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National Trails Awards for 2004

American Trails is pleased to announce that 26 State Trail Advocate and 27 State Trail Worker Awards were presented to organizations and individuals from 34 states, as part of the National Trail Awards for 2004. The awards were presented on October 23, 2004, at the 17th National Trails Symposium held in Austin, Texas, and are made possible by the National Trails Symposium Sponsors. See the 2002 National Trails Awards and previous award winners from 2000.


Nominee must have made outstanding contributions and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, or maintenance. This award is intended to recognize the commitment and efforts of a private or public sector individual in working for enhanced trail recreation in their local area or state.

ALASKA: Eric Clarke

Eric has extensive experience in trail design, construction and maintenance. His dedication and commitment to the trails is best witnessed by the design and construction of 50 miles of new trails within Kachemak Bay State Park. These trails accessible by water taxi, personal boat and kayak are now one of the most popular destinations for hikers in Alaska.

ALASKA: Austin Helmers

Austin had a mission to find a hiking route up Pioneer Peak, a 6,400+ foot peak in South Central Alaska. Two years of hard work and determination resulted in a route developed for the average hiker. This route officially recognized by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough is called the "Austin Helmers-Pioneer Ridge Trail."

ARIZONA: Merle Parmer

Merle has been a quiet, respected advocate for preserving ecosystems in all of the volunteer work he has undertaken to help build the 800-mile Arizona Trail over the past six years. He is an energetic volunteer who relishes the opportunities to work with people of all ages and train others about the importance of protecting our environment.

CALIFORNIA: Charlie Smith

The Tahoe Hard Rockers are famous for moving BIG ROCKS and Charlie is the brains and brawn behind the establishment of this group. This volunteer group focuses on trail projects that make trails and beaches more accessible to seniors and the physically disabled.

COLORADO: Greg Beery

Greg is the president of the Trailridge Runners 4WD Club. He has coordinated volunteer projects ranging from road maintenance to campground reconstruction. But he is best known for his work leading the 2-year Lefthand Restoration Grant Project.

DELAWARE: Thomas "Chip" Kneavel

Chip is the Trail Crew Chief for the Delaware State Park's system. He has mastered the art of the state's trail related activities, such as erosion control, bridge and trail head information board construction, installing way-finding markers and trail re-routing.

FLORIDA: Kraig McLane

Kraig is a trail worker who resides in St. Augustine Florida and works closely with the Florida Office of Greenways and Trails. His most notable contribution is his coordination and leadership of the St. Augustine to Lake City trail corridor in North Florida.

HAWAII: Ben Furtado

Ben is a trail crew volunteer with the Na Ala Hele Trails and Access Program. His dedication to being a trail volunteer is seen in his lifetime accumulation of over 2,250 hours of volunteer trail service.

IDAHO: Madonna Lengerich

Madonna has volunteered over 2000 hours for trail improvement, search and rescue and Fish and Game projects. Each year she attends numerous trail maintenance work days ranging from the Boise Front to the Idaho City area.

INDIANA: Les Wadzinski

Les Wadzinski is the Recreational Program Manager for the Hoosier National Forest. He has been very supportive of all efforts working with multi-users to improve trails in the Hoosier National Forest.

IOWA: Ruth Izer

Ruth's commitment to trails is best seen in her efforts to develop and coordinate a seven county multi-use recreational trail network located in the eastern central portion of the state. Ruth has provided direction and leadership to this effort and has advanced the grassroots interest in regional development.

KANSAS: Phil Sheridan

Phil is a Trail Running Coordinator with the Kansas Ultra Runners Society. Phil has been putting in 100+ hours for the past 7 years working on trails in Kanopolis State Park. He makes sure that the trails are clear of debris and safe for other runners.

MARYLAND: Roy Musselwhite, Jr.

Roy is a forest technician with the Maryland State Forest and Park Service. He has contributed significantly to the state's trail system in the areas of 1) planning, design and development, 2) trail use monitoring, 3) trail maintenance.


