BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Cohos Trail Association shall be dedicated to developing a solid recreational organization that plans, builds, funds, and maintains a long-distance, thru-hiking trail system - The Cohos Trail - over the entire length of remote Coos County, New Hampshire. The association's mission shall also be to develop a system of hostels (overnight huts), lean-tos and tent platforms along the trail by forging close ties with local student groups, outdoor education programs, local outdoor enthusiasts, and local businesses and corporations, as well as state and federal officials.
President: Chad E. Pepau - Chad was born and raised in the heart of Coos County, New Hampshire in the small village of Stark. Hiking and backpacking are his greatest passions. When the Cohos Trail was first being transformed from an idea to becoming a piece of reality, he got involved with the trail. He started out bushwhacking and flagging out sections of trail with the trail's founder, Kim Nilsen. From there, Chad went on to volunteering to cut new sections of trail and eventually became The Cohos Trails Association's second paid trail crew leader under the auspices of AmeriCorps. Today, he continues to volunteer on the trail in many ways; including trail construction and maintenance projects, attending board meetings, and communicating with concerned individuals about the Cohos Trail.
Chad has much experience when it comes to trail construction and maintenance. After serving as the Cohos Trail's second paid trail crew leader in 2002/2003, he went on to serve three consecutive summers with the United States Forest Service in 2004 through 2006. Chad worked on New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest, Androscoggin Ranger District's trail crew for the first two summers with the Forest Service, and on Alaska's Tongass National Forest, Ketchikan/Misty Fjords National Monument Wilderness Ranger District's trail crew in 2006.
In 2007, Chad graduated from the University of Maine at Presque Isle with a B.S. in Outdoor Recreation and Leisure Services. His concentration is in Park Management and Natural Resource Protection. Chad is also currently serving as the Southern Cohos Trail Coordinator and is a certified SOLO Wilderness First Responder.
Vice President: Ken Vallery - Lancaster, NH - Ken grew up on the seacoast of New Hampshire but spent much of his time hiking and backpacking in the White Mountains. He is often found on weekends in the mountains hiking with his wife Kim. They are both avid outdoors people and were thrilled to relocate to Lancaster in 2008 when Ken took a job with New Hampshire’s Department of Safety. Ken believes volunteering for the COHOS Trail Association is an ideal way to give back to the trails.
Secretary: Lainie Castine- a former trail maintainer for the MATC (Maine Appalachian Trail Club) in the Bigelow Preserve-Maine, she is a skilled trail developer - exceptional trail maintainer and has been instrumental in laying out new trail routes in the 300,000-acre headwaters region of the Connecticut River. She was nominated by the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails and received the 2010 American Trails - Trail Worker Award, a national award.
Lainie is the Cohos Trail Webmaster, Signmaker, Northern Trail Coordinator and is certified in SOLO Wilderness Rescue.
Treasurer: Sam Farrington - Grew up Scouting, with much hiking and outdoor activities serving as trip leader at summer camps as a teen and as a young adult. Sam attended law school becoming a Lawyer in his late 20's and became a NH Court admininstrator in his 40's. He is currently working as a Mediator in Divorce and Separation. Backpacking and hiking has always been his passion when not working.
Sam is a member of The Cohos Trail Association, The Wonalancet Outdoor Club, the M.A.T.C., West Virginia Scenic Trails Association, Planning Board for Albany NH, the NH Conflict Resolution Association Board, and the Carroll Country Adult Education (GED preparation instructor).
Founder/Chairman: Kim Robert Nilsen - Founder of The Cohos Trail Association and designer of the 162-mile foot trail. Semi-retired, Mr. Nilsen still routinely takes care of severely handicapped young people and builds and restores structures at Camp Glen Brook in Marlborough, NH. Formerly, he was a marketing manager with After The Falls natural fruit juice company in Vermont and Blue Range Natural Beverages of New Hampshire. He devotes two whole weeks each year to trail work directly on the trail system and he writes grants and cultivates sponsors for the association.
Nancy Spaulding - Mrs. Spaulding is the proprietor of the Stark Village Inn, one of the more historic country inns in northern New Hampshire. She spent much of her professional life in education in the North Country. Mrs. Spaulding was responsible for underwriting the development of the Percy Loop Camp on the Cohos Trail high on North Percy Peak.
Yvan Guay - Mr. Guay works for the NH Department of Transportation specializing in highway bridge construction and repair and is assigned to the northern regions of the state. Mr. Guay maintains the Percy Loop Camp on the Cohos Trail and the Percy Loop Trail. Over the last decade he has helped the association build the Baldhead Lean-to atop remote Baldhead Mt., built the Panorama Lean-to in Dixville and helped in the early restoration process of Kamp Kirk in the Nash Stream Forest.
E. H. Roy - Mr. Roy is a solar energy consultant with Nexgen Energy Systems, spending much of his working life designing and installing solar equipment particularly on the West Coast. He grew up near Coleman State Park in northern New Hampshire and is very active in maintaining long remote stretches of the Cohos Trail.
Dana Bartlett - Owner and Operator of North Woods Dental in Colebrook, NH, Mr. Bartlett is an avid hiker and trail volunteer.
Ray Chaput - Mr. Chaput is a veteran Cohos Trail hiker having hiked sections of the trail several times with his lovely wife, Joan. Ray bushwhacked many of the sections in the 1970's, before the trail came on line. Ray currently serves as a bailiff in Twin Mountain and is a retired member of the Twin Mountain Fire Department. He also creates Cohos Trail signs in his spare time.
Mary Sturtevant - is a student of Nature and seeks the forests, mountains and streams as sources of renewal for body, mind and spirit. She has hiked the Appalachian Trail, The Cohos Trail X2, the Long Trail X2, The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway X2, the New England 4000-footers, the Northville-Lake Placid Trail, and the Wapack Trail. Mary serves as an information volunteer and volunteer naturalist with the AMC and enjoys sharing her outdoor knowledge and experience with others. When not hiking or backpacking, Mary can be found at 'Path of Harmony', her business and her spiritual path, teaching Reiki, Quigong, Meditation and Taiji.
Tracy Rexford - has been instrumental in the development of the Cohos Trail in its early stages as part of the Trailmasters Crew out of Berlin, NH. He is currently webmaster for the Great North Woods Journal out of Lancaster, NH.
Leane Rexford - first fell in love with The Cohos Trail as part of a team of Trailmasters cutting new trail in Gadwah Notch. She spent many summer days hiking and working on the trail since then.
Leane also serves as president of the Nansen Ski Club. It's the oldest ski club in America and operates nordic ski trails in Milan, NH.
Leane is a massage therapist and Yoga teacher in Berlin, NH, where she lives with her family and operates her business, Northern Oasis.