Our Story

Our Story

In 1982, David and Carol Wilkes bought an existing Hiking Store in Highlands called the “Happy Hiker.” The original location was on Chestnut Street in the log cabin that previously housed the Museum of Cut Glass (no longer ope) which was across the street from the Performing Arts Center.

After running the Happy Hiker for nearly a decade, the store closed and re-opened under a new partnership as the “Highland Hiker” in the Joe Webb log cabin that serves as our flagship location to this day. The family expanded Highland Hiker into Cashiers, NC in 1995 and our store has thrived in its crossroads location ever since.

For several years the main Highlands store was relocated to Church Street, but upon the expansion of the Old Edwards Inn they moved home to the cabin and opened up a stand-alone shoe store in the Falls on Main Shopping Center in 2004. In 2011, a second location was opened at Falls on Main and today operates as a hub of our Highlands business.

Each store has its own unique personality while maintaining the specialty atmosphere and customer service Highland Hiker has become known for. Highland Hiker Cabin caters to travel and fishing enthusiasts by offering an extensive collection of outfitting apparel, accessories and fly shop goods, as well as curated outerwear and apparel for those seeking a mountain chic vibe.

Hiker on Main has apparel and outerwear for those active in the outdoors, yoga studios and gyms, as well as a large selection of luggage and packs, gear, tee shirts, and youth apparel. Highland Hiker Shoes has one of the best collections in the Southeast – ranging from modern, casual styles to the best in outdoor boots and running shoes. And Highland Hiker Cashiers rounds out the group by housing each of our major departments under one roof.

A true family business, Highland Hiker is now operated by David and Carol’s son, Chris, and his wife, Hilary.