Our Stories

Kathy Eisele and John Pearson: Volunteer Spotlight

Categories: New York, News, Trail Maintenance, Volunteer Stories, Wisconsin


Kathy Eisele of the NCTA Central New York Chapter and John Pearson of the NCTA Brule-St. Croix Chapter have [respectively] donated over 4,000 hours of their time to the North Country National Scenic Trail.

The National Park Service and North Country Trail Association thank Kathy and John immensely for their work, and have presented them with NPS Volunteer-in-Parks (VIP) awards.

Kathy has been a member of the NCTA since 1991 and is a founding member of the Central New York (CNY) Chapter. She first learned about the NCNST through her involvement with the Adirondack Mountain Club – Onondaga Chapter and the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, both of which she also maintains membership with. Kathy has served the CNY Chapter in many leadership capacities, including President, Vice President, and Treasurer. For eight years she served as Chapter Representative on the NY Volunteer Trail Council, and for 15 years she chaired [the Chapter] Trail Stewards and planned the Chapter’s annual hike/event schedule. She also chairs the Chapter’s Landowner Committee. She was a Trail Steward herself for many years and has led innumerable hikes and work days.

“The CNY Chapter has been very fortunate to have many, many skilled volunteers,” wrote Kathy. “So generous with their time and the use of their tools, and such fun to be around. The good fellowship on our Work Hikes is something I will always remember.”

John joined the NCTA Brule-St. Croix Chapter (Wisconsin) in 2009, after he started walking the Trail for something to do on the weekends in his retirement, and when his wife met a thru-hiker one day in Solon Springs. John started volunteering with former Regional Trail Coordinator Bill Menke on trail building projects shortly after. John logged his impressive amount of hours predominantly on Wisconsin Roving Trail Crew projects and his own adopted section. As a retired boilermaker, his mechanical skills have been quite helpful.

“That’s how I got so many hours, working on the equipment and our own trail [section]; and a lot of hauling work for the Rovers,” said John. “We adopted five miles of Trail and maintain that. Cut the grass, move timber as needed. Being a welder has come in handy.”⁠


Interested in volunteering? Learn how to get involved at northcountrytrail.org/volunteer/ways-to-volunteer.