Smokies Wilderness Elite A.T. Crew (SWEAT)

The Smokies Wilderness Elite A.T. Crew is something completely different from other ATC volunteer Trail crews. The SWEAT Crew focuses on the difficult trail problems that occur in the backcountry with the tools they carry in and the materials that they find. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) SWEAT Crew is a mobile crew, carrying all food, tools, and camping gear into the heart of the largest and most beautiful managed wilderness area in the east, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Members of this crew are, indeed, elite.

For more information visit the SWEAT Crew's official blog.

Base Camp

The ATC SWEAT Crew is based in national park seasonal housing near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Crew members, when not in the field, lodge in rustic facilities with access to bathrooms, showers, and laundry facilities. Crew members working more than one session may stay at the base camp during their days off.

Crew Week

SWEAT crews work six days in the field, arriving on the afternoon before their work session for dinner and orientation. A long (as much as 10 miles) and sometimes strenuous backpacking trip, with considerable elevation change will be required to access the work site. Additionally, the crew week may also require long day hikes. The crew camps in Great Smoky Mountains National Park in places few have seen.


Inexperienced backpackers need not apply. Don’t expect to see a lot of other hikers along the Trail as the crew will be further from the Trailhead than most hikers venture. We only accept applicants with extensive backpacking/backcountry experience and who meet rigorous fitness qualifications.

Ability to operate as a highly motivated and dependable team member with strong initiative and determination, excellent Leave No Trace skills, and well-honed backpacking skills and abilities are a necessity. The ATC SWEAT Crew will work hard, hike and backpack long distances, and have lots of fun! All on the most remote, and one of the most memorable, sections of the A.T.

The ATC Will Provide

  • All necessary tools and training on their use
  • Loaner camping gear necessary for trail work
  • A professional Trail crew leader
  • Plenty of high-energy food
  • Off-day housing for multiweek volunteers
  • Transportation to and from the Trailhead from base camp

Contact Us

Give us a call at (828) 254-3708 or e-mail [email protected] with any questions.

The Smokies Wilderness A.T. Crew schedule is flexible and varies due to water availability, bear activity, and spring blowdowns. Crew leaders will determine the locations as close to the departure date as feasible. Be prepared for long hikes in, hot temperatures, and an unrivaled wilderness experience. 

2014 Smokies Wilderness Elite Trail Crew Schedule

Session Dates
Session 1 6/7 - 6/12/2014
Session 2 6/17 - 6/22/2014
Session 3 6/26 - 7/1/2014
Session 4 7/6 - 7/11/2014
Session 5 7/16 - 7/21/2014
Session 6 7/25 - 7/30/2014
Session 7 8/3 - 8/8/2014
Session 8 8/12 - 8/17/2014
Session 9 8/21 - 8/26/2014
Volunteer today

Do you have what it takes to be an Appalachian Trail Crew Volunteer?

  • Are you at least 18 years of age?
  • Do you like a physical challenge?
  • Can you volunteer for a Full Crew Session** on the A.T.?
  • Do you enjoy spending time with like-minded people?

Konnarock Crew PictureIf so, we’d like to hear from you!  On a Trail Crew, you can count on getting very dirty and sweaty while doing some of the hardest and most rewarding work of your life! 

A full crew session is a week to ten days, depending on the Crew, during which you will be living with your fellow crew members, led by experienced crew leaders, while learning Trail or shelter maintenance. Depending on the project, you may hike several miles every day while carrying a backpack and hefty tools. 

The pace is slower, your Crew leaders and co-volunteers are friendly and diverse, but share one important common trait: they all love the Appalachian Trail!  Plus, your hard work will last for years to come to be enjoyed by future generations.

Volunteer today

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