Here’s How to Volunteer on The Triple Crown Trails for 2022 National Trails Day

Have you wondered what comes next after you’ve completed your thru-hike? Besides heading out on another thru-hike, many hikers choose to give back to the trails. After a lull in volunteer opportunities due to Covid, the Triple Crown trail organizations are ready to put volunteers to work in maintaining and rehabilitating sections of trails across the country.

This year’s National Trails Day is coming up on June 4th and is a perfect opportunity to plan to give back to the trail. National Trails Day celebrates national scenic and historic trails as well as all trails on public lands and takes place annually on the first Saturday of June. One of the ways to celebrate the 30th annual National Trails Day is to commit to trail service in 2022.

We’ve rounded up a list of some of the many volunteer trail service opportunities along the AT, PCT, and CDT, as well as links to lists of local trail organizations along each of the Triple Crown trails. Find your work opportunity today!

Appalachian Trailvolunteer national trails day

Pennsylvania ATC Essential Trail Maintenance Workshops
June 4, 12, or 18. 9am-5pm

This full-day workshop with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club will introduce new and experienced participants to modern maintenance practices for use on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. With a focus on safety, and based on area conditions, the course will be adapted to include relevant module options that may include: Trail Condition Assessment, Dealing with Water Issues, Brushing, Keeping Hikers on the Centerline, and Marking the Trail.

All tools, instructions, and personal protective equipment will be provided.

Tennessee Eastman – A.T. Maintenance 
Thursdays 8am-5pm

Regular maintenance outings held most Thursdays along the club’s A.T. section in North East Tennessee. On-the-job training, tools, and protective gear provided to allow everyone to quickly engage with the trail. Carpooling available from several places.

Maine Trail Crew – Third Mountain
Multiple dates from June 20 through July 29

A series of multi-day work parties focusing on rebuilding and restoring heavily impacted sections of the Appalachian Trail near Third Mountain. Crews utilize rigging equipment and hand tools to build stone steps and waterbars. This project is identified as difficult/strenuous. Transportation, shelter and meals are provided.

READ NEXT – The Appalachian Trail Needs You (And Your Sweat)

Vermont Volunteer Long Trail Patrol
Weekly, Thursdays to Tuesdays from June 23 through August 2

Crews work Friday through Tuesday in the field in most weather. Crew volunteers arrive at the Mt. Tabor Work Center each Thursday and have a communal dinner with GMC staff. Friday through Monday nights, crews camp near their worksites and share a communal camp kitchen, as well as camp chores.

The GMC provides transportation to the worksite trailhead, food for the crew during the workweek, tools, personal protective equipment, and some group equipment

Virginia Konnarock Crew – Bushnell Knob Rehab
June 24-29 or July 5-10

Part of the A.T. near Bushnell Knob contains badly eroded sections of the Trail. On Saturday morning the crew will pack up and travel from the Sugar Grove basecamp to the backcountry project worksite that is located near the Bushnell Knob.

Crews will focus on improving the sustainability of the tread by replacing and installing log and rock steps, waterbars, and drainages to improve hiker safety and limit resource damage.

Each workday the Crew will be hiking roughly 1.5-miles to the worksite (approximately 3-miles roundtrip). Transportation, shelter and meals are provided.

Maine Trail Crew – Rainbow Lake
Multiple dates from August 22 through September 9

A series of multi-day work parties at Rainbow Lake will include moving and setting large boulders into the path of the Trail. These trail structures are known as stepping stones and they provide hikers with the durable surfaces they need to traverse wet sections of the Trail. Stepping stones can last forever and they enable hikers to remain on the path thus decreasing hiker impacts to the surrounding environment.

This project is identified as a difficult/strenuous with a 6.5-mile backpacking trip to the site. Transportation, shelter and meals are provided.

For a full list of Appalachian Trail clubs and to find many more volunteer opportunities, click here.

Pacific Crest Trail

volunteer national trails day

Southern California Trail Gorillas – National Trails Day Project
June 4 9am-5pm

Join the Trail Gorillas for our special National Trails Day Project! This is a wonderful opportunity to visit some higher and cooler elevations of the PCT and enjoy the Angeles National Forest while improving the PCT experience for hikers and equestrians.

After meeting at the rendezvous point volunteers will caravan up to the Angeles National Forest and work on brushing, tread rehabilitation and maintenance, drainage repair and cleaning, and trash removal.

Bring lunch, snacks and water. Wear long pants and boots. PCTA will provide gloves, tools and hard hats.

Mid-Oregon Volunteers – Minto Pass Logout
June 25-27

Crew will backpack from the Jack Lake Trailhead to Wasco Lake to set up camp, and then proceed to the PCT to log all day Saturday and Sunday, and a 1/2 day on Monday. No previous trail maintenance experience required, but volunteers should be comfortable with backcountry camping and hiking 5-15 miles each day with significant elevation change on steep and/or rugged terrain.

