Thurston Griggs dedicated most of his adult life to the preservation of the Appalachian Trail. He joined the Mountain Club of Maryland (MCM), an A.T. Trail maintaining club, in 1959, serving as its President from 1972-1974 and 1990-1992. Subsequently, he served as MCM’s archivist until June 2008. Griggs was MCM’s representative to the Maryland Appalachian Trail Management Committee for years, probably beginning at its inception, and ending June 2010.
He worked relentlessly to preserve and protect the Appalachian Trail– mostly in Pennsylvania and Maryland. He was a member of the Keystone Trails Association for almost 20 years, starting in the late 70s, and represented MCM at many KTA meetings.
One of his great achievements was working on a special project with the Trust for Appalachian Trail Lands. Griggs was a key player in expediting the purchase, bit by bit, of Bagtown Road, which has since been named the Thurston Griggs Trail (a side trail to the A.T.).
At what many would consider an advanced age, Griggs became one of the first A.T. Ridge Runners. Additionally, he served as the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club’s A.T. overseer between Turner’s Gap and Lamb’s Knoll.
Also, among the many roles of Thurston Griggs for the success of the A.T., he was the first editor of ATC’s newsletter The Register from 1978-81; vice-chair of ATC board of directors; member of strategic planning group for the A.T. Museum, 2003; and MCM supervisor of trails.
In July 2011, shortly before his death in October 2011, the National Park Service’s Appalachian Trail Park Office awarded him the Golden Service (50-years) Award.