On Sunday, January 13, the Friends of Hopewell Furnace invite the public to witness “Adventures on the Appalachian Trail” with Thru-Hiker Neil Koch. The free program will begin at 2 p.m. in Hopewell Furnace’s conference room.
According to the Appalachian Trail Conference, completing the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) in one trip is considered to be a mammoth undertaking. Each year, thousands of hikers attempt a thru-hike; only about one in four makes it all the way. A typical thru-hiker takes five to seven months to hike the entire A.T.
Neil Koch serves as the chief of interpretation at Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Before joining the Hopewell staff in 2018, Koch worked as a Park Guide, Park Ranger, and Supervisory Park Ranger at National Mall and Memorial Parks in the heart of Washington, D.C. Prior to working with the National Park Service, he worked several positions for Appalachian Trail clubs, performed boundary maintenance for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and served as Peace Corps Volunteer in Vanuatu. Shortly before joining the Peace Corps, Neil thru hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. Neil is a Maryland native and holds a bachelor’s degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism from the University of Maine.
Established in 1994, the Friends of Hopewell Furnace is the official non-profit fundraising arm of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. A 501(c)3 citizen organization, its mission is to support the preservation, maintenance and programs of Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site. Donations to the Friends may be tax deductible according to the rules set by the Internal Revenue Service.
While at the park, visitors are encouraged to explore the landscape, go into the village, tour the buildings, and learn about iron making and why Hopewell Furnace is important to our nation’s history. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday thru Sunday, the park is located five miles south of Birdsboro, off Route 345. For more information visit www.friendsofhopewellfurn.org.