by ATC Staff

Protect What You Love Most About the A.T.

Imagine the thing you love the most about spending time on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Maybe it’s the spring flowers that brighten your hike or the white blaze that you see every day in your community. This post explores the best A.T. volunteering options for you whether you love connecting with nature, connecting with friends, or connecting with your local community. Protect what you love most about the Trail and take the first step as an A.T. volunteer:

If You Love Connecting with Nature: Protect the Flowers and Fauna Along the A.T.

Boundary monitoring offers adventurous hikers the chance to explore new parts of the Trail while safeguarding conserved lands that protect its wildlife. Boundary monitoring involves walking the remote perimeters of the lands surrounding the Trail. This important work helps to ensure that this land continues to provide a safe haven for animals, plants, and people. Learn more about caring for the flowers and fauna at the A.T. here:


If You Love Connecting with friends: Build or Gather your ‘Tramily’

What better way to recreate (or create a new) Tramily (aka Trail Family) experience than by spending time together helping to protect the A.T.? Be intentional about keeping friendships you’ve built on the Trail together and consider organizing a day or a weekend of trail work for your friends.

Multi-day Trail Crew sessions that take place in summer and autumn might be a great option to explore, especially for folks who are traveling from afar. Consider inviting the friends that you made while hiking on the Trail to a day of A.T. Maintenance for a Tramily reunion.

Volunteering on the A.T. not only helps keep connections with old friends, but can help you make new friends too. Have you recently moved to a new area near the A.T.? Joining your local Trail Maintaining Club or attending a volunteer event near you is a great way to get to know local hikes and make new friends.

If You Love Connecting Locally: Slow Down to Find a Deeper Connection

New Volunteer logo against Rocky Top in the backgroundIf you’ve ever wondered about how a shelter is designed or if you have preferences for the kinds of food storage available at overnight sites, then you might have an interest in volunteering to support A.T. management. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) convenes clubs and land managers to share in decision-making about how the Trail is cared for, ensuring hikers enjoy a unified experience no matter where they step onto the A.T. Volunteering to support A.T. management includes leadership positions with your local Trail club, and serving on advisory committees, like the Partnership Committee in your region. Volunteers are nominated to serve on the Stewardship Council, which seeks volunteers who are subject-matter experts in relevant fields.

Trail maintenance benefits volunteers, Trail visitors, the landscape, the flowers and fauna, and communities. Now is the perfect time to protect what you love most about the Trail by finding a volunteer opportunity near you today.