Len is best noted for his tireless efforts in promoting the positive effects of ATV activity in Minnesota. His efforts range from attending meetings to discussing the merits of a properly designed and built trail that is sustainable to spending days out busting brush and flagging in a trail alignment so it can be reviewed by resource managers.

MISSOURI: Dan Clinkinbeard

Dan works with the Parks Department on ideas for trail improvement and maintenance in Columbia, Missouri. His commitment to trails is best seen in his year round maintenance work on the Rhett's Run Trail, a mountain bike trail built to commemorate the death of an avid mountain biker.

MISSOURI: Craig Stoeltzing

Craig's efforts in trail work range from revamping a system of mountain bike trails to establishing and managing a "Trail Watchers" volunteer organization. This group maintains the trail system in Landahl Park according to IMBA standards.

MONTANA: Doug Wicks

Doug is the President of Recreation Trails, Inc. RTI's primary purpose is the creation of a system of urban trails in Great Falls, starting with the creation of a trail located on the south shore of the Missouri River called the River's Edge Trail. Under Doug's leadership 25 miles of trails exist along the north and south shore of the Missouri River.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Sally Tomlinson

Sally has worked closely with the Rivendell Trail Association in their effort to complete a 38 mile pedestrian trail system called the Cross Rivendell Trail. Her knowledge of the community and her vision on how school faculty and administrators could work with the community to build the trail have been instrumental to the trail's success.


Thad is the Trail Boss with the Triangle Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Thad has been instrumental in planning and in securing funding to build, maintain and clean up the American Tobacco Trail.

NORTH DAKOTA: Stephen Mullally

Steve is the Chairman of the Greenway Technical Committee. As chairman of this committee, Steve has developed educational materials and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, and maintenance of the greenway.

OHIO: Edward F. Honton

Ed's claim to fame is the founding of the Ohio to Erie Trail Fund, this organization is intent on establishing an off-road recreational trail in Ohio. Once established, trail users will be able to travel a corridor linking Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland.


Carl is chairman of the York County Rail Trail Authority. Using his marketing strategies, he promoted the development of the Heritage Rail Trail within the community. He also launched the Heritage Rail Trail User Survey and Economic Impact Analysis, the data which supported the overwhelming success of the project.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Oliver W. Buckles

Oliver has worked tirelessly in the lowcountry, coordinating and constructing the lower half of the Palmetto Trail, South Carolina's mountains to the sea hiking and biking corridor. Oliver singlehandly, planned and acquired the corridor for 200 miles of trail.


Mike has been a leader in trails work for the U.S. Forest Service for the last 15 years. His most notable accomplishment is his work with the Mickelson Trail, a 114 mile rail-to-trail project within the Black Hills National Forest.

TEXAS: Parc Smith

Parc is the Supervisor for American Youthworks, an organization that is instrumental in building many of the local trails in Austin, TX. Under his leadership, American Youthworks has built the West Bouldin Creek Trail, Northeast Balcones Trail, Southeast Metro Trail, the Barton Creek Trail and many others.

Photo: Bryan Carter
Bryan Carter from Utah

UTAH: Bryan Carter

Bryan is the Recreation Technician and OHV Manager with the Dixie National Forest in Cedar City. Among Bryan's greatest achievements is the creation of the Markagunt ATV System map and signage. The map and signs are instrumental in providing a quality trail experience for OHV users.

VERMONT: Hardy Avery

Hardy is the Trail Manager with the Stowe Mountain Bike Club. His accomplishments are many and include developing trail networks in Sterling Valley and Putnam State Forest, sponsored two IMBA trail building schools and worked with various planning commissions on local trail projects.

WISCONSIN: Penni Klein

Photo: Penni Klein
Penni Klein of Wisconsin

Penni is the Public Lands Manager for the City of Middletown. Under Ms. Klein's efforts, the development of a trail network that will link natural areas, parks and recreation areas, schools and community facilities through the City of Middletown is becoming a reality.





See National Trails Award Winners from 2006, 2002, and 2000.

AWARDS and recognition programs:

Related topics:

More resources:

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