Hiking Around Midstate PA: A community blog

Explore hiking trails, environmental issues, recreational funding challenges and trail maintenance in Central Pennsylvania with Jim Foster.

2013 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Written by Jim Foster, Community blogger | May 1, 2013 11:40 AM

The third class of Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame honorees will be inducted on Friday, June 7, at the annual Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania.

Honorees in the 2013 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame class are Ruth Blackburn of Bethesda, Maryland, David Field of Hampden, Maine, David Sherman of Washington, D. C., David Startzell of Shepherdstown, West Virginia and Eddie Stone from Gainesville, Georgia.

Ruth Blackburn (1).jpg

Photo by Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Ruth Blackburn

During her 50 years of service to the Appalachian Trail and the Appalachian Trail Conference, Ruth Blackburn (1907-2004) was cited in 1983 by the U. S. Secretary of the Interior for being “the single most influential volunteer in shaping the successful National Park Service protection program.” In 1994, the National Conference on National Scenic and Historic Trails nominated Blackburn to the honor roll of people essential to the creation of the National Trails System.

David Field, 72, former chair of the Appalachian Trail Conference and past president of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, was instrumental in major relocations of the Appalachian Trail in Maine that significantly improved one of the most important stretches of the trail. He also has worked to preserve the history of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, writing a book on the trail in Maine as well as preserving thousands of photos and other archival records of the trail. Field has maintained a section of the Appalachian Trail since1954.

Dave Sherman.jpg

Photo by Appalachian Trail Conservancy

David Sherman, 69, helped garner new authorities and funding to complete protection of the Appalachian Trail corridor. After Congress enacted the 1978 Appalachian Trail amendments to the National Scenic Trails Act, he played a leadership role in securing the tracts of land necessary for preservation of the trail's scenic, ecological and cultural values. Sherman was acting manager of the Park Service Appalachian Trail Project Office, and later held the critical position of Deputy Chief of Land Acquisition for the Forest Service.

David Startzell, 63, served as assistant director and then director of the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) from 1978 to 2012 -- the longest serving executive director in the ATC's history. Under his stewardship more than 250,000 acres of public lands were protected along a 2,000-mile corridor. He secured nearly $200 million to enable acquisition of the corridor and for reinvigorating the Appalachian Trail Conference as a confederation and an organization structured to meet the obligations set forth 1984 by the National Park Service.

Everett (Eddie) Stone, founding president of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, was an assistant state forester at the time (late 1920s and early 1930s) who took it upon himself to lay out the southernmost section of the proposed Appalachian Trail and build it (and protect it) with agency and later Civilian Conservation Corps labor, brooking no opposition or contrary ideas. In 1934, he took a position with the National Park Service but continued his involvement as trail-committee leader—including fighting encroachment of roads on the Appalachian Trail.—until 1935.

Charter Class Hall of Fame honorees, elected in 2011, were Myron Avery, Gene Espy, Ed Garvey, Benton MacKaye, Arthur Perkins and Earl Shaffer. Members of the 2012 class were Emma “Grandma” Gatewood, David A Richie, J. Frank Schairer, Dr. Jean Stephenson and “Major” William Adams Welch.

Jim Foster, chair of the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame selection committee, said a 6 p.m. reception will precede the dinner, which begins at 7 p.m. The cost of the reception and dinner is $30 for museum members and $40 for others.

Complete information on the Hall of Fame Banquet is available at http://atmbanquet2013.eventbrite.com/ Tickets may be purchased either at that website, or directly from the Appalachian Trail Museum by sending a check to:
Appalachian Trail Museum
1120 Pine Grove Road
Gardners, PA 17324

Questions about the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet may be sent to atmbanquet@gmail.com.

Allenberry has reserved a block of rooms for banquet attendees. For more information on Allenberry and to reserve a room, call 1-800-430-5468 or (717) 258-3211, or go to http://www.allenberry.com/

Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame inductees are honored in the Appalachian Trail Museum, which has had approximately 20,000 visitors from throughout the United States and 18 other countries since it opened in Pine Grove Furnace State Park in June 2010. Located at the midway point of the 2,184-mile-long Appalachian Trail, the museum is across from the Pine Grove General Store on Pennsylvania Route 233.

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