Trail management encompasses the on–the-ground stewardship performed by volunteers and agency partners to maintain the Trail, its structures, and its natural and cultural resources. It includes keeping the footpath clear of natural overgrowth and blowdowns; building and relocating sections of the footpath; building and repairing shelters and other structures; and caring for overnight sites. We coordinate this work, provide training, help set policy parameters, supply funding and other assistance to 31 Trail clubs, and recruit and manage volunteer Trail Crews.
Our stewardship efforts include educating and supporting A.T. users to adopt hiking and camping techniques that minimize damage to the natural environment. We promote Leave No Trace principles and deploy ridgerunners and caretakers along high-use sections of the Trail to help hikers and other visitors understand those principles and avoid unnecessary resource damage.
To help ensure consistent management practices along the roughly 2,190 miles of the Trail, we provide a number of resources for volunteer leaders, agencies and others, including a library of A.T. management policies and other reference materials.