The 2018 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame class honorees are William Kemsley, Jr. of Taos, New Mexico; the late Elizabeth Levers of New York, New York; the late George Masa, of Asheville, North Carolina; and Robert Peoples, of Hampton, Tennessee.
He later co-founded the American Hiking Society. As the national voice for America’s hikers, the American Hiking Society promotes and protects foot trails, their surrounding natural areas, and the hiking experience. Among Kemsley's publications are The Backpacker & Hikers Handbook, The Whole Hikers Handbook, and Backpacking Equipment. Over several decades, Bill has provided leadership, inspiration, service and achievement to both the A.T. and the hiking community.
Lever's disgust over the trashed conditions of Harriman Park shelters inspired the creation of Litter Day in 1965. Among her many trail-related roles, Liz served as President of the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference, and director of the Appalachian Trail Conference (now Conservancy).
Masa's photographs of Mount Oglethorpe contributed to its selection as the initial southern terminus of the AT. While Masa did not live to see the creation of the park and the completion of the Appalachian Trail, he is remembered in the naming of Masa Knob, near Charlie's Bunion. He worked tirelessly with his colleagues Horace Kephart and Paul Fink to preserve and protect the lands and trails of the Smokies.
Each year, immediately after the Trail Days festival in Damascus, VA, Bob leads the Hard Core crew, comprised of the current year’s class of thru-hikers. For a couple of weeks, Bob and his crew take on the most difficult and challenging trail maintenance tasks on the A.T., before they resume their adventure on the trail. Bob is perhaps the A.T.’s greatest living ambassador, inspiring young people who have experienced the Trail to give back afterwards.
Seven classes have previously been elected to the A.T. Hall of Fame. The Charter Class, elected in 2011, comprised Myron Avery, Gene Espy, Ed Garvey, Benton MacKaye, Arthur Perkins and Earl Shaffer. Members of the 2012 class were Emma Gatewood, David A. Richie, J. Frank Schairer, Jean Stephenson and William Adams Welch. The 2013 Class was Ruth Blackburn, David Field, David Sherman, David Startzell and Everett Stone. The 2014 Class was A. Rufus Morgan, Charles R. Rinaldi, Clarence S. Stein and Pamela Underhill. The 2015 Class was Nestell K. Anderson, Margaret C. Drummond, Stanley A. Murray and Raymond H. Torrey. In 2016, Maurice J. Forrester, Jr., Horace Kephart, Larry Luxenberg and Henry Arch Nichols were inducted. The 2017 Class was Harlean James, Charles Parry, Mildred Norman Ryder and Matilda Wood.
Jim Foster, chair of the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame selection committee, said a 6 p.m. reception will precede the dinner, which begins at 7 p.m. The cost of the reception and dinner is $40 for museum members and $50 for others.
Complete information on the Hall of Fame Banquet is available at https://2018athalloffamebanquet.eventbrite.com Tickets may be purchased either at that website, or directly from the Appalachian Trail Museum by sending a check to:
Appalachian Trail Museum
1120 Pine Grove Road
Gardners, PA 17324
Questions about the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Hall of Fame Banquet will be the kickoff of the Museum’s Hall of Fame Weekend. Questions about the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet may be sent to email@example.com. For lodging options during the Hall of Fame Weekend, follow THIS LINK.