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 all genders, 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 the day before departing to spend the work week at the project location. Accommodations at the project sites vary, ranging from primitive backcountry tent camps to tenting in developed campgrounds to cabins accessible by vehicle. On crews working at remote backcountry locations, participants may have a lengthy and strenuous full-day backpack with significant elevation gain to their field campsite, and a primitive backcountry experience without showers, bathrooms, or running water for the duration of their week. These crews carry in food, tools, and group gear in addition to their personal equipment. Most crews can expect a hike to the work site each morning..

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 provide administrative and logistical support. Some Camp Coordinators serve as Assistant Crew Leaders in the field. Applications for seasonal Trail crew staff are available in the winter under Job Opportunities. The application deadline is January 31. Appalachian Trail 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.

Trail Crew Difficulty Meter
Which Crew Is Right For You?
Click the links below to learn more about each crew
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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.

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 267 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 coaligned Appalachian Trail and Long Trail.

Smokies Wilderness Elite A.T. Crew (SWEAT)
Our most challenging crew, the Smokies Wilderness Elite A.T. (SWEAT) Crew addresses the maintenance and trail problems in the most remote areas of the entire A.T. Working in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the crew starts each session by backpacking  6–11 miles to the project site where they work intensely for each six-day session, including long hikes daily. Only experienced backpackers need apply, so if you haven’t backpacked recently, we recommend you apply for a different crew. 

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. Experience with a session of Konnarock is recommended but not required to join this crew. The backcountry nature of this crew is a good opportunity to gain complex skills beneficial for testing your mettle for SWEAT Crew in the future. 

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.

Trail Crews