Philip Royer, ATC Stewardship Council member and Deep South Regional Partnership Committee chair, was introduced to the A.T. by his younger brother. “He and I started backpacking in the Smokies in the early 1970s, and I recall the feeling of wonder reading the A.T. trail sign at Newfound Gap about a trail that went all the way from Georgia to Maine.”
Philip became an A.T. maintainer with the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club and has served in many ways, including as club president. He used his professional skills as an architect to design improvements at the Davenport Gap Shelter, which became the first in a 13-year effort to renovate all of the A.T. shelters in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While much of his volunteer time is now devoted to the RPC and the Stewardship Council, he still enjoys working on his A.T. section near Mt. Collins and on shelter projects.
He says, “I consider the Appalachian Trail and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to be
precious public resources, and I sincerely hope that they will be available for future generations in at least as good a condition as they are today. I believe that the only way to protect these resources is through cooperation of volunteers and the governing agencies.”
Fellow club member Phyllis Henry comments that “Philip is truly the nicest and most agreeable person that I have worked with on projects. He always makes time to help you in any way that he can…A great human being—and we both are Big Orange fans, as you can tell by the shirt!”