Appalachian Trail Volunteer Opportunities
By: Leah Brodsky, Social Media Editor
Volunteers are the lifeblood of the Appalachian Mountain Club. For example, volunteers keep the Appalachian Trail (AT) well-marked and passable. Each volunteer takes responsibility for a 2-4 mile segment of the trail. There are many types of AT volunteers: trail maintenance volunteers, corridor boundary volunteers, natural heritage monitoring volunteers, shelter and campsite adopters and AT Community volunteers. Maintenance volunteers clean up the trail, such as brush trimming and blazing. Corridor volunteer monitor the use of AT corridor lands and maintain the boundary lines. And natural heritage volunteers are assigned a rare or threatened plant, count them, and then report on their health and numbers. There are lots of different opportunities to help maintain and protect the AT and it's surrounding landscape.
Volunteering is a great way to spend time in nature and enjoy the beauty of some of our region’s most pristine places. The AMC provides training as well as tools, like weedwackers and loppers, to its trail volunteers. Even if you don’t know much about botany or nature, you can still volunteer. Maintaining a trail isn’t as difficult as you might think, and an experienced AMC volunteer will join you on the trail and guide what to do. People of all ages can volunteer. The AT is supported by volunteers ranging from 18 to 80 years old! We also have group volunteering sessions where you’ll collaborate to build and maintain critical pieces of trail infrastructure, such as campsites, shelters, and stream bridges. By volunteering on the AT you can meet new friends while being active outdoors.
The AMC has just restarted its trail maintenance projects, with special training and precautions to ensure volunteer safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’d like a fun way to experience the solitude of the woods and nature, or work together on a group project, contact the Berkshire Chapter AT committee by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll see you on the trail!