Courses

Read descriptions of all Trail U courses below.
Course Title Course Description Course Level
Tool Maintenance Workshop

Well maintained tools get the job done.  Tool maintenance is cleaning, sharpening, and maintaining your tools so you can get the most out of them.

This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills of utilizing wire brushes and wire wheels to clean, bastard files and grinding wheels to sharpen, and the types of oils used to lubricate your tools.

Please register.  Space is limited.

Tool Use and Safety Workshop

Group of alternative break students from Buffalo State University quarrying stone with rock bars.Tool use and safety is using tools as they were designed to be used.

This course helps you gain or brush up on how to use mechanical advantage to your benefit and transport and use tools in the safest manner possible.  Learn the ins and outs of McLeods, rock bars, pick mattocks, cutter mattocks, hazel hoes, rogue hoes, shovels, hand saws, loppers, and hammers.

Please register.  Space is limited.

Trail Assessment Workshop

Graphic of erosion occurring on a trail.  Trail assessment is the process of evaluating trail tread, structures, and alignment conditions in order to understand how to best maintain and improve trails.

This course helps you gain or brush up on your “trail eyes.”  It helps you spot the difference between sustainable and failing trails so you learn best practices for creating enduring trails.

Please register.  Space is limited.

Trail Chair Training Workshop

New York - New Jersey Trail Conference logoTrail Chair Training will ensure that you have the resources you need to be able to develop and maintain positive working relationships with agency partners, land managers, trail supervisors, and trail maintainers. 

 

This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills needed to be a successful and inspiring Trail Conference Trail Chair volunteer.  Training will be provided through discussion, case studies, and hands-on exercises.  You will learn how to develop and tap into resources that will help you handle your on/off trail responsibilities including, but not limited to, annual work plan meeting, coordinating with trail supervisors and trail crew chiefs, approving and submitting requests for trail work, and providing up to date trail information for publications and maps.   

 

Please register.  Space is limited.

Trail Design & Layout Workshop

Design and layout of the Redback & Eagle multi-use loops in Sterling Forest State ParkTrail layout and design is the practice of combining art and science to create a route that keeps people on it, water off of it, and is harmonious with nature.

This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills and techniques necessary to design trails looking at the bigger picture of connectivity, character, and positive user experience.  After a sustainable design has been reached, the course participant will learn how to lay it out on the ground taking into consideration grades, soil types, points of interest, construction requirements, and water flow.

Please register.  Space is limited.

Trail Maintenance Workshop

Woman painting trail blaze on treeTrail Maintenance is clearing, cleaning, and blazing.  Trail maintainers use small hand tools to clip and cut brush out of the trail, remove debris from drainage structures, and paint or hang the markers used for route finding also known as blazes.

This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills necessary to a Trail Conference Trail Maintainer Volunteer.  Skills include how to clip trail corridor, clean drainage structures, proper blazing techniques, and reporting trail conditions.

 

Know Before You Go

  • Please come prepared with plenty of water, lunch and snacks, work gloves, and glasses or sunglasses for eye protection. Please wear long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes.
  • Please read over our COVID-19 Protocols and be prepared to follow them on the trail. 

Required Forms

  • For all volunteers, please submit a [VOLUNTEER SERVICE AGREEMENT FORM]. [INCLUDE FORM LINK AND INSTRUCTIONS].
  • 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.
Trail Structures Workshop

Gateway on trail leading to a boardwalk.Trail Structures are built to make a trail safer, more sustainable, and more enjoyable.  Types of trail structures include bridges, stairs, walls, stepping stones, culverts, etc.  Structures may be built with materials on site or imported, with stone, timber, metal, or plastics.

This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills to build safe, long-lasting trail structures that fit into their surroundings and provide a positive user experience.  You will also learn why and where structures are applicable.

Please register.  Space is limited.

Trail Structures Workshop: Drainage

Ever wonder why some trails are more eroded than others? Ever felt like the trail you were following was a stream bed? Take this workshop to find out why and learn how this can be prevented!

 

Drainage structures help to shed water off of our trails, which reduces erosion and increases sustainability. There are several different types of drainage structures such as dips, knicks, swales, and waterbars.

 

In this workshop we will focus on [TYPE OF DRAINAGE STRUCTURE]. Workshop participants will learn how drainage problems can develop on sections of trail and how to mitigate them with drainage construction and maintenance. Skills taught will include assessing trail problems, drain construction, and drain maintenance.

 

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.

Trail Structures Workshop: Native Stone

Trail structures are built to make a trail safer, more sustainable, and more enjoyable. Types of stone trail structures include stairs, walls, stepping stones, culverts, etc. Trail structures may be built with materials on site or imported, but many of the stone structures you see on trails in this area are built from native stone found on site.

 

In this workshop we will be focusing on [INSERT TYPE OF STONE STRUCTURE]. This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills to build safe, long-lasting [INSERT TYPE OF STONE STRUCTURE] that fit into their surroundings and provide a positive user experience. You will also learn why and where structures are applicable.

 

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

Trail Structures Workshop: Timber

Trail Structures are built to make a trail safer, more sustainable, and more enjoyable.  Types of timber trail structures include bridges, stairs, boardwalk, etc. Trail structures may be built with materials on site or imported.

 

In this workshop we will focus on [INSERT TYPE OF TIMBER STRUCTURE]. This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills to build safe, long-lasting [INSERT TYPE OF TIMBER STRUCTURE] that fit into their surroundings and provide a positive user experience. You will also learn why and where structures are applicable.

 

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

Trail Supervisor Training Workshop

New York - New Jersey Trail Conference logoTrail Supervisor Training is a tool kit of supervisor skills necessary to managing Trail Conference volunteer trail maintainers.

 

This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills necessary to be a Trail Conference volunteer supervisor.  Training will be provided through discussion, case studies, and hands-on exercises.  You will learn how to develop and tap into resources that will help you handle your on/off trail responsibilities.  

Please register.  Space is limited.

Train the Trainer Workshop

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference logo


Train the Trainer is learning new methods to engage and educate adult learners, and how to prepare for instructing a course. 

 

This course helps you gain or brush up on the skills necessary to becoming a Trail Conference instructor volunteer.  You will learn how to manage course logistics and class time, integrate materials, and develop teaching aids to create a positive, engaging learning environment.  You will have the opportunity to practice instruction and refine your techniques using peer evaluation and feedback. 

 

Please register.  Space is limited.