ATC News

Remembering Tom Johnson, an A.T. Legend

December 7, 2020

On Saturday, December 5, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) was informed of the untimely passing of Tom Johnson, who died from a heart attack while hiking in Shenandoah National Park. Tom leaves behind a long history of dedicated work in protecting and maintaining the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), including serving two terms as president of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). He was 80 years old.

“Tom Johnson was a historian, writer, volunteer and hiker of the Appalachian Trail,” said Sandra Marra, President and CEO of the ATC. “His combined contributions will leave a lasting legacy. Tom was also a personal friend who I first worked with in the early 1990s when he and I co-chaired the ATC Membership meeting for PATC, Virginia ‘95. Tom and I enjoyed a long and robust relationship, not always seeing eye-to-eye but always respecting and appreciating each other’s views. Most of all, we knew at the center was a deep and unwavering commitment and love of the A.T. The Conservancy has lost a dear and steady friend and our thoughts are with his beloved wife Sharon and daughter Nina.”

The Trail has been forever changed for the better thanks to Tom. In early 2021, the ATC will publish Tom’s book covering the history of the A.T. focused on the efforts of club volunteers, providing one last source of Tom’s wisdom for us to benefit from.

From all of us at the ATC: thank you, Tom, for your dedication, leadership, and love for the Trail.


The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Team

Learn more about Tom at the PATC website.