Volunteers are the backbone of the LHT — clearing trails, installing signage, stenciling paved areas, and keeping an eye out for the many maintenance issues that our heavily-travelled trails need addressed. We owe a lot to these folks, and we wanted to share their LHT stories. If you want to join one of our volunteer teams, shoot us an email — we’d love to have you!

Meet Helen Dudar — a staffer at New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection, someone who devotes a lot of time to various volunteering projects, and one of the LHT’s star volunteers.

LHT: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Helen: I am a long-time resident of Trenton and a longer-time employee of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

LHT: How long have you been volunteering on the LHT? What inspired you to lend a hand?
Helen: Just since the 2021 call for volunteers — the pandemic restrictions inspired me to get involved with volunteer activities I can do independently and close to home. A friend, also an LHT volunteer, forwarded the email for the call for volunteers. The timing was perfect as all the events I normally participated in were cancelled.

LHT Volunteer Helen Dudar
LHT Volunteer Helen Dudar

All photos courtesy of Helen Dudar

LHT Volunteer Helen Dudar

LHT: What kinds of projects have you worked on?
Helen: Community art projects, hiking events — the C&O Canal One Day Hike from Georgetown in Washington, D.C., to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and bicycling events — my favorite is the LHT’s Full Moon Ride.

LHT: Do you do work on other trails or in other parks? Where and what type of work?
Helen: Yes — litter pickups both organized with the Trenton Cycling Revolution and independently along the Trenton portion of the D & R Canal path.

LHT: How did you discover the LHT? What are your favorite segments?
Helen: Even bad publicity is good publicity! I was at a gathering and a fellow attendee voiced her opinion against the trail. In terms of segments, this is a tough question to answer! There are several very neat sections: the open sky at the Pole Farm, the rigid rows of trees planted decades ago at the former nursery on the Dyson Tract in Maidenhead Meadows, the Mount Rose Distillery Whiskey House, the truss bridge over the Stony Brook, the new bridge at Rosedale Park, and the Osage orange trees at ETS.

LHT: Do you have advice for other folks who have thought about getting involved with the LHT?
Helen: It is a great local volunteer opportunity.