Ed Peck is a member of the A.T. maintainers committee of the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club (SMHC). In addition to maintaining a Trail section, he helps keep the area around the Double Spring shelter clean and carries in mulch for the privy. He works hard not only on his own Trail section but anywhere assistance is needed.
Ed’s introduction to the A.T. came as teenager when he hiked from Davenport Gap to Fontana. In April 2007, he responded to a call for volunteers to help remove blowdowns and joined SMHC a short time later.
Leanna Joyner, ATC’s regional program manager, praises his consistent drive to excellence. ”He’s active in response to reports of blowdowns, helpful in standing in when another section maintainer is unable to get to his or her section, and is exceedingly responsive in reaction to time-sensitive requests for facility repairs identified by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or the club.”
Praise from his fellow A.T. committee members range from “Ed commands everyone’s respect,” to “He is a great person and volunteer.” Phyllis Henry, the club’s A.T. district manager in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, sums it up. “He is willing to take on any task and you do not have to ask him; if he sees something that needs to be done he just goes and does it, especially if it requires a cross-cut saw. We would not have to worry about getting the Trail maintained if we could find a few more Ed Pecks.”
Working on the high-line in the Smokies gives Ed great satisfaction. “Every day and every season is new,” he says. “Also, being with all my maintainer friends working on a singular job and getting it finished is awesome!”
Asked for his advice to anyone thinking about volunteering on the Trail, Ed says, “Just try it a few times!”