Hiking Around Midstate PA: A community blog

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

2014 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

Written by Jim Foster, Community blogger | Apr 27, 2014 1:59 PM

The fourth class of Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame honorees will be inducted on Friday, June 6, at the annual Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. 

Honorees in the 2014 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame class are A. Rufus Morgan of Franklin, North Carolina; Charles R. Rinaldi of Boca Raton, Florida; Clarence S. Stein of New York City, New York; and Pamela A. Underhill of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

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Photo by family of A. Rufus Morgan

A. Rufus Morgan

A. Rufus Morgan, an A.T. pioneer and legend, spent 43 years constructing and maintaining the Trail and inspiring others to do so. Starting in 1940, he began developing and maintaining 55 miles of the AT in North Carolina from Bly Gap on the Georgia border to Wesser Bald. He continued as trail manager for 38 years, recruiting family, friends and Boy Scouts to help.  He founded the Nantahala Hiking Club in 1968. Before then, he was known as a one-man hiking club, clearing and tending his portion of the AT and supporting the Appalachian Trail Conference (now Conservancy).  In 1964 he was named an honorary life member of the ATC.  In 1981, he received a recognition award for his 29 years of service on the ATC Board of Managers.  The A. Rufus Morgan Shelter on the A.T. in North Carolina was completed in his honor.

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Photo by David M. Sherman

Charles R. "Chuck" Rinaldi

Charles R. “Chuck” Rinaldi played a critical role in preserving the A.T. by acquiring land for its corridor.  He served as chief of the Appalachian Trail Land Acquisition Office of the National Park Service, beginning with the establishment of this program in 1978 and continuing until 1987.  He led that office during a time described as the most complex land acquisition program ever undertaken by the federal government.  Mr. Rinaldi often had the very thankless task of attempting to balance the competing interests of landowners and Trail advocates.  By the time he retired in 1989, he had set the long held dream of a protected Appalachian Trail footpath well on its way to a permanent reality. In 1983, Mr. Rinaldi was named an honorary life member of the ATC.

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Photo by Dartmouth College Library

Clarence Stein (l) & Benton MacKaye

Clarence S. Stein is not well known today in A.T. circles, but he played an important role in helping Benton MacKaye turn his dream of an Appalachian Trail into reality.  Stein first encouraged MacKaye to develop his ideas further, into an article suitable for publication.  He then encouraged Charles Harris Whitaker to publish MacKaye’s seminal article in the Journal of the American Institute of Architects.  This article was, of course, the spark that started the whole movement leading directly to the Appalachian Trail.  After the article was published, Mr. Stein wrote a stirring cover letter, which was essentially an executive summary of MacKaye’s more meandering prose.  Stein continued to push the A.T. concept among conservationists in the Northeast, getting other pioneers like Major William Welch involved.

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Photo by Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Pamela A. Underhill

Pamela A. Underhill has preserved and protected the Trail in a variety of capacities with the National Park Service since 1979. After serving in various positions with NPS, she was selected to serve as park manager (a.k.a. superintendent)—a position that she held until 2013.  Throughout her career, but especially in her capacity as park manager, Ms. Underhill has displayed an unswerving devotion to the Appalachian Trail, to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, to volunteer-based stewardship, and to the A.T. cooperative management system. She has been a strong and articulate advocate for land conservation along the A.T., often under challenging and politically charged circumstances, even at some risk to her own professional career.

 Three classes were previously elected to the A.T. Hall of Fame.  The Charter Class, elected in 2011, was comprised of 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.  The 2013 Class was Ruth Blackburn, David Sherman, David Startzell and Everett (Eddie) Stone.

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://atmbanquet2014.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 29,800 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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