Meet the new ranger at Sycamore Shoals: Cory Franklin

Published 9:20 am Friday, February 28, 2020

Cory Franklin is a new park ranger at Sycamore Shoals.

Franklin, who was hired in November, officially began working for the park last month.

“It’s been good so far, not busy as far as day to day activities go, but learning responsibilities and my place has been a bit hectic. I love it though,” he said.

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The Virginia native said his desire to become a park ranger began a few years ago after participating in a summer baseball league in Colorado. Franklin was a pitcher and played baseball for King University. He said he realized he spent more time at the Rocky Mountain National Park than at practice. This event and also a family vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina where Franklin got to meet a park ranger and hear about the career launched it all.

After this, Franklin studied parks and recreation at East Tennessee State University and began his path to becoming a ranger.

Prior to his work at Sycamore Shoals, Franklin worked with Rocky Fork State Park and also an arboretum.

Franklin said his favorite part about being a ranger is impacting others.

“My favorite part about being a ranger is changing someone’s day,” he said. “You know some people work to get to the weekend, but I look forward to getting back to work. You get to meet so many cool people and learn interesting things about their lives. I love to talk to people, give them some information they maybe didn’t already know and get people into history, into natural resources.”

When he isn’t working, Franklin plays guitar, which he has been doing for nine years, and spends time in nature. He said about a year ago he sold his television and video games to focus on his career.

“In my free time I’m usually playing guitar, and if I get bored, I’ll go for a hike or go fishing,” he said.

This summer Franklin will attend police training followed by medical training for his job as ranger.

“I’m really excited about the whole opportunity,” he said. “I’m fortunate. Sometimes it takes a long time to get this kind of job. It was just right time right place. It’s been a blessing.”