One of the most iconic locations on the A.T.—McAfee Knob in Virginia—is on Jim Webb’s Trail
maintenance section. A Roanoke A.T. Club (RATC) volunteer, Jim hikes it regularly, removing trash and ensuring that the Trail section is kept clear for an estimated 24,000 visitors a year.
Shortly after he moved to Roanoke, Jim’s daughter-in-law took him hiking on the A.T. The mountains were awe-inspiring, and he was hooked on hiking in the area. Then he saw a pamphlet on volunteering for
Trail work and decided it was time to give something back.
RATC President Mike Vaughn says, “Upon retirement, Jim relocated from New York to Virginia. He soon joined the RATC and became a regular fixture on our monthly club work hikes. The many hundreds of hours Jim has devoted to the Trail over the short time he has been associated with it are truly extraordinary.”
Jim serves on the RATC board, is the Assistant Trail Supervisor, oversees five miles of the A.T., and volunteers on the mid-week crew (which he helped establish). Jim’s volunteering goes beyond the Trail—once in a while, he says, he “sneaks in a day or two” to volunteer for the parks and recreation department
Satisfaction comes from knowing he is helping to build and maintain a national treasure. And, as a first-time grandfather, Jim is looking forward to getting his grandson out on that treasured Trail.
Jim says, “Get involved with things outside your comfort zone! It gives you a new perspective on life. Volunteer some of your time to a worthwhile cause, and it will pay you back manyfold.”