Jolly Rovers

The Jolly Rovers are a roving volunteer trail crew and independent club focused on technical stone construction for the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference across all its regions. The group originated and was trained at our Bear Mountain Trails Project.  Its dedicated crew travels two days a month from April through November, addressing the technical trail construction needs of the Trail Conference from the Catskills in New York throughout all of northern New Jersey. (Click here to visit the Jolly Rover website.)

Becoming a Rover requires training and dedication, all of which is available free of charge providing an individual is willing to commit 10 days a year (5 trips) after their training is complete. The objective of the crew is is two-fold: The first is to build beautiful yet naturally integrated stone structures such as staircases and retaining walls into trails when they require them. The second is to train local volunteers in other regions, spreading awareness and knowledge of traditional masonry skills largely lost to antiquity.

Watch their video of work on the Appalachian Trail at Fitzgerald Falls!



New recruits are required to take 4 essential workshops at the Trail Conference's Trail U in order to be considered; these are Tool Use and Safety, Stone Splitting and Shaping, Stone Step Installation and Introduction to Rigging. (To see course availability, click here) Anyone that has extensive trail building experience and/or has already taken these workshops can email the Crew Chief and ask to be excused from this requirement. Nevertheless, we still encourage you to take a look at the workshop schedule and consider taking any courses you feel the need to brush up on; after all, our purpose is not only to build trail in other regions, but to teach others as well.


Crew members are expected to…

• Participate in a minimum of five 2-day outings per trail work season, April thru November (10 days of volunteering total)

• Participate in all 4 essential workshops if they have not already done so. (Click Here to register)

• Obtain the ability to perform physically demanding work in potentially adverse outdoor weather conditions such as extreme heat, cold and rain.

• Car pool distances up to 1 ½ hours away with your fellow crew members.

• Camp outdoors overnight.

The Trail Conference promises those that commit to the crew that they will gain or improve upon skills not readily available in today’s modern culture. After all, what we are asking is not only a commitment to work on trails but a commitment to show the world that human beings can still build beautiful things. Please Join Us.


Contact the crew at [email protected]

Crew Chief: Chris Ingui

Crew Leaders: Bob "Iron Bob" Brunner and Artie Hidalgo

Check out pictures from some of our work trips at...

Norvin Green State Forest

Teatown Lake Reservation

Sylvan Glen Nature Preserve


Jolly Rovers maneuvering a stone stone

Jolly Rovers towing rocks up a high line.

Highlining a Stepping Stone to Cross a Creek

Jolly Rover Roch drilling a rock in preparation for splitting