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Konnarock Trail Crew

Konnarock is the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s flagship crew program, founded in 1983 and named after its original base camp in southwest Virginia. The crew works on the Appalachian Trail from Rockfish Gap, near Waynesboro, Virginia, to the Trail’s southern terminus at Springer Mountain in Georgia. The program is a joint venture of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the 12 southern Trail clubs, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service.

At Konnarock, volunteers of diverse ages, backgrounds, and experience levels work together to build durable trail that will last for generations. After five days of working as a team, learning new skills, and living in the backcountry both the crew and the trail is transformed. No experience is necessary, but you must be 18 years or older. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy provides training, equipment, and room and board. Crews are transported in U.S. Forest Service vehicles from the base camp in Sugar Grove to a primitive, backcountry tent camp near the project site.


Konnarock Schedule 2022

Session 1: Highcock Knob Rehab
Tuesday, April 26 – Sunday, May 1

Part of the A.T. near Highcock Knob consists of a steep and rugged section that needs rehabilitating via treadway hardening and the installation of proper drainage features. This week’s Crew will be working to mitigate these treadway erosion issues by installing drainage features and placing long-lasting rock steps into the Trail’s tread. Each workday there will be a roughly one-mile hike to the project site (two-mile daily roundtrip), with around 600-feet of elevation gain.

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Session 2: Highcock Knob Rehab
Tuesday, May 4 – Monday, May 9

Part of the A.T. near Highcock Knob consists of a steep and rugged section that needs rehabilitating via treadway hardening and the installation of proper drainage features. This week’s Crew will be working to mitigate these treadway erosion issues by installing drainage features and placing long-lasting rock steps into the Trail’s tread. Each workday there will be a roughly one-mile hike to the project site (two-mile daily roundtrip), with around 600-feet of elevation gain.

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Session 3: Weedy Gap Rehab
Thursday, May 12 – Tuesday, May 17

Part of the A.T. near Weedy Gap consists of several steep and eroding sections that need general improvements. This week’s Crew will be working to mitigate these erosion issues by replacing and installing new log steps and waterbars, as well as improving other drainage features along the Trail. Each workday there may be as much as a 1.5-miles long (3-mile roundtrip) hike to the work site with an elevation change of up to 800-feet.

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Session 4: Weedy Gap Rehab
Friday, May 20 – Wednesday, May 25

Part of the A.T. near Weedy Gap consists of several steep and eroding sections that need general improvements. This week’s Crew will be working to mitigate these erosion issues by replacing and installing new log steps and waterbars, as well as improving other drainage features along the Trail. Each workday there may be as much as a 1.5-miles long (3-mile roundtrip) hike to the work site with an elevation change of up to 800-feet.

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Session 5: Trail Relocation
Tuesday, May 31 – Sunday, June 5

Part of the A.T. near Allen Gap is undergoing a multi-year project that consists of building roughly one-mile of new sustainable sidehill Trail to shift the tread further away from adjacent private land and development. This week’s Crew will be constructing new Trail which involves moving dozens of cubic feet of soil and rock all day, as well as digging through thick root mats with hand tools to create a sustainable path for visitors to walk on. Each workday there will be less than a quarter-mile hike (less than half-a-mile roundtrip) to the work site.

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Session 6: Trail Relocation
Wednesday, June 8 – Monday, June 13

Part of the A.T. near Allen Gap is undergoing a multi-year project that consists of building roughly one-mile of new sustainable sidehill Trail to shift the tread further away from adjacent private land and development. This week’s Crew will be constructing new Trail which involves moving dozens of cubic feet of soil and rock all day, as well as digging through thick root mats with hand tools to create a sustainable path for visitors to walk on. Each workday there will be less than a quarter-mile hike (less than half-a-mile roundtrip) to the work site.

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Session 7: Bog Bridging
Thursday, June 16 – Tuesday, June 21

Part of the A.T. near the Holston River is in a low-lying and wet area with aging bod bridges in place. This week’s Crew will focus on improving the tread on this section of the Trail by replacing the aged and deteriorating bog bridging with new bog bridging. Each workday the Crew will be driving 10-minutes form their camping site to the work site trail head. From there the crew will be walking less than 500-feet from the parking area to the work site.

