TRAIL MANAGEMENT & SUPPORT
Trail management encompasses the on–the-ground stewardship performed by volunteers to maintain the Trail, its structures, its natural & cultural resources and educating on Trail use. It includes keeping the footpath clear of natural overgrowth and blowdowns; building and relocating sections of the footpath, building and repairing shelters and other structures, caring for overnight sites as well as educating Trail user in classrooms & on-the-trail.
Trail Maintainers and Crews
Keeping the trails open and clear is the centerpiece of PATC's mission. Trail Maintainers are the heartbeat of PATC ... volunteers who agree to take care of the routine maintenance on a specific section. Sections are usually 1 to 2 miles of trail, although distances may vary. Maintainers clear vegetation, remove obstacles from the tread, control erosion, and ensure that blazes and signage are clear and obvious. Trail Maintainers deserve all the credit for the club's excellent reputation among hikers and our trail partners. Maintainers usually visit their trail sections at least four times a year and get assistance from Trail Crews for big projects requiring major repairs. Training is offered for basic techniques which most Maintainers learn working with a Trail Crew.
Trail Crews perform some normal trail maintenance such as blowdowns & erosion or weed control as well as large trail tasks, such as building new tread, bridges and major rehab projects. All of PATC's trail crews welcome new members and are glad to help you learn the basics of trail maintenance. Find more info on a worktrip near you and Get Involved.
The Trail Patrol, started in 1973, is the education and outreach section of PATC, with 75+ volunteers hiking the Maryland, Virginia, southern Pennsylvania, eastern West Virginia, and D.C. region. For hikers, we are a visible, reassuring presence on the trails. We walk the trails throughout the year—rain, snow or shine—answering questions and offering help whenever needed. We:
- offer assistance and information to hikers and backpackers
- help our fellow hikers understand how to enjoy the outdoors in a safe and responsible manner
- report trail conditions to the PATC volunteers who maintain the region’s trails.
- offer outdoor skills classes, including Backpacking, Hike Leadership, Leave No Trace outdoor ethics, CPR, and Backcountry First Aid.
PATC also deploys Ridgerunners and caretakers along high-use sections of the Trail to help hike and visitors on the trails.
We always welcome enthusiastic, outgoing volunteers who are looking for opportunities to assist others and help protect the environment that we share. We welcome you to Get Involved.
Each of the PATC cabins has a Cabin Maintainer who does regular maintenance & upkeep. Cabin Work crews help the Maintainer with larger maintenance projects. the above mentioned duties. If you are new to cabin camping, joining a work crew is an excellent way to learn how to responsibly use a cabin, in addition to providing a valuable service to PATC. Most maintainers visit their cabins 4-6 times a year resulting in about 150 cabin work trips annually, club-wide. Although many maintainers have recruited an on-going "team", many others look for help by asking friends.
No experience is necessary and we welcome you to Get Involved.
Along the Trails are a series of three-side shelters for backpackers and PATC maintains 45 Shelters which are generally spaced 6 to 20 miles apart along the length of the trail. Are shelter are on the AT as well as the Tuscarora Trail and in the George Washington National Forest. PATC assigns volunteer maintainers to maintain the shelters throughout the year performing minor repair, painting, and general maintenance. Shelter Crews help with major maintenance projects and new shelter construction. No experience is necessary and we welcome you to Get Involved.