Leah Bradley has been volunteering on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) for approximately 25 years. Bradley lives in Wisconsin, more than 750 miles from Konnarock Trail Crew basecamp, the trail rehabilitation program where she contributes time during every summer. Fellow Konnarock volunteers relay how much they appreciate Bradley’s advice, trail expertise, support, and helpful character. Bradley is dependable, cheerful, and fun—often breaking out a board game or cards to brighten-up down-time.
Bradley is known, not just for her cheerful and reliable presence on trail crew, but for always being willing to tackle hard things.
“There have been a few challenging crew projects over the years where [Bradley’s] toughness has been critical in ensuring the project gets done. She perseveres through bad weather, long days, and sticks with projects when the rocks just aren’t working. Even after a complete week of project work, she’s ready to help haul equipment out at the end of the session, and rise to meet any other requests made of her.” explains Josh Kloehn, Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Senior Trail Operations Manager.
Overall, Bradley contributes a significant amount of sweat equity to the A.T. each year. She goes over and beyond with helping around basecamp, the crew’s field camp, and at worksites. When the season comes to an end Bradley often continues to help with closing tasks at basecamp for the season, serving as the Konnarock Trail Crew’s inventory expert.
As a teacher, and with other work and volunteer activities during the summer months, Bradley’s time is understandably limited and it can be challenging for her to find the time to travel to and volunteer on Konnaorck. Those who have the honor of working with her say they’re glad she makes it because they always look forward to seeing her.
The A.T. isn’t the only National Scenic Trail to which Bradley devotes herself. Back in Wisconsin, Bradley also volunteers considerable time to the Ice Age Trail Alliance where she serves as a trail leader and often provides programing for students guiding them on adventures and hikes along the Ice Age Trail.