• Eustace Robinson Conway IV is an American reality television personality and naturalist, best known for his appearance in History Channel’s “Mountain Men”.
• He owns a thousand-acre preserve, called Turtle Island, in Boone, North Carolina, where he hosts a school for teaching people how to survive in the wild.
• The show first aired in May 2012 and has aired for 11 seasons.
• Eustace left home in 1978 and hiked the entire Appalachian Trail.
• He has made investments in real estate and rents out properties through Airbnb.
Eustace Robinson Conway IV is an American reality television personality and naturalist, best known for his appearance in History Channel’s “Mountain Men”. Eustace is also the subject of the book “The Last American Man” written by Elizabeth Gilbert, as well as “Adventures in the Simple Life” by Sarah Vowell in the radio show “This American Life”.
Aside from his active role in media, Eustace is also the owner of a thousand-acre preserve, called Turtle Island, in Boone, North Carolina, where Eustace hosts a school for teaching people how to survive in the wild.
The show “Mountain Men” follows the everyday lives of several mountain men, including Eustace, as they live, some say survive isolated in various wild regions of Alaska and the Appalachian regions of the US.
The lifestyle preferred by the stars of the show, popularly known as the mountain man way of life, involves exploring, hunting, trapping, fishing and numerous other methods, but normally means that they remain isolated from society.
While they might have access to common utilities such as electricity, most of them prefer a quiet life far from the reaches of urban life, being self-reliant and making do with the bare minimum.
“Mountain Men” first aired on History Channel in May 2012, and due to popular reception, it continued to air for 11 seasons, the latest of which aired in September 2022. The show’s intriguing drama and adventurous entertainment have remained a fan favourite, surprisingly seeming quite authentic and less scripted than most other reality television series.
Over the course of its many seasons, the show followed the lives of 17 individual mountain men, but among them, perhaps the most interesting would be Eustace Conway.
Conway is not only the person responsible for the inception of the entire series, but he also spends a lot of time in front of the camera as one of the leading stars. Conway appeared initially in the first season, and has remained a constant feature in the show since.
For over thirty years, Eustace Conway—preservationist, builder, man out of time—thought he'd rescue America from modernity. Modernity won. So where does that leave him? https://t.co/w6mhdQpr4X pic.twitter.com/oOGOGpvHYu
— GQ Magazine (@GQMagazine) February 5, 2021
However, during the latest season Eustace appeared less frequently, even though he’s still credited as a member of the leading cast. This made people wonder if perhaps he might be leaving the show, and as such, they expressed curious interest in his future.
Who Is Eustace Conway?
Born on 15 September 1961, in Columbia, South Carolina, most of Eustace’s early childhood is shrouded in mystery, as very little information is available about his youth, though it’s known that his parents, Karen and Eustace Sr, raised him alongside three siblings, namely Judson, Martha and Walton, in the family home in Columbia.
However, Eustace decided at the age of 17 that this wasn’t the life he wanted, and left his family home in search of adventure. Since deciding to live the mountain man way, Eustace hasn’t stayed in contact with his family, and as such, little else is known about them.
After leaving home in 1978, Eustace lived in a tipi in the woods, learning to survive on his own. According to him, Eustace hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, which stretches across a distance of 2200 miles, and passes through fourteen states.
Eustace also claims to have set the world record for crossing the States on horseback, which he accomplished in 103 days, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, which he recorded on a handheld tape recorder, and was later featured as part of a radio show.
This became Conway’s first claim to fame, but his record has since been challenged by data retrieved from an historical journey made by Bud and Temple Abernathy in 1911, who travelled from New York to San Francisco.
Conway’s journey was first published through radio in 1998, and in 2003, a documentary film entitled “Full Circle: A Life Story of Eustace Conway”, reported on Eustace’s intriguing life, subsequently affording him more renown. In 2012, the documentary “Reconvergence” featured a segment on Eustace’s life as a naturalist, and eventually led to the concept that became “Mountain Men”.
Eustace Conway and Turtle Island Preserve are offering a weekend workshop in forestry (homestead forest and firewood…
Posted by Turtle Island Preserve on Friday, June 28, 2019
While many people might think that an isolated life away from society would result in people being dull, Eustace would prove the exception. Over the course of his life, Eustace studied at the Appalachian State University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and English.
Conway then moved to his famous patch of land known as Turtle Island Preserve, where he teaches classes in basic survival skills. Aside from this, Conway also makes a living selling firewood collected by ancient methods.
While appearing in the reality television series “Mountain Men”, Eustace saw his fair share of drama, which began with threats of lien that could revoke his ownership of Turtle Island, and even a childish dispute with his neighbour about the borders of his property. Aside from that, Eustace’s everyday life seems pretty interesting, as the show follows him as he completes his daily chores, some necessary for survival.
What Is Eustace Doing Today?
With Marty Meierotto recently leaving the show, Eustace’s absence from the camera left fans speculating that he might soon be leaving the show as well. With the recent eleventh season making its way on air, “Mountain Men” fans and viewers were reunited with many familiar faces, and a couple of new cast members, but Conway’s absence is leaving them fearful of his eventual retirement.
In the past, Eustace has expressed his wish to one day retire from both the mountain man way of life, as well as the “Mountain Man” series, but according to his Instagram profile, as of yet, Conway is still hard at work on Turtle Island.
In addition to Eustace’s hope of retiring, the death of another cast member and close friend of Conway’s, Preston Roberts, left the audience in shock.
Many believed that Eustace’s mourning might have seen him leave the show, but since Preston’s untimely passing in 2017, Conway has remained active in the show. Although he expressed his sorrow, Conway continued with his life, and went about as he usually would on Turtle Island.
Besides perhaps still appearing on “Mountain Men”, Eustace also began expressing interest in a different line of work, which he once considered a hobby. According to recent reports concerning Eustace’s professional life, he seemed to have extended his investments into real estate.
Conway has purchased numerous mountain homes in the Appalachian regions, renovating the properties and turning them into suitable lodgings which he rents out through Airbnb.
Other than that, there is very little to report on the current whereabouts of the legendary “Mountain Men” star, but as far as we can tell for now, he doesn’t seem intent on leaving the show or his way of life anytime soon.
Thus, fans can feel free to catch up on the latest season and tune in to see their favourite mountain men go about their daily adventurous lives.