Volunteer Opportunities

VOLUNTEER OPENING

Help protect the historic Darlington Schoolhouse. We are seeking a volunteer with an interest in historic preservation. The Trail Conference wants help developing a long-term post-construction maintenance plan for the Darlington Schoolhouse buildings and grounds.


 

VOLUNTEER OPENING

Trail Stewards are essential in helping discourage and mitigate misuse of the trails and the surrounding lands of popular hiking destinations such as the stunning Gertrude's Nose in Minnewaska, Harriman's Bear Mountain and Slide Mountain in the Catskills. Join the Trail Conference as a volunteer Trail Steward and inspire everyone who enjoys these trails to have a role to play in caring for them.

VOLUNTEER OPENING

Join one of our Trail Crews for a day or a full season restoring and building sustainable trails for all!

VOLUNTEER OPENING

Looking for something to do off-trail that still makes a difference? Come work with the Invasives Strike Force as a data entry volunteer! Help us maintain our database and feel good about contributing to the protection of our native habitats.

VOLUNTEER OPENING

Help research grant opportunities for the Trail Conferences! You can support the Trail Conference by identifying corporations and foundations with missions and values that align with the Trail Conference programs. Be part of the team that makes this happen! 

VOLUNTEER OPENING

Help educate the public about the Trail Conference and our trails through our maps and books! You can support both the Trail Conference and local businesses by placing our products in their stores. Be part of the team that makes this happen! 

VOLUNTEER OPENING

Have a knack for planning events and love hiking? A spot on the Trail Conference’s Event Committee is the place for you! 

VOLUNTEER OPENING

Be the greeting face of your favorite organization!

VOLUNTEER OPENING

Have a passion for the Appalachian Trail? Become a monitor of the trail boundaries that surround this historic, beloved trail.

E.g., 08/21/2019
Worktrip

Ever wonder how trails are built?
If you aren’t afraid to get a little dirty, this hands-on look at how great trails get their start is for you!

Worktrip

Ever wonder how trails are built?
If you aren’t afraid to get a little dirty, this hands-on look at how great trails get their start is for you!

Worktrip

Do you enjoy birds, butterflies, and wildflowers? Would you like to help protect them? Come help us remove invasive plants from this beautiful park!

Worktrip

Got muddy boots?
Ever felt like the trail you were following was a stream bed?
Take this workshop to find out what to do about it!

Worktrip

The public is invited to come help clear two trails in Mongaup State Park so that they become welcoming again!

Worktrip

Come help us care for the native plant landscape at the Trail Conference headquarters! Sign up here.

Worktrip

Ever wonder how trails are built?
If you aren’t afraid to get a little dirty, this hands-on look at how great trails get their start is for you!

Worktrip

Ever wonder how trails are built?
If you aren’t afraid to get a little dirty, this hands-on look at how great trails get their start is for you!

Worktrip

Wet Area Stepping Stones, Wawayanda State Park

Worktrip

Come help us care for the native plant landscape at the Trail Conference headquarters! Sign up here.

Worktrip

Wet Area Stepping Stones, Wawayanda State Park

Worktrip

Improve Stream Crossings, Stokes State Forest

Worktrip

Come help us care for the native plant landscape at the Trail Conference headquarters! Sign up here.

Worktrip

Remediate a muddy area, Appalachian Trail

Worktrip

Do you enjoy birds, butterflies, and wildflowers? Would you like to help protect them? Come help us remove invasive plants from this beautiful park!

Worktrip

Help clear the Red Trail at the Neversink Gorge.

Worktrip

Come help us care for the native plant landscape at the Trail Conference headquarters! Sign up here.

Worktrip

Remediate a muddy area, Appalachian Trail

Worktrip

Do you enjoy birds, butterflies, and wildflowers? Would you like to help protect them? Come help us remove invasive plants from this beautiful park!

Worktrip

Remediate eroding/subsiding trail edge, Appalachian Trail

E.g., 08/21/2019
Workshop

Whether you're a seasoned runner or new to the trails, learn the basics, hone your skills, and enjoy the freedom of trail running with the Trail Conference and our friends at Merrell and MovNat.

