Long-time Big South Fork Trails Chief Retiring

Oneida, TN (2017-09-14) Wallace Linder, Roads and Trails Branch Chief of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, Obed Wild and Scenic River and Manhattan Project National Historical Park at Oak Ridge, has recently retired after a career of over 30 years working for the National Park Service.

Wally Linder (Source: NPS)

Wally was born and still makes his home in Fentress County, Tennessee.  Working for the Tennessee Valley Authority under the direction of the Army Corps of Engineers from 1982-1987, he was one of the first people to start working on the trails system infrastructure of the newly established Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.  He then became a park employee, and, for over 30 years, Wally led scores of National Park Service crews including youth groups and park volunteers to improve and maintain park roads and trails.

He accomplished many things including developing a trail system for hiking, mountain biking, horse riding and wagon use.  This was quite a feat for such a unique area as the Big South Fork and took much planning, resourcefulness, and a lot of hard work.  Development and construction of a tri-lock stream crossing technique within the Big South Fork trails system is another example of Wally’s ingenuity.  This distinctive method to create and maintain a hardened trail surface that prevents erosion, protects sensitive aquatic species and provides a safer stream crossing has been used as a prime example of exceptional trail construction and is now shared nationwide.

“Wally’s efforts have encouraged people throughout the country to come to this very beautiful and unique National River and Recreation Area, enjoy their visit and also have a safe experience,” said Superintendent Niki Stephanie Nicholas.  “It is people like Wally who have helped make the National Park Service such a great agency.  We congratulate Wally on his recent retirement from the National Park Service, thank him for his exceptional service and look forward to seeing him enjoying the parks in the future,” she added.

Wally enjoys spending time on his farm with his wife Sherry, daughter Rhea Ellen, and riding horses throughout Big South Fork.