It’s the end of an impressive era. Karen Lutz, longtime Mid-Atlantic regional director for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, is retiring after a storied career full of success and hard work. Lutz received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Partnership for the National Trail System in October.

Lutz brought numerous improvements to the trail and the management partnership in the large and complex Mid-Atlantic region. Among many highlights is the recent completion of the Bear Mountain project, a multi-million dollar improvement to one of the trail’s most beloved, iconic, and impacted locations. For the full story, including a photo of Karen placing the final stone step, see the story “Technical Triumph” from the latest issue of A.T. Journeys magazine.

Volunteers who honed their skills at Bear Mountain have assisted in all regions of the trail and provided a solid example of Lutz’s volunteers-first approach. She will be missed. As ATC determines how best to move forward after this significant loss, a reorganization of staff positions is underway to best utilize the existing skillsets in that region while doubling down on a desire to be closer connected to the partnerships that protect the trail.