Seasonal Trail Crew Staff – Trailwide

Dec 5, 2018, 16:38 PM
Location : Great Smoky Mountains National Park, VA, PA, VT, ME
Department : Conservation
Supervisor : Regional ATC staff, Green Mountain Club, Maine A.T. Club
Type : Seasonal
Position Summary:

Organizational Mission:

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. 


Primary Purpose

Highly qualified seasonal Crew Leaders, Assistant Crew Leaders, Camp Coordinators, a Maine Field Coordinator, and Maine Interns are recruited each year to support and lead volunteer Trail crews that complete routine Trail maintenance, major rehabilitation/repair, and Trail relocation projects. They may be hired and managed by ATC or by its affiliated clubs or agencies. Applicants must demonstrate responsibility, initiative, and self-motivation. They must be able to work both independently with minimal supervision and cooperatively as a member of a team. Crew staff applicants should demonstrate the interest and ability to contribute to the public-service effort of working on a National Scenic Trail and to promote volunteerism and membership in ATC and its club affiliates.

All positions are seasonal and vary in length. Wages vary according to positions and individual qualifications. The pay is competitive, and some positions include room and board. Crew staff may be able to extend their employment by working for more than one crew. Those interested will need to interview with the manager of each crew. See position descriptions for details.


The following are the trail crews that will be hiring in 2019:

Konnarock Crew—based in southwest Virginia; operates from mid-March through early August. Projects are in Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia and involve new trail construction, and heavy treadway rehabilitation. Crew Leaders must have significant Trail-construction experience and demonstrate excellent back-country leadership skills. Assistant Crew Leaders should demonstrate either strong outdoor leadership and/or Trail-building skills. (Note: It may be possible for Konnarock crew leaders and assistant crew leaders to work an extended season if positions are available on Rocky Top or Mid-Atlantic Trail Crews.) 

Anticipated hiring in 2019: Two Crew Leaders, two Assistant Crew Leaders, and one Camp Coordinator.

Smokies Wilderness Elite A.T. Crew (S.W.E.A.T.)based in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the S.W.E.A.T. crew begins with training in mid-May and operates from June until mid-August. The crew’s primary responsibilities are the most remote sections of the A.T. in the Park. Be ready for long hikes in and a remote work environment performing cyclical maintenance tasks like brush cutting, re-digging sidehill Trail, and the construction of steps and erosion control structures. The crew works in coordination with the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club and the National Park Service. (Note: The Crew Leader and Assistant Crew Leader are required to have significant experience leading Trail crews in very remote locations. Current crosscut-saw certification and Wilderness First Aid [WFA] certification are highly desirable—ATC will provide training toward those certifications. Also, there is potential for an extended season for S.W.E.A.T. staff that continue to the Rocky Top Trail Crew.) 

Anticipated hiring in 2019: One Crew Leader and one Assistant Crew Leader.

Rocky Top Crewbased in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; operates from late August through October. Cold weather and a remote environment is possible. The crew concentrates on rehabilitation of the A.T. where it is open to equestrian use and works in coordination with the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club and the National Park Service. (Note: Potential for 25 weeks of employment for Konnarock or S.W.E.A.T. staff who continue on to the Rocky Top Crew.)

Anticipated hiring in 2019: One Crew Leader and one Assistant Crew Leader.

Mid-Atlantic Crew—based in south-central Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic crew runs from mid-August through late October. Projects may be located in northern Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Projects are coordinated with the National Park Service, state agencies, and local A.T. clubs. (Note: Potential for 25 weeks of employment for Konnarock staff who continue on to the Mid-Atlantic Crew.)

Anticipated hiring in 2019: One Crew Leader and one Camp Coordinator (this Camp Coordinator position incorporates some of the responsibilities and skills of an Assistant Crew leader).

Volunteer Long Trail Patrol – based in Southern Vermont; operates mid-May through late August. Projects are in the Green Mountain National Forest on the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail and major side trails. Most projects involve rebuilding trail with stone and woodwork or clearing corridor for new trail. Crew is made of up to seven volunteers in five-day shifts. Staff schedule is five days and nights on, two days and nights off. Day-off housing is provided. Crew staff are hired directly through and supervised by the Green Mountain Club Field Programs department. Note: a separate application is required for these positions. More information and application are at: (Note: Potential for season to extend to Mid-October if positions are available in other GMC Long Trail Patrol crews or in the Backcountry Caretaker program.)

Anticipated hiring in 2019: Please refer directly to Green Mountain Club website.

Maine Trail Crew – based in central Maine, the Maine crew runs from mid-May through mid-August. This crew works on remote projects along 267 miles of the Trail.  Most projects involve rebuilding the trail with stone steps and stone waterbars.  Griphoist rigging systems are used to collect and transport stone to the trail.  The crew is made up of 1 to 6-week volunteers.  Crew staff are hired and supervised by Lester Kenway of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club. Food and housing are provided for all staff and interns.  More information is at

Anticipated hiring in 2019:  One Field Coordinator, One Crew Camp Coordinator, Two Crew Leaders, Two Assistant Crew Leaders and Two Student Interns.

