Hiking Trails of America Leadership



Jim Kern

St. Augustine, FL


  • Founder, Florida Trail Association, 1966
  • Co-Founder, American Hiking Society, 1976
  • Director, HikaNation, 1980-81
  • Founding Publisher, American Hiker Magazine, 1988
  • Founder, Big City Mountaineers, 1989
  • Past President, Hiker’s Grand Slam, 1998
  • Past President, Kern Trekking & Travel, 1999
  • Author, Trail Reflections, 50 Years of Hiking and Backpacking, 2011

William “Bill” Kemsley, Jr.

Taos, NM


  • US Navy Veteran, WW II Pacific Theater, 1945-1946
  • Founding Editor and Publisher, Backpacker magazine, 1973
  • Co-Founder, American Hiking Society, 1976
  • Editor: The Whole Hiker’s Handbook, 1979
  • Author: Backpacker and Hiker’s Handbook, 2008

Paul C. Pritchard

Hagerstown, MD


  • Decorated Combat Military Veteran, U.S. Army Advisor, Republic of Vietnam
  • First Executive Director, Appalachian Trail Conference
  • Former Deputy Director, U.S. Department of Interior
  • Past President, National Parks and Conservation Association
  • Co-Founder, American Hiking Society, 1976
    Founder, National Park Trust

Larry Luxenberg

New City, NY


  • Appalachian Trail Thru-hiker, 1980
  • Founder and President, Appalachian Trail Museum, Gardners, PA.
  • American Hiking Society, Board of Directors
  • Author, Walking the Appalachian Trail

Dennis Lewon

Boulder, CO


  • Editor-in-Chief, BACKPACKER magazine

Ron Strickland

Bedford, MA


  • Founder, Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, 1970
  • Author, The Pacific Northwest Trail Guide, 1984, 2001
  • Author, Pathfinder: Blazing a New Wilderness Trail in Modern America, 2011
  • Author, The North Country Trail: The Best Walks, Hikes, and Backpacking Trips…, 2013
  • Lifetime Service Award, 11th National Trails Symposium (American Trails), 2008, and others

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