Trail Steward Program

Trail Conference Stewards Are Ambassadors for Safe, Enjoyable, and Responsible Recreation Outdoors

Our Stewards have been bringing face-to-face user education and sustainable, on-the-ground solutions to some of the region’s most popular outdoor destinations since 2013. They are key in protecting the ecological integrity of these special places being threatened by issues such as misuse and high usage. By encouraging public participation, Stewards are a solution multiplier. Our Steward program is possible through the support of our generous donors and sponsors.

Trail Stewards

Weekends and holidays, May through October, Trail Stewards educate and assist the public in the safe, responsible, and enjoyable use of trails and parks. Our Stewards provide helpful outreach and information about park regulations, hiker safety, preparedness, and other best practices. In addition to readying hikers, Stewards help discourage and mitigate misuse of trails and the surrounding lands through their education and public relations work.

Stewards field questions from visitors, promote pre-hike planning, and teach Leave No Trace principles. Stewards are intimately familiar with the trail system, as well as local towns, in an effort to help promote tourism. They share trail information and are trained in Wilderness First Aid. Stewards promote volunteer opportunities to encourage further engagement in protecting trails and the land they traverse. Their work helps to attract and inform a diverse audience in outdoor recreation and stewardship.

Meet Our Stewards on the Trail

  • Ashokan Rail Trail in Boiceville, N.Y.
  • Appalachian Trail at Bear Mountain State Park, Orange and Rockland Counties, N.Y.
  • Breakneck Ridge in Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve, Putnam and Dutchess Counties, N.Y.
  • Catskill Mountains: Burrough's Loop Range, Blackhead Range, North Point, and Giant Ledge, Ulster and Greene Counties, N.Y.
  • Croton Gorge Unique Area, Westchester County, N.Y.
  • Minnewaska State Park Preserve at Gertrude's Nose and Verkeerderkill Falls in Ulster County, N.Y.
  • Wawayanda State Park, Ramapo Mountain State Forest, and Worthington State Forest in New Jersey

Trail Steward Reports | 2022

The reports below highlight all the great work the Trail Stewards have accomplished this year. Their projects and experience cover everything from collecting data and analyzing trends to trail building and restoration, outreach and education, and invasive species management.

The 2021 Steward Program would not be possible without support from the following: