Our Stories

2023 Volunteer Awards: Trail Builder

Categories: Volunteer Stories


Steve Kinne

Over 13 years of Steve’s efforts for the NCTA Central New York Chapter have resulted in notable NCNST improvements. Most recently, he has spearheaded a reroute that will create seven miles of new trail through a state forest and state park, removing 15 miles of a busy roadwalk. But this is just one example of many. Steve has dedicated thousands of hours not just as a member, but as a respected participant of the Chapter’s executive board. He mentors volunteers, including sawyers, and leads hikes. His knowledge of birding is renowned throughout the area. Dedication, perseverance, patience, and creativity are hallmarks of Steve’s work with the Chapter.

Dave Miller

Dave is consistently ready to serve on any trail project with the NCTA Clarion County Chapter – or any other Pennsylvania Chapter, really. He has led a two-mile reroute project, and is part of the Thursday Morning Cook Forest Crew as a certified sawyer. He serves with the Over the Hill Gang (a group of “oldsters” who maintain 56 miles of trails in Oil Creek State Park), and is always happy to shuttle hikers.

William Smith

Upon his introduction to the NCTA Wampum Chapter, Bill has been at the forefront of trail building efforts. He dedicates his time, talents, earnings, and use of his personal equipment to support the Trail and the Chapter. Bill is a member of the Enon Valley Bridge Crew, who, over the course of two years, designed and built 17 different foot bridges over 2.5 miles of new NCNST. He and his wife are also generous donors, helping to finance the Chapter’s bridge repair fund. Bill is enthusiastic, knowledgeable, and always willing to help ensure the Chapter’s success.

Thursday Morning Cook Forest Crew

Pennsylvania volunteers Dave Galbreath, Dave Miller, Gary Rhoades, Nelson Whitling, Ed Scurry, and Dave Weaver make up this crew. They originally organized to maintain 12 miles of NCNST in Cook Forest State Park, meeting on Thursday mornings between April and November. They resurrected Tobecco Trail, a 10-mile connector between Cook Forest and Clear Creek State Parks, and have made it one of the premier hiking venues in Western Pennsylvania. They also built the Clarion Loop Trail on Clarion University property, and recently completed a 35-foot arch bridge there. All members have adopted NCNST sections in the NCTA Clarion County Chapter’s segment, assisting with regular maintenance. Several members are certified sawyers, as well.

Learn more about how the you can honor NCTA volunteers for their service on and for the North Country National Scenic Trail, and submit a nomination at northcountrytrail.org/volunteer-awards.