Park Manager Bryn Harmer

Park Service Profiles

Not Just What I Do -- It's Who I Am 

Bryn Harmer grew up vacationing and camping in state parks, which taught her to appreciate nature and to want to spend her life protecting and managing it.

“I was hiking at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana with my father and I said to him that I wish hiking could be my job. He laughed and jokingly said that I ought to be a park ranger, and so I did,” Harmer said.

Originally from Illinois, Bryn received her associates degree in biology from Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, IL and a bachelor’s in forestry from Southern Illinois University.

After working at Lincoln Memorial Garden and Giant City, state parks in Illinois, Bryn found her way to South Carolina. She has worked at the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Keowee-Toxaway State Park, and now holds the park manager position for both Lee State Park and Woods Bay State Park.

Bryn's responsibilities include supervising five full-time rangers, budget planning and tracking, revenue collection and reporting, facility inspections, project planning and assisting staff with projects. The most satisfying aspect of her job is being accountable for resource management, which means she protects and maintains the natural, cultural and historical features of both parks on a daily basis.

“As park rangers and managers we are entrusted to care for some of the most beautiful and unique places in this state. Ensuring they are protected for future generations to enjoy and appreciate is very rewarding to me,” she said.

Bryn enjoys all state parks, but if she had to choose a favorite it would be Mountain Bridge because of its 50 miles of trails and several geocaches. An avid hiker and geocacher, she not only loved working there, but enjoyed her days off there as well.

It’s because of her passion for protecting and enjoying nature that Bryn encourages others to become a park ranger, especially if they don’t mind getting their hands a little dirty. As for Bryn, she couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

“Being a park ranger is not just what I do, it’s who I am.”

Bryn is currently the manager of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area which includes Caesars Head State Park and Jones Gap State Park.