Jack Dalton

September 2008

Jack Dalton (whose Trail name is Pipsissewa after a favorite wildflower) was inspired to hike the Appalachian Trail after reading Earl Shaffer’s 1948 account of the first reported thru-hike. Jack was impressed and determined to hike the A.T. one day.  Many years later, Jack and his wife Maxine completed the 2,175 mile hike. 
Hiking the Trail marked the start of Jack’s work as an A.T. volunteer. He and Maxine moved to Hot Springs, N.C. to be near the A.T. and contribute to the local community. “Jack is always willing to do what he can,” says Julie Judkins, ATC Resource Program Manager, “he makes protecting and managing the Trail fun and meaningful.” He is an active environmental monitor, collecting data on invasive exotic species, rare plants and forest health indicators. He provides information and comments to USFS for their management decisions and serves as a volunteer on the North Carolina A.T. License Plate Committee. 
Jack is consistently doing outreach for the A.T. – visiting schools and planning work trips/events – and is an integral part of the planning for the Hot Springs Trailfest held annually each April, successfully engaging both hikers and local citizens.  Jack and Maxine are also very active in the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy – an ATC partner that works to protect the A.T. corridor. 
Jack’s experience as an A.T. hiker motivates him to volunteer. “Like most, if not all, hikers who have completed the A.T., it remains a part of my life,” Jack says, “we never really leave it.”