Work Safe

COVID-19 Guidelines for Volunteers

Guidance for Managing Volunteer Events and Safety During the COVID-19 Outbreak (Updated 3.24.20)

COVID-19 (commonly referred to as “Coronavirus”) is a highly contagious respiratory virus that has been diagnosed in the majority of the states along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Due to the high risk of spreading this illness in group settings, the ATC has developed the following guidelines for volunteer maintenance trips and events. The health and wellbeing of the greater A.T. community is our top priority.

The ATC requests that A.T. clubs suspend all trail-related activities until further notice to give the country time to realize the full impact of this virus.


The work of maintaining the Trail is not essential at this period of time. Furthermore, ATC has requested that all visitors stay home and off of the A.T. until further notice. Given that states are increasingly closing non-essential business and issuing ‘stay indoors’ orders, the work of maintaining the Trail can not be sustained during this pandemic.

Volunteering is prohibited on these sections of Trail until further notice:*

  • On APPA NPS lands and state lands where volunteers are working under Volunteers in Parks (VIP) coverage from NPS. See the NPS release here.
  • The 56 overnight shelters and 75 privies administered by the NPS Appalachian National Scenic Trail, as well as the Trail itself in the area known as the Virginia Triple Crown, from VA Route 624 to VA Route 652.
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Glenwood-Pedlar District and Eastern Divide Ranger District of the George Washington-Jefferson National Forests.
  • Nantahala and Pisgah Forests, including the districts of Nantahala, Tusquittee, Cheoah, and Appalachian
  • Unaka and Watauga Ranger Districts of the Cherokee National Forest.
  • At overnight sites (shelters and privies) on the lands of Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
  • At overnight sites (shelters/campsites and privies) on the lands of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

*This list will updated as orders or closures expand.


Download a printable PDF of this information by clicking the button below. (Updated 3.27.20)