August Trails Volunteer of the Month- Barbara Kukla

In 1973 I moved from Ohio to Massachusetts and my first experience in the White Mountains was in 1974 on a week long backpack in Franconia Notch State Park. Being a typical flat lander I made all the classic mistakes; too much weight in my pack, misjudging how long a 7 mile hike in the Whites takes, and bringing way to much food and unnecessary gear. Shortly after that disastrous backpack I new I needed some guidance and I joined the AMC where I participated in many of the Boston and Worcester Chapter programs such as beginner backpacking, winter snow shoeing, winter camping, rock climbing. After honing my skills and gaining much needed experience I became a leader for the AMC's Mountain Leadership School, Winter Mountain Safety, and the joint ADK AMC Winter School. In 1984 shortly after the Adopt-A-Trail Program started I was approached by Guy and Laura Waterman about doing some trail work on the Franconia Ridge and that the Garfield Ridge Trail was available for adoption. After my first work trip I was hooked. I volunteered and maintained the Garfield Ridge Trail from Mt. Lafayette to the Garfield Trail Jct. for 20 years. The Garfield Ridge Trail offered both alpine and wilderness trail tending so I had the complete arena of trail tending from cleaning drainage, clearing blow downs, brushing, building cairns & scree walls. I decided a change of scenery was in order and I set my sights for the Crawford & Pinkham Notch areas where I continue to do volunteer trail work for both the USFS as co-adopter for the Crawford Path and AMC's Clay Loop trail. Hiking remote areas and trail tending have become my passion so as an active steward I continue to give back to the mountains & trails I enjoy so much.

Submitted by: Barbara Kukla