Trails Carolina Abuse: Students’ Voices and Seeking Justice

Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for troubled teens located in North Carolina. The program has been in operation for over 20 years and has helped many young people overcome their challenges and improve their lives. However, recent allegations of abuse at Trails Carolina have raised concerns and sparked an investigation into the program’s practices.

The Allegations

Trails Carolina

In June 2021, a former student of Trails Carolina came forward with allegations of physical and emotional abuse during their time in the program. The student claimed that they were subjected to physical restraints, isolation, and verbal abuse by staff members. This sparked an investigation by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office.

The Investigation

The DHHS conducted an unannounced inspection of Trails Carolina and found several violations of state regulations, including inadequate staff training and failure to report incidents of abuse. The investigation also revealed that the program had not properly screened staff members, leading to the employment of individuals with criminal records.

The Transylvania County Sheriff’s Office also launched an investigation into the allegations of abuse. They interviewed former students and staff members and collected evidence from the program’s facilities. The investigation is ongoing, and no charges have been filed at this time.

Response from Trails Carolina

Trails Carolina has released a statement denying the allegations of abuse and stating that they are cooperating fully with the investigations. They have also implemented new policies and procedures to ensure the safety and well-being of their students. These include increased staff training, stricter background checks, and improved incident reporting protocols.

The Impact on Students and Families

The allegations of abuse at Trails Carolina have had a significant impact on current and former students and their families. Many have come forward with their own stories of mistreatment and are seeking justice for their experiences. The investigations have also raised concerns about the safety and effectiveness of wilderness therapy programs as a whole.

Seeking Justice


If you or a loved one has been a victim of abuse at Trails Carolina or any other wilderness therapy program, it is important to seek justice and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. You may be entitled to compensation for any physical or emotional harm you have suffered.

It is also crucial to report any incidents of abuse to the proper authorities. This not only helps to protect others from experiencing similar mistreatment but also ensures that the program is held accountable for their actions.


The allegations of abuse at Trails Carolina are a concerning and unfortunate situation. It is important for the investigations to continue and for justice to be served for any victims. If you or someone you know has been affected by these allegations, it is important to seek support and take action. Together, we can work towards creating a safer and more ethical environment for troubled teens seeking help.

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