered the lack of information available for runners looking for a place to log miles while visiting the area. She offered to write the blog post she wanted to read on this topic. Thus, she became a contributor to The Smokies. If you’re visiting The Smokies and need to know where to run or which hikes are kid-friendly, she’s your girl.


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“I love them all!”