Appalachian Trail Volunteer Training

Published Aug 16, 2014

Join the ATC for rewarding volunteer opportunities. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Join the ATC for rewarding volunteer opportunities. ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The Southern Regional Office (SORO) of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) released some encouraging news in its February newsletter, as usual.

Back in December, SORO asked folks to give their opinions on what kinds of training they'd like regional Appalachian Trail (AT) clubs offer to volunteers. The five southern regional trail maintaining clubs received 138 helpful responses.

Here's a breakdown of what folks requested most:

  1. Basic Trail Maintenance (56%)
  2. Wilderness First Aid/CPR (52%)
  3. Wilderness Basics (43%).

Respondents seeking intermediate level training level were most interested in:

  • Trail Rehab (59%)
  • Elements of Trail Design (50%)
  • Reverse Grade (Coweeta) Dips (47%) and
  • Waterbars (47%).

Advanced level volunteers sought training in:

  • Trail Layout and Design (49%)
  • Chainsaw Certification (47%)
  • Rock Work (41%) and
  • Trail Structures (37%).

Webinars -- online seminars -- are increasing in popularity; especially, Trail Building and the Dynamics of Water (46%) and The Art of Noticing (42%), an introduction to Trail Assessments and FMSS.

The replies had more than mere academic value, they helped determine volunteer training opportunities for 2014.

2014 SORO Training Schedule

  • February 1, Davenport Gap: An interpretive hike about trail maintenance, led by Franklin LaFond of Smoky Mountains Hiking Club. Register by calling 678-464-3380.
  • February 14, 15: Chainsaw Training, Asheville, North Carolina (application)
  • February 18-19: Wilderness First Aid, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, contact for registration.
  • February 21-22: Crosscut Saw Training, Gatlinburg, Tennessee & Appalachian RD (application)
  • March 3, time TBD: Webinar, The Art of Noticing, an introduction to Trail Assessments and FMSS
  • March 6, 3pm: Webinar Trail Building and the Dynamics of Water, register by e-mail and include a question you have about trail building and the dynamics of water.
  • March 10: Basic Trail Maintenance, limited space available, call Leanna 828-254-3708 for details.
  • March 12: Basic Trail Maintenance, limited space available, call Leanna 828-254-3708 for details.
  • March 15-16, 17-18, 19-20, 21,22: Leave No Trace Trainer Workshops, Georgia (ATC's training page)
  • May 19-30: Wilderness Skills Institute, Cradle of Forestry, Brevard, N.C. Course work includes Wilderness First Aid, Crosscut Saw, Tool Sharpening, Trail Maintenance, Wilderness Stewardship, Trail Structures, Rigging, and Rock work. Registration is free upon acceptance into the program.

There's room for you on the Appalachian Trail. Click on the link below to join the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to help keep the AT alive and well.

Click Here to Join the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail - ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.

Tags: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, News, and Appalachian Trail Clubs

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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