Trails Volunteer of the Month - August 2007

Ron Rivard

I am humbled at being chosen as adopter on the month. I know of many adopters that are equally deserving of this award.

In 1993 my wife Rita and I thru hiked the Appalachian Trail. In 1997/98 we did a repeat. During both hikes I found myself grumbling and complaining about trail conditions that were less than perfect.

Finally, it sank in that these trails that I was enjoying and grumbling about were maintained by volunteers. It was time to step in the mud and do our part.

In 1998 we adopted the Carter Moriah trail from Mt surprise to the intersection with the Kenduskeag trail. We brought that trail into tip top shape then moved on to the Webster Cliff Trail when I volunteered to become region leader of the Southern Presidentials.

One of the trails in the Southern presidentials is the Davis Path. The Davis path in the Southern presidentials consists of 6 sections from route 302 in Crawford Notch to the junction with the Glen Boulder Trail. At that time there was one adopter and five vacant sections, most had been vacant for years.

Rita and I decided to make an overnight trip to brush the trail from one end to the other. We did well until we reached the section about one mile north of Stairs Col Trail. At that point we ran into a “car wash”. Branches were from one side of the trail to the other. We returned again and again until we had completed the task. That summer we worked 270 hours on the Davis Path. The following summer the Davis Path became fully adopted. Thanks to the past and present adopters, the Davis Path is now a joy to hike through.

That project on the Davis Path was our biggest contribution to the “adopt a trail” program. Through all this trail work and inspections my wife, Rita, has been with me every step of the way. It is with her that I share this award.

We now have reached a cross road [trail] in our life and had to make a decision. After weighing all our options, we find that we are unable to continue beyond the end of this year as region leaders of the Southern Presidentials.

As we continue hiking, I assure you the grumbling and complaining on our part is a thing of the past.

Happy Hiking
Ron & Rita Rivard