October 03, 2006
Build your Karma - Help build a trail!
American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacation Crew
The Mountains to Sea Trail will eventually stretch 1000 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks! Our trail crew built one mile of new trail during our week in the mountains.
Have you ever wondered how a trail is built? Well, it's not as simple as you might think.
The first step is to flag a route where you'd like to put the trail. Next, the Land Manager (in this case - the National Park Service) must conduct a botanical and archeological survey to ensure that no endangered species or archeological resources are impacted by the trail. Once those surveys have been conducted and a final route is approved, construction can begin.
Allen de Hart of the Friends of the
Mountains to Sea Trail sets a flag line
The Trail Crew Leader then sets red flags along the route where the volunteers will start to construct the trail.
Volunteers start to construct new trail
after the flag route is established.
Volunteers then start the process of cutting into the soil to create a sustainable trail. By sustainable, I mean a trail that will be fun to walk on, will last for many years, and will not cause erosion that will damage the streams and other forest resources.
Volunteers eating lunch from atop a vista along the Parkway
Vacations are not all about work however. If these trips weren't fun, no one would attend. So, the volunteers get a day off to hike, bike or raft - or just take it easy. Lunch breaks are taken in beautiful areas. Camaraderie is another important aspect of the trip. By the end of the week, many of the volunteers have become good friends.
The volunteers relax along the Blue Ridge
Parkway at the end of a rewarding day
American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacations are open to everyone. To learn more about these great trips, please visit our Volunteer Vacation website.
Volunteerism | By Jeffrey Hunter | 10:49 AM