Workshop

Ever wonder how the trails stay open and passable? Where do those colored marks on the trees come from? Take this workshop to find out!

Workshop

Join expert trail builders in this work day to plan and lay out a future trail building project.

Workshop

Whether you're an experienced maintainer or new on the trails, join us in ensuring that the trails stay clear and passable for the enjoyment of all trail lovers!

Workshop

Wilderness First Aid course offered at the Welch Trail Education Center. Course fee required; overnight accommodations are available at no extra charge.

Workshop

Do you manage a natural area? Do you need to know more about how to identify and manage invasive species? Take this workshop and receive pesticide applicator credits as well.

Workshop

Whether you're an experienced maintainer or new on the trails, join us on beautiful Schunnemunk Mountain in ensuring that the trails stay clear and passable for the enjoyment of all trail lovers!

Workshop

Join us for a jam-packed info session on Breakneck Ridge, the iconic hiking destination just north of NYC.

Workshop

Ever wonder how the trails stay open and passable? Where do those colored marks on the trees come from? Take this workshop to find out!

Our Volunteers Rock

Building, Maintaining, and Protecting Trails

The Trail Conference is supported by more than 1,700 volunteers who annually donate over 93,000 hours of time to keep trails open, safe, and enjoyable for the public.

Our volunteers are hard at work in the field...

  • Building new trails and rehabilitating old ones 
  • Keeping trails accessible for fellow users
  • Monitoring and removing invasive species

... and off-trail

  • Protecting trail lands through advocacy, conservation, and stewardship efforts
  • Using their professional skills to help support our mission

Outside or inside, close to home or at your go-to weekend trail destination, we aim to connect you with the volunteer opportunity that is right for you. Tell us how you'd like to be involved!

Adopt A Trail
There's trail out there that needs you! Volunteers who "adopt" a trail do the on-the-ground work to ensure it remains open and safe for fellow users. 
Get Out With Us
We're a community of volunteers who build and maintain hiking trails. Grab your workgloves and spent a day on a trail crew. Or, we can match your group to the right trail project.

FAQs

Yes! Adventure seekers who aren’t afraid to get dirty can share their love of trails by giving back either as an individual or a group. Our trail crews, Trail Love Days, and special trail projects are great for a group of friends or a corporate outing. Email [email protected] for details.

Minimum Volunteer Age

There is no minimum volunteer age to volunteer with the Trail Conference, however not all volunteer opportunities are appropriate for younger children. All volunteers under 18 must be accompanied by a signed parental permission slip or a parent. We obey the two-adult rule: adult leaders must have prior background checks and that no child is ever with only one adult. Because of this rule, some work trips may not be able to accommodate youth volunteers.

Yes! Take a look at our Find a Volunteer Opportunity map to see which trails we’re improving on which dates and how you can help.

Nope. If you don’t want to volunteer outside, the Trail Conference has many important and meaningful opportunities that can be done from our headquarters at the Darlington Schoolhouse or even from your own home.

Our trail crews and event leaders will provide you with everything you need for a great day on the trails—from gloves, hardhats, and eye protection, to shovels and pick mattocks.  For those who want to adopt a trail to protect it for others to enjoy, you will be responsible for purchasing a few small hand tools to get the job done right.

Membership dues helps support our ability to keep trails and trail lands protected. Without support from trail users, we would not be able to do all of the great work that our trails need.  While membership is not required for many of our volunteer opportunities, it is greatly appreciated. Please see Become a Member for details.

To ensure that you have an amazing volunteer experience, we offer both formal workshops that include classroom and field components, as well as “on the job training” opportunities. Our award-winning Trail University courses, taught by our awesome trail professionals and volunteers, will give you all the skills you need to help improve trails.

The Trail Conference encourages youth to participate on trail projects and we often work with Scout groups. It is the scout’s responsibility to identify and perform the preliminary planning for a project. To help offset some of the costs, the Elizabeth Levers Memorial Grant is available to support youth projects on trails maintained by the Trail Conference. The best way to start is to contact the Regional Program Coordinator for your area. See About Us for staff directory.

Trail Maintainers adopt one or more sections of a trail checking periodically, clearing debris, checking blazes, and generally ensuring that the sections are accessible.