Florida Trail Association

Remembering Ray Maxwell

Ray Maxwell

Sandhill Chapter: Trail Maintainer 

Remembering Ray Maxwell
by Ed Wolcott

Ray Maxwell was a military veteran who ran a machine shop in Branford, Florida.  He was the trail master of the Suwannee Section from 1982 till 1991, and laid out some of the trail going west of the Suwannee to Western Florida.   He and Ben Pickard did the development work on the Suwanee sling, and he also pioneered the use of brush mowers for trail maintenance.   At the time he did this, commercial brush mowers were not available, so he made his own from lawn mowers.   While these were not as rugged as regular brush mowers, they kept a lot of trail miles maintained.  Ray and his wife Helen worked on the trail until the mid 1990’s at which time he retired to Northern Georgia.  His ashes are scattered near a chain of sinkholes in Suwannee State Park, one of his favorite areas.