Trail Crews

Six Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Crews tackle large-scale projects such as Trail relocations and rehabilitation and bridge and shelter construction. The all-volunteer crews are active from May thru October each year on projects located from Maine to Georgia. Trail Crew projects – which may last for a week or more – are planned and completed in cooperation with A.T. maintaining clubs and agency partners such as the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

Crew Life

All crew members must be able to live and work cooperatively and in close proximity with fellow volunteers of both sexes, all ages and nationalities. All crew members are expected to participate equally in routine tasks, including cooking, cleaning, and tool care, both at base camp and the project site.

Working Conditions

Trail work is hard, physical labor. It involves working with hand tools, and getting dirty is guaranteed. The crews work eight- or nine-hour days, rain or shine, hot or cold, regardless of black flies, mosquitoes, and other insects. During the course of the crew season, the weather can vary from sweaty, summertime heat to freezing, winter-like cold.

 

On The Site

Crews gather at base camp for introductions and orientation before departing to spend the work week at a primitive backcountry tent camp near the project location. Amenities such as showers, bathroom facilities, and running water generally are not available during the crew week. Participants might have to backpack into the site, and the hike can be very strenuous, possibly up to four miles up a mountain. In addition to personal gear, crew members carry all the food, tools, and group gear needed for the week in the woods. Some crews may stay at a campsite near the project and then hike to the work site each morning. Volunteers should expect a primitive backcountry life for the duration of their week.

Staff

Appalachian Trail crews are led by experienced, professional crew leaders eager to pass along trail-work and backcountry skills. Camp coordinators supervise life at base camp and provides administrative and logistical support. Some camp coordinators serve as assistant crew leaders in the field. Applications for seasonal Trail crew staff are available in November and December under Job Opportunities. The application deadline is January 31. ATC club members may join the crews in the field and may be involved in project administration.

What Is Provided

Once you arrive at the base camp, shelter, food, transportation to and from project sites, tools, safety equipment, and group camping gear (as available) are provided. Crew members need to bring work clothing, sturdy boots, and their own basic camping gear.

Our Crews

Konnarock Crew
Konnarock is ATC's flagship crew program, named after its original base camp in southwest Virginia. Originating in 1983, it covers the Appalachian Trail from Rockfish Gap in Virginia, near Waynesboro, to the Trail's southern terminus at Springer Mountain in Georgia. The program is a joint venture among ATC, the 12 southern Trail clubs, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service.
 
Mid-Atlantic Crew
The Mid-Atlantic Crew works on the A.T. from Rockfish Gap in Virginia to the New York – Connecticut line. The crew is sponsored by the Appalachian Trail clubs of the mid-Atlantic region, the National Park Service, and ATC.

Smokies Wilderness Elite A.T. Crew (SWEAT)
The Smokies Wilderness Elite A.T. Crew (SWEAT) is something completely different than other ATC trail crews. Instead of focusing on heavy construction projects, this crew will complete much-needed maintenance in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Rocky Top Trail Crew
The Rocky Top Trail Crew works exclusively on 70 miles of the A.T. through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park following the ridge crest from Davenport Gap to Fontana Dam. The crew is sponsored jointly by the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club, the National Park Service, and ATC.

Maine Trail Crew
The Maine Trail Crew, based in central Maine, is sponsored by the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, ATC, and the National Park Service. Projects are located along 280 miles of the A.T. in the scenic Maine woods, and most involve reconstruction and rock work. Projects are supervised by crew leaders under the direction of modern trail-work pioneer Lester Kenway.

Vermont Long Trail Patrol
The Long Trail Patrol is sponsored jointly by the Green Mountain Club, ATC, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. The crew works on heavy construction projects on hiking trails in Vermont, including the co-aligned Appalachian Trail and Long Trail.

Trail Crew Sponsors

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To Apply


We welcome applicants age 18 or older of all backgrounds. No previous Trail experience is necessary - just a desire to work hard, live in the backcountry and have a great time among friends. Enthusiasm, good health, physical vigor, and adaptability are vital. Willingness to follow instructions and safety rules and to share equally in routine camp tasks is essential. International applicants are responsible for obtaining the visas they need in order to participate in the crew program.

Click on a crew to register online and find out more about volunteering.

Trail Crews