Courses

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. 

Appalachian Trail Corridor Monitor Workshop

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

Appalachian Trail Corridor Monitors inspect their trail corridor section at least four times each year to protect the land boundary from illegal activities that threaten the AT, such as encroachment, unauthorized hunting, and dumping.

This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills necessary to become an Appalachian Trail Corridor Monitor. 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.

 

By completing this Trail Conference University [link to landing page] course, you are one step closer to earning your Trail Conference Build Your Own badge! Click here to learn more about Trail Conference University.

 

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.

 

 

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.

Eyes of a Trail Builder Workshop

Even beginners can learn to see trails through the "eyes of a trail builder" in this guided hike. As we walk, we'll discuss how to recognize erosion, spot wet areas (even in dry weather), look at trail grade with a critical eye, identify potential re-routes, weigh the pros and cons of trail structures, and much more. We'll also brainstorm solutions to the problems we encounter using modern trail building best practices.

 

Whether you're a casual trail user looking to learn about what goes into the art and science of trail building, or a volunteer looking to expand your trail skills and knowledge, we look forward to sharing the "eyes of a trail builder" with you!

 

By completing this Trail Conference University [link to landing page] course, you are one step closer to earning your Trail Crew Master Builder and Trail Maintainer Extraordinaire badge! Click here to learn more about Trail Conference University.

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.

Graffiti Neutralization Workshop

Graffiti defies Leave-No-Trace Principles, introducing unnecessary chemicals into the ecosystem and disrupting otherwise pristine natural and historical features, and the presence of graffiti often encourages more graffiti.

 

Graffiti neutralization is the process of using wire brushes, paint, and other special techniques to cover up or remove graffiti on rocks, trees, and other surfaces. This course will help you to gain or brush up on the skills necessary to neutralize graffiti on natural features such as rocks and trees.

 

By completing this Trail Conference University [link to landing page] course, you are one step closer to earning your Trail Maintainer Extraordinaire badge! Click here to learn more about Trail Conference University.

Habitat Helpers Volunteer Orientation

This workshop will prepare you to be a volunteer working in the native plant gardens at the Trail Conference headquarters.

This orientation is required before you can sign-up to volunteer during our Habitat Helpers events.

At our Habitat Helpers work days, you'll join volunteers from the Bergen - Passaic chapter of the Native Plant Society of New Jersey to care for the native plant habitat at the Trail Conference headquarters.

We learn about native plants and care for the habitat. We plant native plants and seeds, collect seeds, prune native plants, and weed and mulch the gardens.

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.

For volunteers under age 18, please submit a Guardian Consent form to [email protected] prior to the volunteer day or bring the paper form the day of. A parent or guardian must be present for the volunteer day.

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 Pests Surveyor Workshop

A volunteer kneels to take a photo of a findThis workshop will prepare professionals and volunteers to scout for, identify and report Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, a serious pest which may be moving into our region. The biology, identification, potential damage, methods of spread, monitoring and management will be described. The surveyor protocol and iMapInvasives app will be reviewed, which will be used to report the current distribution and abundance (or absence) of SLF.

If SLF is discovered, trainees will be asked to be “boots on the ground” to assist in the detection & prevention of spread in our area.

Identification information will also be provided for Tree of Heaven, Ailanthus altissima, the SLF’s favorite host, as well as information on emerging pests, Asian Longhorned Tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis, and Jumping Worms, Amynthas sp., which are in our region but under-reported.   

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.