Park Recruits Trail Volunteers

GSMNP recruits hiking trail volunteers.

GSMNP recruits hiking trail volunteers.

Park Recruits Trail Volunteers. Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses over 500,000 square miles and boasts 848 miles of maintained hiking trails. Volunteers are being recruited to “adopt a trail.” Participants will be asked to hike a single designated trail a minimum of four times a year and submit a report on their findings.

Join the fun and be a Smoky Mountain volunteer!

Join the fun and be a Smoky Mountain volunteer!

The data collected by volunteers will be critical in prioritizing trail maintenance crews focus. This information will help keep resources protected and ensure that all trails are accessible for visitors to the park. While no specific experience is required to volunteer, participants should be comfortable hiking the Smokies backcountry. Volunteers can expect to interact with park visitors who may have questions about the Smokies.

Volunteers are required to attend a 3-hour required training which includes information on how the park maintains trails, how to report relevant trail needs information, and how to instill ‘Leave No Trace’ practices while hiking. Volunteers are required to attend one of the following training opportunities held from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC on Saturday, March 28 or at Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, TN on Saturday, April 11.

If you would like to volunteer opportunity, please contact Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator Adam Monroe by phone at 828-497-1949 or email adam_monroe@nps.gov to register for the training.  For more information on the Trails Forever initiative and the partnership with Friends of the Smokies to improve the parks most heavily trafficked trails, visit Trail Vols for more volunteer opportunities.

Source material – GSMNP

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