Read descriptions of all Trail U courses below.
Course Title Course Description Course Level
A.T. Natural Heritage Monitoring Workshop

Fringed polygalaA.T. Natural Heritage Monitoring is a course that focuses on rare and threatened plant species along the Appalachian Trail.  This course is part of a program of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the National Park Service to monitor and protect known rare and threatened plant populations. 


This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills necessary to become an A.T. Natural Heritage Monitor volunteer.  Monitors should be comfortable going off trail to search for their assigned plant population and have some confidence with identifying plants.  Monitors will learn about, search for, find and survey their plant population one time during the season. This may require more than one trip if the population is difficult to find.

Pre-registration is required. 

Basic First Aid Workshop

First aid symbolBasic first aid is the initial process of assessing and addressing the needs of someone with an emergency medical situation.


This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills to provide immediate care to someone with a sudden illness or injury until more advanced medical care arrives.


Please register.  Space is limited.

Chainsaw Certification Workshop

Chainsaw Certification Workshop - for active trail volunteers.  Closed to outside registration.  Workshop will focus on enhancing skills of our existing sawyers with intensive training given to new sawyers. Chainsaw certification is necessary to use a chainsaw on Trail Conference managed trails if permitted by the land manager. Priority for this course is given to our existing sawyers needing re-certification, as well as to those who work on the AT.  Current First Aid/CPR is a requirement of certification.  Students do not need to own a chainsaw to attend, but it is preferrable that you bring a chainsaw and PPE if you have them.  

Chainsaw being used to buck a downed tree.This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills to identify and mitigate hazards concerning bucking, limbing and eliminating spring poles with a chainsaw.  Focus is placed on safe chainsaw use.



Corridor Monitoring Workshop

A.T. blazeCorridor monitoring helps protect the area the Appalachian Trail passes through including the boundary of the property it occupies. 

This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills necessary to a Trail Conference Corridor Monitor Volunteer.  Skills include reading survey maps and navigating off trail using a compass and GPS, recognizing land encroachments and illegal use, preserving access to survey monuments, and reporting conditions.

Please register.  Space is limited.


CPR AED Workshop

image of cprCPR/AED is a way to help people with a breathing or cardiac emergency.


This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills to know when and how to perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and when and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).


Please register.  Space is limited.

Getting to Know the Trail Conference Workshop

New York - New Jersey Trail Conference logoGetting to Know the Trail Conference is learning about our history, the current work that we do, and how you can be involved. 


This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills necessary to understanding the: who, what, when, where, why, and how of the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference.  You will have the opportunity to meet and talk with a Trail Conference representative.  You will leave the course with a list of current and upcoming volunteer opportunities. 


Please register.  Space is limited.

Habitat Restoration Workshop

A Boy Scout doing habitat restoration on the Appalachian Trail in Bear Mt. State Park, NY.Habitat restoration is the act of closing down old trails to facilitate nature’s restoration.

This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills to permanently close a trail and restore it to its natural state by transporting and installing organic soils, vegetation, brush, and rocks.

Please register.  Space is limited.


Introduction to Trail Building Workshop

Be a trail builder for a day and see what it takes to construct a new trail or maintain an existing trail.

This workshop will prepare you to help volunteer along-side a trail crew, be a trail maintainer and/or simply learn what it takes to make the trails you love accessible and sustainable.

Please register.  Space is limited.

Invasive Plants & Native Alternatives - A Primer for Gardeners Workshop

Invasive Plants and Native Alternatives–A Primer for Gardeners is a broad-based information-packed session that will teach you the basics about invasive plants and native alternatives.


This course will help you gain or brush up on the skills necessary to understanding what characteristics many invasive species share, how invasive species are introduced and spread, and common invasive species in our region.  Native plants are the alternative.  You will learn why native plants are important and which ones are best for supporting different types of wildlife.  You will leave armed with resources that will allow you to take what you learn to the next level including New York’s invasive species regulations and New Jersey’s Do Not Plant list. 


Please register.  Space is limited.

Invasive Species Overview Workshop

invasives strike force logoInvasive Species Overview is a course discussing the issues invasive species pose to our forests and trails. 


This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills to identify several common invasive plants.  You will also learn about the Invasives Strike Force and how to become a volunteer surveying invasive plants along hiking trails or participating in invasive removal workdays. 


Please register.  Space is limited.

Invasives Strike Force BlockBuster Surveyor Workshop

class of students learning about blockbuster survey training

This course builds on the skills you've learned in the Invasives Strike Force Standard and Intermediate Surveyor workshops. 

The Invasives Strike Force BlockBuster Surveyor course helps fill in data gaps throughout the region - not just along hiking trails. The data you collect helps land managers and scientists understand the distribution of invasive plants across our region and the vulnerability of our natural areas to invasion.

This data also helps us identify areas to send our Invasives Strike Force removal crew.

You'll learn to identify a few more invasive plants and then, using the same data collection methods learned in the first two workshops, you'll seek out different habitats and areas where these invasive plants are likely to be found within an assigned 5 x 5 km (about 3 x 3 mile) block.   Surveying should be completed by the end of the summer.

This program is part of the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management's (Lower Hudson PRISM) efforts to stop the spread of invasive species in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Pre-registration is required.

Invasives Strike Force Intermediate Surveyor Workshop

Class of students learning advanced invasive plant identification

This course builds on the skills learned in the first Invasives Strike Force Standard Surveyor course by introducing you to emerging invasive plants. 

Emerging invasive plants are non-native species just starting to become established in the region.  Early detection can help protect the region’s native species.  The earlier species are detected, the better chance we have of preventing them from becoming widespread. 

This course helps Invasives Strike Force volunteers gain or brush up on the skills necessary to identify emerging invasive species and conduct the intermediate level of monitoring along assigned trail sections. 

After completing training, you will be assigned to a trail section about 2 miles long.  You will be expected to walk your trail section while identifying and mapping these invasive plants.  Surveying should be completed by the end of the summer. This data helps determine where Invasives Strike Force Removal Crews are deployed.

This is an indoor session with live plant examples.

Pre-registration is required.