June 01, 2008

National Trails Day 2008-Join Us on the Trail on Lookout Mountain

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American Hiking Society and the National Park Service will be celebrating National Trails Day on Saturday June 7 on the Bluff Trail in Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park in Chattanooga, TN, USA. This video highlights a workshop we held last month to begin the work. Please join us as we continue to restore this beautiful trail that is not only part of our National Park system but also part of the Great Eastern Trail. For more information about how you can get involved call Carla Hilling at 423-266-2507 X4.

Posted by Jeffrey Hunter at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2008

Volunteers Needed to Help Maintain Trails on Lookout Mountain

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The Bluff Trail on Lookout Mountain
This is part of the Great Eastern Trail

Do you like to hike? If so, your help is needed to help maintain the hiking trails in the Chickamauga Chattanooga National Military Park on Lookout Mountain. The hiking trail system on Lookout is much loved, but sorely in need of volunteers to help control erosion, cutback brush, and maintain the trails so hikers can have a safe and pleasant experience.

American Hiking Society is coordinating a monthly work crew on the first Saturday of every month from 9 AM - 1 PM. No special skills are required, beyond being able to hike and perform physical work outside.

To find out more, please send an email to Carla Hilling, or call her at 423-266-2507 - extension 4.

Our next big event is planned for National Trails Day on Saturday June 7. All volunteers on June 7 will receive a free t-shirt! So don't delay! Get involved today!



Posted by Jeffrey Hunter at 03:22 PM | Comments (1)

April 03, 2008

Help Eradicate Garlic Mustard at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield April 12

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Photos courtesy of National Park Service

The Kennesaw Mountain Trail Club needs your help! Garlic Mustard has invaded the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield, and volunteers are needed to help pull this invasive plant on Saturday April 12, 2008 starting at 9 AM.

Interested volunteers should call 770-427-4686 for more information including the meeting location.

Volunteers will need to bring the following with you;

Gloves
Water
Long Pants - poison ivy will be nearby!
Long sleeve shirt
Snacks
Epi-pen, if allergic to bee stings


Posted by Jeffrey Hunter at 03:42 PM | Comments (0)

December 12, 2007

2008 American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacations Announced!
Discounts Offered Through February 29, 2008

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An American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacation is a week-long trail stewardship project based somewhere on America’s public lands. Although volunteer travel seems like a fairly new and hot trend, American Hiking Society’s Volunteer Vacation program will be entering its 30th year in 2008, making us a trustworthy leader in volunteer tourism. This year’s schedule includes 75 diverse projects in 25 states across the country. They are a great chance to visit stunning locations, meet interesting people, learn new skills and have an amazing experience, all while giving back. Locations such as the Francis Marion National Forest in South Carolina, The Great Eastern Trail through Virginia and Mount Rogers National Recreation Area will fill up fast, so book your space now at the following link.


We are offering a 10% discount on the registration fee if registering before February 29, 2008. This makes the registration fee only $220 (a $245 value that includes food and park/camping fees and/or lodging).

Please be patient with us while we roll out a new website. The new site will have improved search features, photo galleries and much more great information. So please check back in January.

For more information, please contact Andrea Ketchmark at 301-565-6704 ext 206. You can also download the Volunteer Vacations 2008 brochure (PDF 529 KB) and select your project today!


Posted by Jeffrey Hunter at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

November 21, 2007

Help Needed to Build Great Eastern Trail!

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PATC Volunteers working on a new segment of the Great Eastern Trail

The week of May 4-10, 2008 the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club will be hosting an American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacation to help construct a new segment of the Great Eastern Trail in the beautiful George Washington National Forest in SW Virginia. American Hiking Society is actively recruiting 12 volunteers to participate in this project.

