I first made contact with the Arizona Trail Association way back in 1999 while planning a thru-hike of the trail and was immediately impressed by their dedication and enthusiasm, both to completing the then-unfinished trail and to helping trail users to prepare for and hike it. In the almost 14 years since that time I have remained close to the Arizona Trail in spirit and have seen its organization give tirelessly of themselves to the cause, often in the face of adversities unique to this part of the natural world, and these efforts have paid enormous dividends. The state of Arizona now boasts one of the premiere long-distance recreation trails in the country, unmatched mile-for-mile in terms of diversity and scenery, and it is bringing communities and people together for a common cause higher than any of us. And all of this thanks to the Arizona Trail Association and its network of supporters. It's a personal honor to be part of this trail community, even from the opposite side of the country as I often am these days.
I have volunteered in construction of at least 6 sections of the AzT in Southern Arizona since 2003. I love it when I ride my mountain bike over these sections and i remember the day it was built and how it was built. We continue to do trail maintenance days. Mark Flint is a slave driver, rain or snow, trail building didn't wait!
Twenty-five years ago some hiking folks, led by Dale Shewalter, got together and created the Arizona Trail. While it wasn't quite that simple, it was the start of something incredible. The accomplishments of those individuals live on, and I am proud to be a part of it. At whatever level you choose, involvement with the Arizona Trail Association is richly rewarding.
The Arizona Trail Association has a vision and understands how to see it through and through. They are available and willing to really help you on an project or undertaking that you may want to do. After the experience I have had with the ATA, I consider myself to be a life-time donator to their cause.
Working with the Arizona Trail Association has always been a pleasure. Whether volunteering on trail construction and maintenance projects, or planning my AZT thru-bike adventures, the ATA has always been there in full support. The idea of a cross state trail, built by Arizonans and for the purpose of connecting Arizonans and highlighting our state's natural beauty is a powerful one. It has been amazing to see people rally behind it and make a dream into a reality. Keep up the great work, ATA!