Henry Edmonds first learned about the A.T. from his scoutmaster and uncle, who had helped
construct the original trail in CT. He spent time hiking the Trail in the region during the late ‘70s. In 1983, after the A.T. land-acquisition program began, he came across two people flagging the corridor boundary. He asked if he could help, and so became a corridor boundary monitor and an A.T. volunteer.
In 1989, Henry joined the AMC-CT Trails Committee as coordinator of the trail guide program. Since then, he has served in nearly every capacity with the committee, from section maintainer to committee chair.
Henry was overseer of trails for 19 years, until becoming overseer of lands in 2011. The lands position includes corridor monitoring, boundary maintenance, monitoring rare, threatened, and endangered species, managing invasive exotic plant species, and cultural resource management.
AMC-CT Trails Committee Chair Dave Boone says “Henry lives and breathes the A.T. It is not unusual for him to be out in the field five days a week during the season. He has greatly rejuvenated our natural heritage program and has reclaimed huge lengths of neglected boundary.”
Dave says Henry has contributed well in excess of 6,000 hours to the Trail in CT. In 2007, he received the NPS 25-year volunteer award and is also a recipient of the AMC-CT Chapter‘s lifetime achievement award, its most prestigious honor. Beyond the A.T., Henry even finds time to maintain a section of the Mohawk Trail (the old route of the A.T. in CT) for the Connecticut Forest and Parks Association.
For Henry, knowing that he is “contributing to the care of the Trail and its lands for those who currently experience them and for future generations,” is the most rewarding aspect of volunteering. “I have made a great many friends and been able to experience the joy of learning new things and contributing in more ways.”
Henry encourages new people to volunteer and find out how it feels to help with this unique and special national treasure.