Social Engagement: High
What’s What: Help revitalize and build trails all over the United States while hiking and enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Volunteer crews work on mountain trails across the country helping preserve this precious and wild resource for future generations of hikers.
Amava Take: If you love to blaze new trails and have a passion for the environment, you can make the romance official as a trail crew volunteer. You’ll learn the ropes of trail construction and the techniques of using different tools. You’ll lend a hand around the camp, relax by the fire, and hang with other outdoor enthusiasts working toward a common goal.
From the Front Lines:
What kinds of people enjoy being part of a trail crew?
People who aren’t afraid of physically challenging work—or of what’s hiding in those woods!
Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?
Make sure you have the right clothes, especially footwear. The trails must be blazed, rain or shine!
What’s a typical day like?
It depends on what crew you join and what needs to be done. Each day is different!
From the Trenches:
What’s the most satisfying part of being part of a trail crew?
It’s a reminder of the raw, powerful beauty that is nature.
What are the hard parts of the job?
The weather—it gets in the way but you have to push through it.
What’s the best safety tip you learned?
Everyone is responsible for themselves and each other. Pay attention to the safety training!
Special Requirements: You don’t have to be a bodybuilder or marathoner, but working on the trails is hard work and there is a lot of hiking involved.
Finding a Position: The most opportunities can be found with the Appalachian Mountain Club. The American Conservation Experience and the US Forestry Service also list restoration projects seeking volunteers. You also find opportunities at these regional clubs: The Adirondack Mountain Club, the Carolina Mountain Club, the Green Mountain Club, the Colorado Mountain Club, the Catskill Mountain Club, the Washington Trails Association and others. To find a mountain club near you, search using the terms mountain club, volunteer and the name of your state.