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What is a Ridge Runner?

Looking all official in my uniform
Looking all official in my uniform

I just finished my ridge runner training week in Connecticut, and I will be spending the summer working along the Appalachian Trail. I’m excited for the opportunity to give back to the trail.

The most asked question we get is…

What is a ridge runner?

The short answer is I am a glorified trash lady/ park ranger with no authority.

One of my big job duties is picking up trash I find along the trail and in shelters. So be kind to us ridge runners (and trail volunteers) and pack out everything you bring in. No abandoning unwanted items at shelters! No one wants your old t-shirt or book with missing pages.

Another thing I do is break up fire pits and talk to people about not having fires. The Connecticut section of the trail does not allow fires. Most of the land in this section is privately owned, but the trail is allowed to go through it on the condition that there are no fires permitted. People don’t want their forests burned down, basically. I know fires are awesome, but there’s only a 50 mile area that they are banned. You can get through it!

Say hello if you see us ladies in Connecticut this summer
Say hello if you see us ladies in Connecticut this summer

I have an assortment of other responsibilities, but the main thing is just chatting with people I meet and spreading awareness about Leave No Trace.

I’ll be Instagramming my summer ridge running @appalachiantrailgirl or search the hashtag #ridgerager to see posts by myself and my fellow ridge runners.

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