Norman Sykora

August 2013

Norman Sykora has served the Natural Bridge A.T. Club (NBATC) and the Trail for more than 25 years. He has held various positions with the club, including two terms as president. He and his wife Jinx keep busy maintaining a 2.5-mile section of the Trail in central Virginia. 
A certified chain-saw and crosscut sawyer, Norman is often called on by the club for help in other places as well. The derecho (a severe windstorm) in July of 2012 created more than 200 blowdowns on NBATC’s Trail section, providing him with many opportunities to showcase his Trail-clearing skills. He recorded a very impressive 593 volunteer maintenance hours last year, more than 80 of them helping with the recovery from that massive storm. 
Norman became involved with NBATC 27 years ago after reading about the club in a local newspaper. He went on some club hikes, got to know some of the members, and became a member and maintainer. He has been honored by the club for putting in the most miles on club business in a single year and for having the most volunteer hours in a single year. In 2011, he was recognized by the National Park Service, receiving its Silver Service award for 25 years of active volunteer service on the Appalachian Trail and with NBATC. 
Norman and Jinx maintain the Trail section that runs over Cold Mountain between Hog Camp Gap and Cow Camp Gap, names from an era when livestock grazed there and hogs were turned loose to fatten on chestnuts and forage for other food. Today, Norman takes pride in keeping the bald open and enjoying the expansive views from his Trail section.