Trail overseers are the foundation of the PATC trail management system, and deserve all of the credit for the club's excellent reputation among hikers and our trail partners.
PATC trails are largely managed by individual volunteers (or occasionally by a pair of volunteers who act as "co-overseers"). These volunteers agree to take care of the routine maintenance on a specific section of trail; clearing vegetation, removing obstacles from the tread, controlling erosion, and ensuring that blazes and signage are clear and obvious.
The club supplies many of the tools required for trail maintenance, and has installed tool boxes in the various trail districts, for easy access by volunteers. Assistance is available for big projects (major damage repairs, large obstacles, etc.), and training is offered for the basic overseer techniques, as well as for advance skills (stonework, rigging, chain saw use, etc.)
Overseers typically manage somewhere between 1 and 2 miles of trail, but distances may vary. Overseers are asked to visit their trail sections at least four times a year. Typically, a trail section will require two or more visits to control vegetation (once in late Spring or early Summer, with second or third visits later in the season), a visit or two to clean and rebuild erosion control devices, and trips to remove blowdowns (fallen trees), repaint blazes and do general clean-up work.
Trail Overseer opportunities are listed each month in The Potomac Appalachian. Volunteers interested in a particular trail section should contact the appropriate District Manager or the PATC Trails Coordinator.
Prospective Overseers are encouraged to read the PATC Overseer Handbook (below) and to attend an Overseer Workshop.