ADK Volunteer Trails Program 2012
Want to help build and maintain Adirondack trails? Since 1986 thousands of volunteers have worked with trained ADK trail crew leaders to complete trail maintenance and reconstruction projects all over the Adirondacks and Catskills.
Volunteers are provided with the unique opportunity to “give something back” to the trails that they use. Trail work is demanding so volunteers should expect to be challenged both physically and mentally.
ADK provides leadership, group camping gear, tools, transportation from base camp, and food for multi-day projects.
ADK’s volunteer base camp serves as the staging area for the four and five day trail projects. It is located at the Adirondak Loj Campground adjacent to Heart Lake. Project information including an equipment list will be sent to all volunteers upon registration.
One Day Projects
June 16 -- Cascade Mountain – High Peaks Wilderness
Water bars will be installed and cleaned out on this popular hiking trail. Be prepared to hike into the woods while carrying tools, daypack, and lunch. Anticipate project completion by late afternoon. FREE – no participation fee, donations appreciated
June 16 -- Ruth’s Easy Project
This is the perfect project for people who would like to try out trail work. This is "the" chance for first time - whatever age - trail worker "wannabes"!Our Easy Project will go again this year with expert leadership from Bethany Krawic and Mary Jane Bland. So please come on out! Always a good gang of people to work with. Tools will be provided. All ages are welcome. FREE – no participation fee, donations appreciated.
Two Day Project
June 8-10 -- JBL Trail Work Weekend – High Peaks Wilderness
This is an annual trail maintenance trip that involves cleaning existing drainage structures and removing blowdown in the Johns Brook Valley. The volunteer crew will pack into and stay at Johns Brook Lodge (3.5 miles) on Friday afternoon and leave on Sunday afternoon. FREE - no participation fee, donations appreciated
Four and Five Day Projects
Open to all ages, participants will camp nearby the trail project and work on a section of trail as a team. Arrive at base camp on Sunday evening for dinner and orientation. The participation fee is at the end each project description.
June 17-22 -- Goodnow Mountain
This is a well-used fire tower trail by both students at the nearby SUNY ESF research station and visitors staying in the Newcomb/Long Lake region. Rock water bars and drainage structures will be built along the trail. Participants will camp at a private, front-country site on Catlin Lake, which is a short drive from the trailhead. There is a $100 participation fee.
June 24-29 -- Elk Lake
Located in the southern High Peaks, Elk Lake is situated in the middle of a private 12,000 acre preserve with an extensive network of trails. Participants will work on various trail projects including sidecutting, blowdown removal, and drainage work. Volunteers will stay in the historic Elk Lake Lodge for the week and will be served breakfast and dinner in the dining room. After work and dinner, participants will be free to explore the property. Boats are available to use on the lake. There is a $250 participation fee.
Aug. 12-16 -- Long Lake Canoe Trip – High Peaks Wilderness
Relocating existing pit privies and removing litter from campsites alongside Long Lake will be the main focus of the project. Participants will canoe a substantial distance every day to reach each lean-to. Depending upon how many privies need to be relocated, the crew may work on a trail project on a section of the Northville- Placid Trail that parallels Long Lake. Arrive Sunday evening at base camp for dinner and orientation. Participants will be out of the woods by late afternoon on Thursday. There is a $100 participation fee.
Five Day High School Projects
These trail projects are reserved for high school aged teenagers (ages 14-17)who have a desire to spend a week in the woods camping in the backcountry and experiencing trail work. For all of the five-day projects, participants arrive at base camp on Sunday evening for dinner and orientation. Participants will be back at base camp by late afternoon on Friday. There is a $250 participation fee for these projects. Scholarships are available for teens; please call 518-523-3441 to learn more.
July 8-13 -- Phelps Trail: Johns Brook Valley – High Peaks Wilderness
Camping at an ADK lean-to next to Johns Brook, participants will replace a foot bridge over Black Brook. The volunteer crew will also re-route a short section of hiking trail.
July 15-20 -- Orebed Trail – High Peaks Wilderness
Starting at the beginning of this popular hiking trail, rock stepping stones and turnpiking will be built to curtail future soil erosion. Participants will camp at an ADK lean-to next to Johns Brook.
July 22-27 -- Big Slide Trail: Johns Brook Valley –High Peaks Wilderness
Rock steps and rock water bars will be placed at the beginning of this popular hiking trail and participants will camp at an ADK lean-to.
July 29-Aug. 3 -- Cedar Lake: Northville Placid Trail – West Canada Lake Wilderness The Cedar Lakes south lean-to will be used as a base camp. Participants will side cut and remove blowdown between the south end of Cedar Lake and Mud Creek.
Aug. 5-10 --Spruce Lake: Northville Placid Trail – West Canada Lake WildernessParticipants will replace small footbridges using native timbers and camp at one of the Spruce Lake lean-tos.
Workshops and Special Events
May 19 and June 23 -- Trail Steward/Maintainer Workshop
This workshop is intended to give trail maintainers an understanding of basic trail maintenance concepts and standards and is mandatory for aspiring ADK trail stewards. Topics that will be demonstrated and discussed are cleaning drainage, blowdown removal, sidecutting, and trail marking. The May 19 workshop will be conducted on the main hiking trail that ascends Blue Mountain in the Adirondacks. The June 23 workshop will be held on the short trail to Severance Hill which is located just south of Exit 28 of the Northway (I-87). FREE - no participation fee, donations appreciated
June 2 -- National Trails Day
This year’s National Trails Day event will be based in the southern Adirondacks and trail projects will be located north of Caroga Lake. Drainage clearing, water bar construction, blow down removal are just some of the projects that will be available. FREE - no participation fee, donations appreciated. Details here.
Oct. 13 -- Fall Trails Day, High Peaks Wilderness
This is the last chance to clean drainages of fallen leaves and other debris before the snow arrives. Trails located in the Adirondack High Peak Region will be focused on. FREE - no participation fee, donations appreciated
To register call 518-523-3441 or click here for a volunteer trails program registration form.