The fee for participation in this trip is $275, but there is a 10% discount if you register before February 29, 2008. Your fee includes lodging in a cabin, all food, a Volunteer Vacation t-shirt, a one year membership in American Hiking Society (includes subscriptions to American Hiker and Backpacker magazines). Better yet, the fee includes a great time out on the trail, meeting new friends, and leaving a lasting legacy for future generations in the form of a new hiking trail!

The Great Eastern Trail, which was announced in May 2006 stretches from Alabama to New York State. The segment in SW Virginia will connect West Virginia's Allegheny Trail with Virginia's Tuscarora Trail.

For more information about this project, please contact Andrea Ketchmark at 301-565-6704 ext 206.



Posted by Jeffrey Hunter at 03:52 PM | Comments (1)

American Hiking Society offers Alternative Spring Break projects in 2008

In 2008, American Hiking Society is offering a number of opportunities for college students to get out help build or maintain hiking trails in America's National Parks and Forests. Checkout the following video clip to get an idea what these projects can be like.

Projects for 2008 include;

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Kentucky

5-12 Volunteers Needed

Must be 18

Daypacking, Moderate

3/15/2008-3/21/2008

Project Details:

Crew will perform trail maintenance, repair, and enhancement on the Cumberland Trail inside Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and along the park boundary. Work will include installation of water bars and structures to facilitate drainage, re-grading tread, and clearing and removal of vegetation. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is located in the Southern Appalachians in the states of Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee. The park consists of approximately 20,000 acres and 70 miles of trails. Most of the park is mixed deciduous forest with many historic and scenic features. The northern terminus of Tennessee’s Cumberland Trail can be found in the park as well as the southern terminus of Kentucky’s Pine Mountain Trail.

Location:

The trail that will be the focus of this project begins at Tri-state peak, where Kentucky, Virginia, and Tennessee come together. Elevation will range from approximately 2000‚ to 2500‚ and will involve moderate hiking. One of the work days will be devoted to resource work in the field for a behind the scenes look at resource issues in the park.

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park - NPS photo

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

5-10 Volunteers Needed

Must be 18 years of age to participate

Daypacking, Moderate to Difficult

03/09/2008-3/14/2008

Project Details:

Removal of invasive plant species in Deep Creek, which is located near Bryson City, NC. Extensive trail systems are convenient to both locations for hiking in spare time, as well as birding and other natural history explorations.

Location:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest area in the eastern US managed as wilderness and contains old growth forests, interesting historical sites, and opportunities for hiking, photography, birding, canoing, and cycling. Several National Forests and the Cherokee Tribal lands are located nearby. Plant diversity is notable, with over 1700 species of vascular plants and 130 species of trees. Spring wildflowers are abundant. Elevation ranges from 1500 ft to over 6000 ft. This project involves managing exotic plants which threaten native plant communities.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina

5-15 Volunteers Needed

Must be 18 years of age to participate

Daypacking, Moderate to Difficult

3/15/2008-3/21/2008

Project Details:

Removing invasive plants in Hazel Creek, a remote backcountry area (no showers or bathrooms) accessible by hiking or boat across Fontana Lake. The exotic shrub privet infests a wetland and trail for several acres.

Location:

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the largest area in the eastern US managed as wilderness and contains old growth forests, interesting historical sites, and opportunities for hiking, photography, birding, canoing, and cycling. Several National Forests and the Cherokee Tribal lands are located nearby. Plant diversity is notable, with over 1700 species of vascular plants and 130 species of trees. Spring wildflowers are abundant. Elevation ranges from 1500 ft to over 6000 ft. This project involves managing exotic plants which threaten native plant communities.

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Green Heron Feeding in Big Cypress - NPS photo

Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida

6-12 Volunteers Needed

Must be 18

Daypacking, Difficult

3/8/2008-3/14/2008

Project Details:

Big Cypress National Preserve is one of the few remaining "wild" places left in southern Florida. It is part of the Everglades ecosystem which is basically a wide and shallow river that drains all of south Florida into the Gulf. The Florida National Scenic Trail has its southern terminus in the Preserve. There are no other ecosystems like it in the US. The crew will performing trail maintenance in the hard-to-reach sections of the deep swamp. The work will include painting blazes, trimming back brush, and clearing the corridor.

