Though Terri McLellan has section hiked 25% of the A.T. with her hiking partner Python, when she first stepped on the Trail, it was to get a better view of Maine’s Kennebec River. Training to become a rafting guide at the time, she was more interested in rivers than trails. Her love of hiking the A.T. began when she moved to northern Virginia and started hiking near her home with Python.
A Maine native, Terri chose the Maine state motto Dirigo (“I lead”) as a Trail name, and as a volunteer she more than lives up to her name. She extends her passion for hiking the Trail to supporting the A.T. as a volunteer. She and Python maintain a section of the Trail in northern Virginia, and they are regulars at the A.T. Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry.
At the Visitor Center they share their enthusiasm for the Appalachian Trail with thru-hikers, day hikers and other visitors. Terri enjoys interacting with the A.T. hiking community; “everyone goes out of their way to be nice,” she says. They also represent the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at Trail Days in Damascus. Not shy, she and Python go into the crowd, and “wrangle people back to the booth.”
As a volunteer and hiker, she has become an important part of the community. Says Laurie Potteiger, ATC’s Information Services Manager, “. . .Terri has so much energy and enthusiasm . . . she’s great at building esprit de corps in a group of people.” Thank you, Terri!