Our Stories

2023 Volunteer Awards: Trail Maintainer

Categories: Volunteer Stories


Dan Dueweke

Since moving to Michigan and joining the NCTA Jordan Valley 45° Chapter around 2019, Dan has provided a tremendous amount of trail maintenance knowledge and experience. He organizes Chapter Trail Adopters and is an Adopter himself. He is an expert on using and maintaining quiet tools including axes and crosscut saws, as well as chainsaws. In recent years, Dan traveled to northern Minnesota to help clear tornado-damaged trees from the Trail in a Wilderness area, where motorized vehicles and tools (e.g. chainsaws) are prohibited. He always prioritizes safety and is an excellent teacher to both adults and children.

Dan Geiger

Dan is a steadfast member of the NCTA Star of the North Chapter in Minnesota, regularly participating in trail maintenance trips and equipment maintenance. He also aids other Minnesota Chapters, as well as the Wisconsin Roving Trail Crew. Dan routinely maintains a particularly tough section of Trail, and can always be counted on to help in other locations and organize work trips that are crucial to keeping the Trail open.

John Pitale

JP will answer a call for help at literally a minute’s notice. In his tenure as a sawyer with the NCTA Chief Noonday Chapter, he has assisted in clearing probably 90% of the reported trail issues, some of which have been over 30 miles from his home. He is active in almost every Chapter workday, has helped with designating new NCTA Trail Towns, and organized road litter cleanups through the Chapter’s Adopt-a-Highway agreement with the state of Michigan. JP assists long-distance hikers, leads or sweeps Chapter hikes, and never fails to promote the Trail.

Jim Shinners

Jim has been involved with the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) in Minnesota as a section and campsite adopter for many years. He has worked extensively with the Superior Hiking Trail Association (SHTA) for the past two winters to freight large quantities of building materials into remote locations using his own snowmobile. He has taken on the clearing of additional sections where it is sometimes difficult to find volunteers to cover. Jim is generous, often lending his personal equipment for trail work. He is dedicated and dependable, and a great mentor to new volunteers.

Glen Waisanen

Glen first volunteered with the NCTA Brule-St. Croix Chapter in 2021 to maintain trail in Wisconsin. He has cared for a two-mile section ever since, and assists in maintaining others in the Solon Springs area. He regularly participates in Chapter group hikes, leading or sweeping as needed. Glen is observant and helpful, ensuring a safe and positive experience for trail users.

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.