Location:

The Big Cypress National Preserve is home to many mammals, birds, and reptiles unique to Florida’s climate. It is easy to view and appreciate Florida’s largest reptile, the American alligator, living here in its natural environment. Anhingas, egrets, and herons are found in plentiful numbers feeding, displaying courtship feathers, and nesting in and among the Cypress trees. Occasionally, one can witness river otter, bobcats, black bear, and the endangered Florida panther on the Preserve’s back roads and trails. Culturally, the Big Cypress Swamp has served as home and refuge to many people throughout time including the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, the Seminole Tribe of Florida and early settlers.

Coronado National Forest, Arizona

5-8 Volunteers Needed

Must be 18 years of age to participate

Backpacking, Moderate to Difficult

*Dates are negotiable

Project Details:

This is a new ten mile segment of the Arizona Trail known as Las Colinas. The route has been designed to accommodate hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians,and will provide broad vistas of the surrounding terrain to include the Rincon and Whetstone Mountains. We will be working at the 4500 to 5000 foot levels in the Santa Rita Mountains. The approximately mile that we will construct will be cleared of brush and minimal trees (generally small mesquites) to a width of six feet and a height of ten feet. The tread will be constructed of native on-site material with average grades of 5 to 10%.

Location:

The Santa Rita Mountain area is one of the many "sky islands" that dot the Arizona terrain. The highest peak is Mt. Wrightson at 9453 with most peaks at the 6000+ elevation. The terrain is rocky and although we are in the Coronado NF, the area is very desert like in nature. The late winter/early spring is an exciting time in southeastern Arizona as it is warm with minimal humidity during the day and cool at night. Rain is very infrequent and the skies are quite clear. Mountains are visible in all directions. Recreational activities include hiking and we can visit the closer communities such as Sonoita and Elgin after the work day.

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Golden Gate National Recreation Area - NPS photo

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

6-10 Volunteers Needed

Must be 21 years of age to participate

Daypacking, Difficult

*Dates are Negotiable

Project Details:

Trail maintenance, repair, and enhancement projects along the coastal trails within the Golden Gate National Park located in San Francisco. Projects will include reconstructing sand ladders and regrading tread, box-step staircase repair and regrading steps, reconstructing post and cable fencing, cutting back encroaching vegetation, berm removal and regrading, creating and restoring water bars, and clearing drainage systems.

Location:

The Golden Gate National Park, otherwise known as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA), is our largest urban national park. It contains many scenic and unique places located north and south of the Golden Gate Bridge. The dormitory is located within the Presidio of San Francisco. The trails that we will be focusing on are along the San Francisco coastline, overlooking the San Francisco Bay and Pacific Ocean.

For more information about how your school can get a group together and participate in these great projects, please contact Andrea Ketchmark at 301-565-6704 ext. 206.



Posted by Jeffrey Hunter at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2007

Benton MacKaye Trail Volunteer Opportunities

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Volunteers on the Benton MacKaye Trail in winter 2004

Now that you've learned about the fabulous Benton MacKaye Trail, how about getting involved to help maintain this masterpiece?

To learn about volunteer opportunities in fall '07, please visit the Benton MacKaye Trail Association's Activity Calendar.



Posted by Jeffrey Hunter at 09:33 AM

October 04, 2007

Volunteer Opportunities on the Cumberland Trail

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Cumberland Trail volunteers are all smiles!

The Cumberland Trail Fall 2007 Schedule

The Cumberland Trail Conference is looking for volunteers and support this fall! We need help building bridges and continuing efforts on building this great trail. It’s not all work though, we like to have fun too. There are also back country hikes and a race you can attend, so come join us this fall!