The AMC Pro Trail Crew Turns 100: A Timeline

February 27, 2019
AMC Pro Trail Crew
Paul JenksThe 1924 AMC pro trail crew takes a break between projects.

AMC’s White Mountain Professional Trail Crew celebrates its 100th birthday in 2019. Here are the milestones that have helped grow the AMC trail crew from a rag-tag band of volunteers into one of the preeminent maintainers in the Northeast.

1819

Abel Crawford and his son Ethan Allen cut Crawford Path—considered the oldest U.S. recreational trail, 200 years old in 2019—between Crawford Notch and Mount Washington’s summit.  

1876

Newly founded, AMC elects a councilor of improvements to oversee trail building and maintenance in the White Mountains.

1916

AMC hires four Dartmouth students to work on trails for one month. Before this, local men were hired as needed. 

1919

Paul Rockwell Jenks recruits students from Dartmouth College and Flushing High School, where he teaches, for AMC’s first pro trail crew.

1929

Pro and volunteer trail crews rebuild Old Bridle Path on Mount Lafayette, now hiked by more than 15,000 people annually.

1938

The Great New England Hurricane hits. Hiring surges in 1939 to restore 110,000 acres of damaged White Mountain National Forest.

1940

AMC’s pro trail crew receives a permanent home: a house and barn in Whitefield, N.H., later named Hutton Lodge.

1952

Trail alumni found AMC Trail Crew Association, which holds annual reunions to this day.

1956

Overwhelmed by seasonal maintenance, AMC’s trails councilor, F.R. Maker, requests help. The volunteer Connecticut Roving Trail Crew forms in response.

1960

AMC hires Joe May as its first full-time seasonal trail crew supervisor, overseeing groups of boys ages 16 to 21.

1969

A backpacking boom leads to record use. Crews build AMC’s first tent platforms at Liberty Springs, with a new campsite caretaker managing crowds.

1971

The pro trail crew moves its headquarters to Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.

1972

Bob Proudman replaces the retiring Joe May as AMC’s first full-time, club-wide trails supervisor.

1977

Joan Chevalier, Joy Miller, and Anne Michelac become the first female trail crew members and caretakers. Proudman co-authors AMC’s Complete Guide to Trail Building and Maintenance, with the current edition still used by trail crews today. 

1980

The Adopt-A-Trail program launches, with volunteers providing basic, regular maintenance in New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Maine.

1982

AMC receives a special-use permit from the White Mountain National Forest to create a volunteer trail base at Camp Dodge.

1994

AMC establishes a teen trail program.

1995

Rachel Wheeler becomes AMC’s first female head of trails.

2011

AMC rebuilds the landmark Tuckerman Ravine Trail, first cut in AMC’s founding year.

2016

A campaign launches to renovate Camp Dodge. When completed in 2020, it will serve as the new home of the pro trail crew.

2019

Pros and volunteers care for more than 1,800 miles of trails throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, including nearly 350 miles of the Appalachian Trail in five states. 


LEARN MORE:

  • Read our spring feature about how the professional trail crew responds to stronger and more frequent extreme weather.
  • Watch our video on the life and work of AMC’s professional trail crew.

 

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Emily Hughes

Emily Hughes is AMC Outdoors' fall 2018 editorial intern.