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 Trail crew leaders are recruited each year to lead crews that complete routine Trail maintenance, major rehabilitation/repair, and Trail relocation projects in both front-country and remote backcountry settings along the Appalachian Trail from Georgia through New York. These critical positions manage trail crews, train and supervise crew member volunteers and staff to complete high quality work, ensure crew is operating safely both in camp and on the worksite, and respond to emergency situations. Applicants must demonstrate responsibility, initiative, effective communication skills, and self-motivation. They must be able to work both independently with minimal supervision and cooperatively as a member of a team.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Implement Trail construction, reconstruction, and maintenance projects in cooperation with A.T clubs and partner agencies.
  • Ensure volunteer and/or staff 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 biweekly timesheets, weekly hour and project reports, process and submit photos and crew narratives, and perform other administrative duties as assigned.
  • Ensure purchases of food, supplies, gear, and materials follow ATC’s financial controls and that expenses stay within the weekly crew budget.
  • Travel on foot over rough terrain and for long distances while carrying equipment in possible inclement weather.


  • Two or more seasons of front/backcountry camping, or working outdoors
  • At least one season of crew leadership
  • At least one season of experience in building/rebuilding trail: constructing new sidehill, stone steps or cribbing, log steps or cribbing, improving drainage, addressing trail erosion, etc.
  • Ability to manage and be responsible for all aspects of a trail crew
  • Experience in working with volunteers of all ages, backgrounds and skill levels
  • In good mental and physical health; ability to hike up to 10 miles per day in steep, mountainous terrain
  • Ability to carry personal and group work & camping gear to backcountry project
  • Experience recreating or working in inclement weather
  • Valid driver’s license, with excellent driving record
  • Experience driving heavy-duty trucks, passenger vans on interstates and gated USFS roads
  • Ability to manage and provide a safe working environment at all times
  • Competent working without direct supervision
  • Willingness to participate in additional required training – USFS chainsaw & crosscut saw certification, WFR/WFA, advanced rockwork, rigging, safe driving, etc.


  • Crew leaders: $17-20
  • Assistant crew leaders: $17-19
  • All positions will have food provided during work weeks; some positions and locations may offer room and board outside of work weeks

Positions Available & Dates:

  • Smokies/Tennessee: 1 Crew Leader, 1 Assistant Crew Leader; May 16 to October 27, 2023Dates TBD
  • Virginia-Pennsylvania: 1 Crew Leader; March 20 – November 8, 2023
  • Virginia: 1 Crew Leader, 2 Assistant Crew Leaders; March 20 – August 15, 2023

To Apply:

Please click the button below to apply through our ADP application portal.

Click here to apply

Applicants are strongly encouraged to upload an updated resume and answers to the specific application questions. We may request you to provide up to three references throughout the recruitment process. 

Applications will be accepted until positions are filled, with preference given to those received before January 27, 2023.


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.