Volunteers needed for Park Trail Rehab

by May 25, 2011NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments

              Great Smoky Mountains National Park is currently recruiting for volunteers to assist a Trails Forever trail crew on reconstruction projects on the Forney Ridge Trail Friday-Monday from May 20  to Oct. 16. 

Volunteers are working on the Low Gap Trail as part of the Trails Forever program. (NPS Photo)

            The Trails Forever program provides opportunities for both skilled and non-skilled volunteers to work along-side Park crews to complete various trail projects. Trail volunteers perform a wide range of trail maintenance and rehabilitation work from rebuilding trail tread, cleaning drainage ditches, constructing drainage features (waterbars), building foot logs and bridges, and adding fill material. Depending on interest and availability, volunteers can sign up to work anywhere from one full work day (8 to 10 hours) to 4 work days in a row.  When possible a camping site is provided for volunteers who sign up to work with the crew for more than one day.  Great Smoky Mountains National Park will provide all the safety gear, tools and equipment needed for the projects.  Volunteers will need to wear boots and long pants and bring a day pack with food, water, rain gear and any other personal gear for the day. 

            The Trails Forever program is a partnership between the national park and Friends of the Smokies.  The volunteer component gives individuals the opportunity to work alongside professional trail workers and make lasting improvements to trails throughout the Park.

            Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson said “Since its inception, thousands of volunteer hours and hundreds of workdays have been devoted to the Park’s backcountry trail system under the Trails Forever program.  The steady growth of the number of volunteers and the quality of the trail improvements that have been made highlights the value of the program in serving to maintain one of the most important resources of the Park, its 800 mile trail system.  We hope to continue this momentum.” 

            To sign up for a work day or for more information, contact Christine Hoyer at 828/497-1949 or Christine_Hoyer@nps.gov.