RALEIGH Jun 4, 2021 Kevin Bischof is the new superintendent of Gorges State Park in Transylvania County, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation. Bischof succeeds Robert McGraw, who transferred to serve as superintendent at Mount Mitchell State Park last fall. Skyler Hill, a ranger at Gorges, served as acting superintendent for several months. A superintendent is the chief of operations and administration at a state park or state recreation area with wide-ranging responsibilities for staffing, training, law enforcement, visitor services, natural resource protection, community outreach and environmental education. A native of Cincinnati, Bischof graduated from the University of Cincinnati before completing a master’s degree at Indiana University in outdoor recreation with a focus in environmental education. Before recently serving as a superintendent at Mount Mitchell and Grandfather Mountain state parks, he worked for the Division of Parks and Recreation as a ranger at Jordan Lake State Recreation Area and Goose Creek, Gorges and Lake James state parks. Bischof also served as acting superintendent while at Goose Creek, is a certified environmental educator, and serves on the division’s honor guard. “Kevin brings to Gorges a wealth of experience from parks across the state,” said Dwayne Patterson, state parks director. “His experience with management paired with his expertise in natural resources and education will be great assets to Gorges, a truly extraordinary park.” Bischof says he looks forward to catching up on the park’s operations and getting to work on goals he has for the park. Fully staffing the park, bringing environmental education back to the forefront following the pandemic, and getting environmental education back into local schools are at the top of his list. “I also look forward to working with park staff to ensure that we are able to absorb the impact of the increased visitation while making sure to protect the natural integrity of the park,” he said. “Education on low-impact visits and safety will be critical to reduce impacts that much higher visitation is having on the park.” Gorges State Park is home to plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and a high concentration of rare species. Backcountry-style recreation is a hallmark of Gorges with distance hiking, backpack camping, trout fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding. Additional trails and camping opportunities at the 7,500-acre park continue to be developed. About North Carolina State Parks North Carolina State Parks manages more than 250,000 acres of iconic landscape within North Carolina’s state parks, state recreation areas and state natural areas. It administers the N.C Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, including its local grants program, as well as a state trails program, North Carolina Natural and Scenic Rivers and more, all with a mission dedicated to conservation, recreation and education. The state parks system welcomes more than 19.8 million visitors annually.