Robert Snyder and Mary Berryhill

June 2016

Volunteers Bob Snyder and Mary Berryhill were recognized recently by the AMC-Berkshire Chapter as they retired from more than two decades of monitoring the Appalachian Trail corridor in Massachusetts—27 years for Bob and 22 for Mary. They continue to work as Trail maintainers and as natural heritage monitors.

Their relationship began on the Trail, and it has been a constant in their lives ever since.

Bob had hiked on parts of the A.T. in Georgia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania before moving to Great Barrington (now an Appalachian Trail Community™). Living near the A.T., he began hiking it regularly and joined the AMC-Berkshire Chapter. He soon progressed to leading hikes, then decided to become a maintainer and, soon after that, a corridor monitor.

Mary grew up visiting her grandparents in Great Barrington. She later moved there with her children and joined the AMC. She and Bob were both EMTs, volunteering on the Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Squad, when he asked her out…for a hike on the A.T. Mary soon joined him in his work as a maintainer and corridor monitor. Later they began monitoring natural heritage sites.

Former ATC Trail Management Assistant Silvia Cassano says, “Bob and Mary work hard to monitor rare, threatened, and endangered species. They lead youth projects to remove invasive species from natural heritage sites in Egremont, Great Barrington, and Sheffield, MA. When there is a project no one wants to do (pulling plants and working in muck), they are the power couple!”

Bob and Mary enjoy their work—it gives them an excuse to go for a hike, and they feel good about maintaining the Trail they use so often themselves. They enjoy the company of other maintainers and the hikers they meet.

Many thru-hikers pass through Great Barrington, and Mary and Bob are always on the lookout to offer them help. During the summer season when they hike or work on the Trail, Mary carries homemade cookies (baked by her daughter) to give to thru-hikers. They have met some very interesting people doing this and have been able to help hikers in need.

When not working on the A.T., this power couple enjoys traveling, birding, and cross-country skiing. They have been to the high points of 36 states. Bob enjoys gardening and is learning to play the fiddle, while Mary enjoys swimming and is learning to fly, working towards her pilot’s license.