Frank Morrison

February 2014

AMC–Berkshire Chapter volunteer Frank Morrison says, “There are many ways to support ATC, the local A.T. clubs, and the Trail. You don’t even have to be on the Trail to make a contribution.” 

Frank embodies that statement, whether joining an A.T. work trip, monitoring a rugged corridor boundary section, or sewing lightweight backpacks and fleece clothing for club raffles. Last year, he and a helper even spent a day-and-a-half staining the barn at ATC’s Kellogg Conservation Center. 

Frank first hiked on the Appalachian Trail on a weekend trip to Bascom Lodge in 1998. Tornadoes in the vicinity made the trip memorable, but so did meeting an A.T. ridgerunner. Frank started volunteering with the Berkshire Chapter A.T. Committee on maintenance trips the following year and later worked as a ridgerunner. Then he took on the challenges of boundary monitoring, from navigating with map and compass to bushwhacking and scrambling over rocky cliffs along the boundary. 

Fellow volunteers have high praise for Frank. Cosmo Catalano, A.T. Committee volunteer coordinator, says “I’ve seen him singlehandedly strip the old roof off of a shelter in less than an hour, while the rest of us were still hauling in the new materials.” He also helped dismantle an old car in the corridor using a gas-powered metal saw and then hauling the pieces out to a nearby road for disposal. A.T. Committee Chair Jim Pelletier says, “Frank has another metal recovery project to his credit—helping cut up and lug out (in the pouring rain) two truck-loads of metal” from a field. 

A former shipbuilder with a painting/contracting business, Frank has taken up furniture building and crafted a beautiful Shaker-style blanket chest for the Kellogg Center. Using industrial sewing machines, he not only has sewn and donated fleece clothing to benefit the Trail club, he also sews sleeping bags and clothing that he distributes to the homeless or donates to a local charity shop. 

Frank grew up climbing and swimming in quarries and has climbed in the White Mountains and in Joshua Tree National Park. He is planning to take his 10-year-old grandson hiking in New Hampshire this summer. 

ATC appreciates Frank’s valuable contributions, both on and off the Trail.