Fifty-one miles of the Appalachian Trail traverses through the state of Connecticut; nearly all of which has been visited by one particularly dedicated, tool-wielding, humor-instilling volunteer named Russ Waldie. Waldie has been a volunteer steward of the Appalachian Trail with the Appalachian Mountain Club’s- Connecticut Chapter, A.T. Committee for twenty-seven years.
Aside from maintaining his assigned Trail section from Route 44 to the Limestone Trail Junction, which includes the Limestone Springs Trail and Limestone Springs shelter, Waldie also serves as the Committee’s Overseer of Shelters and Camps. All of this is in addition to his designated role as the Committee’s Sign Maker. Adam Brown, ATC Conservation Stewardship Manager, explains “[Waldie’s] ability to build or fix just about anything makes him an indispensable member of the CT A.T. Committee and an important contributor to the effort of managing and maintaining the Appalachian Trail in Connecticut.”
Waldie is always more than willing to assist his fellow maintainers and has remained a presence in organizing volunteer work-trips along the A.T. in Connecticut for over twenty-five years. His talents and leadership make him an asset to any construction project. Connecticut A.T. Committee Chair Dave Boone says, “Russ has built, modified, or rebuilt more privies than any of us care to count!”
The Appalachian Mountain Club’s- Connecticut Chapter awarded Waldie “Appie of the Year” award during their annual meeting in November for his outstanding sustained commitment in service and leadership, and his outstanding contributions to the growth, success and leadership of the Chapter.