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Session 8: Bushnell Knob Rehab
Friday, June 24 – Wednesday, June 29

Part of the A.T. near Bushnell Knob contains badly eroded sections of the Trail. This week’s Crew will focus on improving the sustainability of the tread on this section of the Trail by replacing and installing log and rock steps, waterbars, and drainages to improve hiker safety and limit resource damage. Each workday the Crew will be hiking roughly 1.5-miles to the worksite (approximately 3-miles roundtrip).

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Session 9: Bushnell Knob Rehab
July 5 – Sunday, July 10

Part of the A.T. near Bushnell Knob contains badly eroded sections of the Trail. This week’s Crew will focus on improving the sustainability of the tread on this section of the Trail by replacing and installing log and rock steps, waterbars, and drainages to improve hiker safety and limit resource damage. Each workday the Crew will be hiking roughly 1.5-miles to the worksite (approximately 3-miles roundtrip).

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Session 10: Albert Mountain Rehab
Wednesday, July 13 – Thursday, July 21

Part of the A.T. near Albert Mountain needs steps to be replaced along its steep sections. These stepping structures ensure that erosion does not take place on the Trail, in turn improving the Trail’s long-term sustainability and the visitor experience. Priority area will require extensive rock work. Each workday the Crew will be hiking less than 1-mile to the worksite with under 400-feet of elevation gain.

Please note that this crew week is longer in length than most crew weeks. Individuals interested in volunteering for this project are welcome to either join the crew for the full length of the week or meet the crew at the project site in the middle of the week. However, there is no guarantee that space will be available for any specific day until confirmed by the event organizer.

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Session 11: High Country Rehab
Friday, July 29 – Wednesday, August 3

Part of the A.T. near Damascus is a popular hiking destination where a continuation of treadway repairs are needed. Work will include improving drainages and waterbars as well as rock steps along this section of the Trail and closing non-designated social trails. This Crew may need to backpack in their personal gear approximately 3-miles to their campsite, additional support will be provided for packing in group gear. Each workday the Crew will then be hiking less than 1-mile to the worksite with under 300-feet of elevation gain.

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Session 12: High Country Rehab
August 6 – Thursday, August 11

Part of the A.T. near Damascus is a popular hiking destination where a continuation of treadway repairs are needed. Work will include improving drainages and waterbars as well as rock steps along this section of the Trail and closing non-designated social trails. This Crew may need to backpack in their personal gear approximately 3-miles to their campsite, additional support will be provided for packing in group gear. Each workday the Crew will then be hiking less than 1-mile to the worksite with under 300-feet of elevation gain.

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Base camp

The Konnarock Crew is hosted by the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area at its Sugar Grove Work Center. The main building houses dining and recreation facilities, an office, and the crew’s tool room. Separate buildings provide a large, institutional kitchen and two shower houses, with bathroom and laundry facilities. Crew members sleep in simple cabins (“pods”) near the shower houses, with beds and electricity.

Crew week

Crew members arrive on the evening before their work week starts in time to get settled in, eat dinner, and attend an orientation session. Whether they will be working with Crew 1 or Crew 2, crew members meet their crew leaders and fellow volunteers, and are issued safety equipment and loaner camping gear as needed. An early morning on the first day of the crew week (7 a.m.) begins with a hearty breakfast followed by any last-minute preparations and departure to the project sites. Volunteers work a five-day week in the field, tent camping at a remote site with vehicle access, and return to base camp for a celebratory dinner the evening of the fifth day.

Volunteers working more than one session are welcome to stay at Konnarock base camp between sessions, with the exception of the mid-season breaks. Other accommodations may be available for multiweek volunteers during the mid-season breaks. Multiweek volunteers should plan to spend at least an hour or two of their days off pitching in to keep base camp running smoothly—and the rest of it relaxing and exploring the beautiful Mount Rogers area!

Please note that there are now three days off between each crew week. Crew weeks are highlighted in yellow on the calendar below, with the first day of each week in red. Please contact us with any questions about the new schedule at 540.904.4393 or [email protected].

Contact us

Give us a call at 540.904.4393 or e-mail [email protected] with any questions.