Field Coordinator will coordinate multiple trail crews working on the Appalachian Trail in Maine.  Duties will include making plans for the summer season, teaching trail skills to program staff and volunteers, joining and supporting the crews on the trail, making inventories of trail conditions, submitting reports, and maintaining housing facilities/equipment.

Interns will be an essential part of the crew. Interns will build trail work, outdoor living and leadership skills.  They will experience some of the most pristine, remote sections of Maine’s Appalachian Trail.   Projects will focus on rebuilding and restoring heavily impacted sections of the Appalachian Trail.  Crews will utilize Griphoist® rigging equipment, and hand tools to build stone steps, waterbars and retaining walls to repair the Appalachian Trail. A stipend will be provided.

Essential Duties/Responsibilities:


ATC Crew Leaders implement projects including trail rehabilitation and relocations and construction and maintenance of related facilities on the Appalachian Trail. Crew Leaders are responsible for overall field management of volunteer work crews, including skills training, group morale/well-being, backcountry living, and risk management. ATC Crew Leaders work without continual direct supervision and must rely on their own abilities to manage projects.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Implement Trail construction, reconstruction, and maintenance projects in cooperation with A.T clubs and agencies.
  • Train volunteer-crew members and participating club members in Trail design, construction, reconstruction, and maintenance according to ATC standards, and instruct such volunteers in all phases of safety management.
  • Ensure safe and sanitary conditions at the camps and work sites, transport crews safely, and respond appropriately to any emergency situations that may arise.
  • Promote an atmosphere in which all crew members feel welcomed, motivated, safe, and included, and where participation and contributions from all are valued and appreciated.
  • Follow the direction of designated supervisors with respect to duties, logistics, timetables, and projects, submit timely biweekly timesheets, and perform other duties as assigned.
  • Travel on foot over rough terrain and for long distances while carrying equipment.


Assistant Crew Leaders are responsible for assisting the Crew Leaders with the duties and responsibilities listed above. They may have less experience, but generally should have the same skills as those required for Crew Leaders. Assistant Crew Leaders are encouraged to grow and gain skills and experience to become future Crew Leaders.


Camp Coordinators are critical to the effective operation of quality crew programs. They serve as hosts to the volunteers and are responsible for all the activities necessary to ensure smooth operation of ATC's crew camps and work centers, including welcoming and orienting crew volunteers.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan menus for Trail crew meals in the field & at the base camp, and supervise & conduct meal preparation while the crews are at base camp.
  • Purchase food and supplies for Trail crews cost effectively, using advance-planning, bulk-purchasing, vendor discounts, and other means.
  • Support Crew Leaders by assisting in arrangements for repairs and adjustments to vehicles and tools and providing other assistance as requested.
  • Assist with program duties, record-keeping, and financial management, including managing the crew checking account and staying within budget.
  • Ensure safe, clean, and environmentally sound conditions at the base camp, and promote high volunteer morale.
  • Greet and orient newly arriving crew members to crew life at the base camp and assign lodging space.
  • Assist volunteers in planning recreational activities on their days off.
  • Coordinate flight/bus transportation of volunteers to and from the base camp.


Crew Leader Qualifications:

  • High-school diploma and an excellent driving record.
  • Experience and skill in trail construction and rehabilitation.
  • Ability to work without direct supervision while encouraging cooperation among volunteers in a primitive setting.
  • Commitment to the AT and resource protection efforts.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experience and proficiency in working with diverse groups of people, and a strong desire to motivate and empower volunteers.
  • Training in natural-resources management or related field.
  • Leave No Trace trainer
  • Sawyer Certification - chainsaw and/or crosscut sawyer
  • Current first-aid and CPR certification (Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder)
  • Previous A.T. volunteer experience
  • Knowledge of the Appalachian Trail and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Assistant Trail Crew Leader and Camp Coordinator Qualifications

  • A high-school diploma and an excellent driving record.
  • Excellent communication, organizational, administrative, and education skills.
  • Proven ability to interact positively with the public and others.
  • Food preparation and menu-planning experience.
  • Experience working with volunteers.
  • Experience with facility, equipment, and tool maintenance.
  • Commitment to the A.T. and resource protection efforts.
  • Knowledge of the Appalachian Trail and ATC.
  • Hospitality experience.
  • Current CPR and first-aid or Wilderness First Aid certification.


Physical Demands:
Work Environment:
To Apply:


Click on the Click Here to Apply button and follow the prompts. All application submissions need to include a resume, list of three references, and a cover letter. Cover letters should detail:

  • Why you are interested in ATC Trail Crew staff position(s)
  • How you found out about this position
  • Previous trail work experience
  • Your desired Trail Crew and position

Questions can be e-mailed to:
Josh Kloehn, ATC VARO Resource Manager, [email protected]
Deadline to apply is January 14, 2019

ATC Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

ATC encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness with all employees and volunteers to enable participation and contributions to their fullest potential. We are committed to being a diverse and inclusive organization, and recognize that diversity contributes to an effective and successful organizational culture and mission. The ATC prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and/or expression), national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, political affiliation, union membership, or any other status protected by the laws and regulations in the locations where we operate.

Position Type : Careers - Seasonal