Trip will be self-supporting; crew members will need to provide their own meals.

Mount Hood Chapter – Indian Springs Logout 
July 16-17

Overnight volunteer crosscut crew to tackle storm damage on the trail near Indian Springs. This work party will cover up to 13 miles per day to clear smaller trees and limbs to make it easier for trail users and prep for future logout to tackle the larger logs.

Rustic camping at the trailhead at Indian Springs. Meals will be provided (dinner, breakfast and lunch for the 2nd day).

Washington North 350 Blades – Spectacle Lake Volunteer Vacation
August 26-September 1

A week-long PCTA staff-led project in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness focused on repairing the PCT to an equestrian standard and improving access to the southern portion of the Wilderness. Volunteers will backpack about 8 miles into the backcountry to care for this remote section of trail.

The crew will camp in the vicinity of Delate Creek just north of the PCT from stunning Spectacle Lake. PCTA will provide simple and nutritious meals for the crew starting with dinner on the first day of the project.

Food and tools for the project will be hauled into the backcountry by Three Peaks Outfitters.

White Pass Chapter – Mount Rainier National Park Car Camp
September 16-18

This PCTA staff-led project is planned in partnership with the Mt. Rainier National Park trail staff. Volunteers will work on trail maintenance projects on the PCT and the adjoining Naches Peak Loop Trail south of where the PCT crosses Highway 410.

Trail maintenance will include tread work, building rock structures, and some brush removal. The crew will enjoy camping together at White River Campground. Simple but tasty meals will be provided throughout the weekend by PCTA.

Entrance into the national park and camping will be free for volunteers on the project.

For a full list of Pacific Crest Trail Volunteer groups and to find many more volunteer opportunities, click here.

Continental Divide Trail

Junco Lake Trail Rehabilitation
June 24-26

Our crew will be working between the Columbine Lake area and Junco Lake, Colorado where we will continue to clean up this area that was impacted by a massive wind event, known as a derecho, in 2020. Volunteers will be working on drainage to mitigate erosion control issues, as well as swamping (clearing brush and limbs) from recently cut trees. This is a very popular route for hikers that will benefit greatly from additional maintenance. Breakfast and dinner will be provided.

Big Hole Pass Trail Restoration
July 19-22

After the Trail Creek Fire of 2021, we are in need of some trail restoration and rehabilitation along the CDT north of Big Hole Pass in the Salmon-Challis National Forest. Wildland firefighters drove ATVs along the CDT to fight the 62,000 acre fire which was caused by lightning.

In these areas, our crew will naturalize and restore the Trail back to a singletrack trail. The fire burned many wooden erosion control structures as well, namely waterbars. We hope our volunteer crew will be able to install new waterbars from local lodgepole pine to further mitigate erosion issues and address this priority work a 3/4 mile in from the Big Hole Pass Trailhead. There is also a need for a small CDT reroute where additional erosion is occurring.

Pack your bug spray for pesky horseflies in July and bring extra water!

Brooks Lake Trail Construction
August 22-25

Join us at the beautiful Brooks Lake in the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming to work on a new eight-mile trail relocation of the CDT. The purpose of this project is to reduce trail grade and install drainage structures to improve sustainability and enhance user experience. This will also include building climbing turns and switchbacks.

With the help of mechanized equipment, our volunteer crew will hand finish the trail to bring it up to CDT specifications. Volunteers will also conduct work downhill of the trail – spreading soils and brush to promote drainage, revegetation, and naturalization.

It is important to note this part of the CDT is in the heart of grizzly country. Volunteers are required to provide their own meals and snacks for the duration of the project. CDTC will be providing bear spray for participants.

Ghost Lake Trail Construction 
September 10-13 or 16-19

Alongside the Reserve Range District and New Mexico Volunteers for the Outdoors, CDTC will support a multi-year project to complete a 9.1 mile reroute of the CDT through the northern Gila National Forest between 5 Springs and Ghost Lake. In 2021, the youth corps began to make headway on three miles of construction, with a clear need for growing partnership support to bring more capacity to this high-priority project.

With the help of 12 volunteers across four-day projects, the CDTC will help clear, repair, and restore tread from a wildfire that passed through this area and help build a new trail that will avoid excessively rocky areas and uphold the scenic beauty of the CDT.

Breakfast and dinner will be provided on September 10th, 11th, & 12th. Only breakfast will be provided on the 13th. Volunteers are required to come with their own lunch and snacks for all days.

For a full list of Continental Divide Trail organizations and to find many more volunteer opportunities, click here.

Click here to find National Trails Day volunteer opportunities and events near you.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?