Trail Worker Award
This award recognizes an individual that has made outstanding contributions and provided consistent support for trail planning, development, or maintenance. It is intended to recognize the efforts of a private or public sector individual working for enhanced trail recreation on either the local, state, or national level.
California: Robert Griffis
Robert Griffis was nominated for his efforts on behalf of various local trails, regional agencies, and National Recreation Trails in California and surrounding states.
Robert leads maintenance and completion work on such widely-known treks as the Pacific Crest Trail and the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Robert's projects have included:
- Windy Point Trail (CA): The Windy Point trail, a formerly treacherous trail which overlooks a secluded section of the North Fork of the American River, is now accessible to hikers of many abilities, thanks largely to the dedication of Bob Griffis. Before 2008, this path was accessible only to the most hardy and experienced hikers. At least one hiker has died as a result of a fall off the trail. Today, thanks to Bob's diligence, the trail is fast becoming a mecca for wildflower and bird enthusiasts, anglers, gold-panners, and recreational hikers of all ages, 9 to 90. Bob graded and widened the trail, and he removed slippery footings. He also modified dangerous stream crossings and removed brush and downwood. Now, hikers can safely admire a spectacular and remote section of river canyon which reveals mining history dating from the 1850s, and the ancient history of local Native Americans. One delighted hiker said, “Now I can easily hike along the trail, even with my physical problems.” As an added benefit, the trail is praised as a vital escape route for kayakers and rafters who once found rescue to be difficult and dangerous.
- Pacific Crest Trail (CA,OR,WA): Bob Griffis assigns work details and supervises work crews on the PCT, a 2650 mile route from Mexico to Canada. He dedicates over 500 hours each season to tread work, brush removal, repair of rock support structures, construction of water crossings, and removal of hazardous trees. He has faithfully and expertly replicated this process along sections of the PCT in California, Oregon, and Washington.
- Eagle River Nature Center (AK): For the past two seasons, Bob has performed volunteer work on state and federal park system trails in Alaska. He also leads wildflower hikes for the Eagle River Nature Center in Alaska.
- Tahoe Rim Trail (NV,CA): Bob volunteers as Crew Leader on the Tahoe Rim Trail, which with his help and leadership has now become a
largely completed loop trail around Lake Tahoe.
- Local trails (CA): Bob works actively with the Bureau of Land Management to identify areas of needed tread repair on local historical trails within its jurisdiction. He maintains over 30 trails listed in his trail guide (www.getoffyourgass.com) which details mid-Sierra and foothill trails along the north and middle forks of the American River, and along the Rubicon River in northern California. To improve trail safety, Bob has established core curricula for Nevada County Search and Rescue training courses. He leads seasonal snowshoe and wildflower hikes for American River Conservancy, and he often leads popular outings for the public.