Organizational Mission

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Primary Purpose

Highly qualified seasonal crew staff are recruited each year to complete routine Trail maintenance, major rehabilitation/repair, and Trail relocation projects. 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.

All positions are seasonal. Wages vary according to positions and individual qualifications. The pay is competitive; from $16-$20 for crew leaders, $14-$16 for assistant crew leaders, and $16-20 for camp coordinators. Most crews and positions will include room and board. Cold, wet weather and a remote environment are possible. 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 the crew program. See position descriptions for details. COVID-19 vaccination will be required for this position as a condition of employment. Medical and religious exemptions may apply.

The following are the trail crews that will be hiring in 2022:

Konnarock Crew—based in southwest Virginia; operates from mid-March through mid-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. Food and housing are provided for all staff. (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 2022: Two Crew Leaders, two Assistant Crew Leaders, and two Camp Coordinators (one full-time, one part-time).


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. Food and housing are provided for all staff.  (Note: The Crew Leader and Assistant Crew Leader are required to have significant experience leading Trail crews in very remote locations. Current crosscut-saw and Wilderness First Aid [WFA] certifications 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 2022: One Crew Leader, one Assistant Crew Leader, and one Camp Coordinator.


Rocky Top Crewbased in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; operates from late August through October. Cold weather and a remote environment are 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. Food and housing are provided for all staff.  (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 2022: One Crew Leader, one Assistant Crew Leader, and one Camp Coordinator.


Mid-Atlantic Crew—based in south-central Pennsylvania, the Mid-Atlantic crew runs from mid-August through late October. Projects may be 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. Food and housing are provided for all staff. (Note: Potential for late March through October season for Konnarock staff who continue on to the Mid-Atlantic Crew.)

Anticipated hiring in 2022: One Crew Leader, one Assistant Crew Leader, and one Camp Coordinator.


Position Descriptions


The ATC Trail Crew Leader will implement construction and maintenance projects on the Appalachian Trail which may include relocations/new construction, heavy trail rehabilitation, facility rehab, and routine maintenance. The Crew Leader is responsible for overall field management of the volunteer crew, including skills training, group morale/well-being, backcountry living, transportation, ensuring high quality work, meeting project goals, 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 partner agencies.
  • Ensure volunteer trail crew members are trained in and implement best practices in Trail design, construction, reconstruction, and maintenance according to ATC standards.
  • 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, projects, submit timely biweekly timesheets, and perform other duties as assigned.
  • Ensure purchase of food, supplies, gear, and materials follow ATC’s financial controls and expenses stay within the weekly crew budget.
  • Travel on foot over rough terrain and for long distances while carrying equipment in possible inclement weather.
  • Follow and practice ATC COVID mitigation measures.


  • High-school diploma
  • Excellent driving record (driving background check required to operate ATC vehicles).
  • At least three seasons of experience in trail construction and rehabilitation.
  • Ability to work without direct supervision while encouraging cooperation among a crew 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 crew members.
  • Training or Education in natural resource management or related field.
  • Leave No Trace trainer preferred
  • Sawyer Certification – chainsaw and/or crosscut sawyer highly preferred
  • Current first-aid and CPR certification (Wilderness First Aid or Wilderness First Responder)
  • Previous A.T. volunteer experience; experience managing volunteers
  • Knowledge of the Appalachian Trail and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy



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, purchasing crew food and supplies, assisting with crew vehicle maintenance, etc.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Plan menus for Trail crew meals in the field & at the base camp, 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.
  • Provide basic facility upkeep such as logging minor repairs, coordinating with volunteers, cleaning, running dehumidifiers, submitting work orders, etc.
  • 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.


  • A high-school diploma
  • Driver’s license with an excellent driving record.
  • Excellent communication, organizational, administrative skills.
  • Proven ability to interact positively with the public and fellow staff.
  • Food preparation and menu-planning experience.
  • Experience working with volunteers.
  • Experience with facility and equipment upkeep and 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.


To Apply: 

Deadline to apply is January 30, 2022

Click here to apply through our ADP portal.

Please submit an application packet that consists of a resume, list of three references, and a cover letter. Incomplete application packets may not be submitted for review. Cover letters and resume need to provide detail on:

  • Specific crew and positions you’re applying for; months which you’re available
  • Why you are interested in ATC Trail Crew staff position(s)
  • How you found out about this position
  • Previous trailwork experience
  • Any relevant and current certifications (chainsaw/crosscut, first aid/WFA/WFR, LNT, etc.)

Questions can be e-mailed to:

Josh Kloehn, ATC Trail Operations Manager – South, [email protected]


ATC Equal Employment Opportunity Statement

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (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, sexual orientation, 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.

 Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Identity Statement