These pages are for people wondering how trails are planned, built, and managed. Or, maybe you just want to do something different on your next trip. By contributing your weekend or vacation time to a backcountry volunteer project you can make a solid contribution to backcountry preservation, restoration, and recreation. Backcountry volunteer projects cover a variety of topics including biological research expeditions in Central America, archaeology digs, as well as trail maintenance.
Areas of Interest:
1 ) One- or Two-day Trips: United States and Canada
2 ) Extended Trips: United States and Canada
3 ) Backcountry Work: International Locations
4 ) Expeditions
5 ) Adopt-a-Hut/Trail
6 ) Rails-to-Trails
7 ) United States Government Agencies
8 ) Resources
Any group where specifics on camping are not known is listed in category 1. People are welcome to email additional details on existing groups or to suggest additions to the listing.
These rewarding adventures include: creating new trails, relocating bad trails, repairing erosion damage to overused trails, or just trimming brush in spring. There are a lot of opportunities ranging from physically demanding trips into remote areas, to a day hike with a paintbrush.
Work with established land-use officials and organizations. Don't get all fired up and try to create a new group without experience. Keep in mind that the people who oversee the trails need help, but they also have to answer to higher ups, which includes the public, for what you do to the trail. If you haven't done trail maintenance work, join a two- or three-day work crew and get introduced. Some clubs have specific introductory courses in trail maintenance. Most folks do not have the slightest idea of what they are in for when the flyer says be prepared for hard work under adverse conditions.
Notes on etiquette:
If you sign up for a trip, show up or notify the agency that you will not be there.
If you have a medical condition, don't lie about it.
Keep in mind that the group is diverse and open to anyone who is interested in trail
maintenance; this includes horse riders and ATV owners.
The following listing is of groups organizing backcountry volunteer trail crews. Keep in mind that not all organizations screen applicants to match skills and experience to the work. If you have any doubts about the job, do not hesitate to ask for more details. If the advice on trip preparation seems vague or disorganized, it may indicate the organizer is not familiar with trail work. Dante had imagination, but he never went on a work trip that went sour due to mismatched participants. If he had, there would have been an additional circle in Hell.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication