GARDNERS — Nominees for the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Class of 2018 will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2018.

The Hall of Fame recognizes those who have made a significant contribution toward establishing and maintaining the approximately 2,190-mile footpath that passes through 14 states from Maine to Georgia.

"The eighth class of the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame will be inducted in 2018, and nominations are open for Hall of Fame nominees," said Larry Luxenberg, president of the Appalachian Trail Museum Society, the organization that oversees the  Hall of Fame. "Nominees should be people who have made a significant positive contribution to the Appalachian Trail and who have unselfishly devoted their time, energy and resources toward making the Appalachian Trail a national treasure."

Thirty-two people have been inducted into the Hall of Fame in the first seven years. Their names and biographies can be found on the museum's website, www.atmuseum.org.

"These pioneers played critical roles in building, maintaining, protecting and publicizing the Appalachian Trail", Luxenberg said.

Nomination criteria and the nominating and selection processes for the 2018 Hall of Fame are:

Criteria: Those eligible are anyone who has made an exceptional and positive contribution to the Appalachian Trail or Appalachian Trail community. This could be by leadership, inspiration, service, achievement or innovation. This includes pioneers who conceived of and developed the trail; those who organized or directed major trail organizations like the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Appalachian Trail clubs; maintaining clubs; longtime trail maintainers; leaders who promoted and protected the A.T.; hikers who have made significant accomplishments, and other people who have enriched the culture or community of the Appalachian Trail by their association with it. They can be living or dead. The emphasis will be on people who have made contributions to the A.T. over a long period.

Nominations: Nominations will be solicited from throughout the hiking and trails community. The easiest way to submit a nomination is by using the online site https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B9CSYYF.

Nominations also may be submitted using the paper nomination form. Copies of the form can be obtained at https://tinyurl.com/y8h2buy2 or by requesting one from the museum. A nominator need not be a member of any hiking organization to submit a nomination. A nominator may only make one nomination per election cycle. Nominators will be asked to justify their nomination in a brief statement that describes the nominee and why he or she fits the criteria.

An Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Committee has been selected by the Appalachian Trail Museum Society Board of Directors to supervise the election process and to submit the finalists to the board. That committee is chaired by Jim Foster. Other members of the committee are Noel DeCavalcante, David Field, Tom Johnson, Brian King, Gwen Loose, Larry Luxenberg and Bill O’Brien. The Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Committee will deliver the slate of finalists to the museum board in March, for subsequent review and elections.

Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame inductees will be announced in early April and the induction ceremony will be on Friday, May 4, 2018, at the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet. The inductees will be enshrined on an Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Wall of Honor at the Appalachian Trail Museum.

Located in Pine Grove Furnace State Park and at the midway point of the Appalachian Trail, the museum is across from the Pine Grove General Store on Pennsylvania Route 233.

Outbrain