AT Ridge Runner program completes its 31st year


Our ridge runner this year was Piljo Yae (she/her), a native of South Korea, Piljo relocated to the states with her family in her late teens. Most recently she worked as a project manager in steel construction before retiring. After hiking many sections of the AT in the Mid Atlantic region, she completed an AT thru hike post-retirement last year. Her trail name was WIC for women in construction.

Piljo is also a member of our chapter and who has taken leadership training and has attended AMC August Camp. She lives locally in Blue Bell with her husband. As such, you may see her in the future on a hike with the chapter or other chapter outing or event.

Piljo is a very personable and warm individual with a strong work ethic. She enjoyed inviting others to work with her on the trail, and they seemed to enjoy working together with her also. Together, much was accomplished in removing some very built-up fire rings, removing trash from campsites and trail heads, clipping and cutting blowdowns, and removing greenbrier and invasive crimson barberry from the trail. They also worked to identify and protect the endangered American Chestnut tree.


To briefly summarize the program, a ridge runner is a seasonal paid five day a week position to help educate users of the Appalachian Trail about Leave No Trace while helping to care for and protect the trail in partnership with the local maintaining clubs including our chapter. The program runs from late May to Labor Day.

Ridge runners have been deployed along many sections of the AT from Maine to Georgia in areas of higher impact and usage. A 42-mile section of trail above the Lehigh Valley included in this program may have increased usage due to its proximity to the population centers in Lehigh Valley, easy access from the New York and New Jersey areas, along with many road access points including the Delaware Water Gap.

This program has continued since 1992 with continuing grants from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, plus our chapter and trails volunteers working in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the trails staff of AMC.

The DV Chapter has been proud to continue supporting this program along with other trail clubs with volunteer time, work and with financial support.

Job Opportunity: Conservation Outreach Manager, Mid-Atlantic Region


Appalachian Mountain Club

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is seeking a talented and enthusiastic conservation advocate and public policy professional to lead our coalition-based work to advance conservation and recreation in the Mid-Atlantic Region, based out of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A qualified candidate will be enthusiastic about AMC’s conservation and recreation mission, have a proven track record as a skilled communicator, and will have experience in community and constituency engagement around environmental and outdoor recreation issues.

The Conservation Outreach Manager is primarily focused on eastern Pennsylvania but will support other AMC conservation initiatives from northern Virginia to Connecticut. Priority initiatives include state and federal legislative and regulatory public policy issues in the region that seek to combat and prepare for climate change; protect the region’s landscape and waters; and advance equitable access to the outdoors.