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Volunteer Trail Project Schedule

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. Through the course of a trail project, volunteers will share the experience with other participants forming new friendships and memories. Ultimately, a quality trail project is completed by volunteer trail crews that will protect the natural resource for many years. A fun and rewarding experience is guaranteed. 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.

To register, call 518-523-3441.

2014 Projects

One-Day Projects

May 31 --- Cascade Mountain – High Peaks Wilderness

Waterbars and step stones will be installed 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. Register Now

Two-Day Project

June 13-15 --- 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. Register Now

Four & 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 & orientation. The participation fee is at the end each project description.

June 15-20---Great Camp Sagamore

Camp Sagamore is a beautiful wilderness estate once owned by the Vanderbilt family. The 27 historic buildings are surrounded by Wilderness and Wild Forest. Participants will work on various trail projects including sidecutting, blowdown removal, bridge construction, and new trail construction. Volunteers will be staying at one of the historical buildings at Camp Sagamore. Breakfast and dinner will be provided in the dining room. After dinner, participants will be free to explore the property. There is a $325 participation fee. Register Now

June 22-27---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 constructing bridging. 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 $325 participation fee. Register Now

August 10-14---Long Lake Canoe Trip–High Peaks Wilderness

Relocating existing pit privies and the removal of litter from campsites that are 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-Lake Placid Trail that parallels Long Lake. Arrive Sunday evening at base camp for dinner and orientation. Participants will be out of the woods late afternoon on Thursday. There is a $100 participation fee. Register Now

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 to experience trail work. For all of the five-day projects, participants arrive at base camp on Sunday evening for dinner & orientation. Participants will be back at base camp 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 or download the scholarship application.

July 6-11--- West Stony Creek- Silver Lake Wilderness

Participants will install rock stepping stones to curtail future soil erosion. The crew will hike .7 miles to reach their camp, carrying with them their personal gear, food, and tools. Once there, they will have a half mile hike to and from the worksite. Participants will be camping in tents provided by the ADK next to the West Stony Creek. Register Now

July 13-18---John’s Brook Valley- High Peaks Wilderness

Participants will install a wooden staircase using dimensional lumber on one of the ADK’s hiking trails in the John’s Brook Valley. The crew will hike 3.5 miles to reach their camp, carrying with them their personal gear, food, and tools. Once there, they will have a very short hike to and from the worksite. Participants will camp at an ADK lean-to next to Johns Brook. Register Now

July 20-25--- Orebed Trail-High Peaks Wilderness

Starting at the beginning of this popular hiking trail, rock stepping stones will be built to curtail future soil erosion. The crew will hike 3.5 miles to reach their camp, carrying with them their personal gear, food, and tools. Once there, they will have a very short hike to and from the worksite. Participants will camp at an ADK lean-to next to Johns Brook. Register Now

July 27-August 1---Spruce Lake-West Canada Lake Wilderness

Participants will replace bog bridges using native timbers felled on-site. This will allow safe passage along the Northville Placid Trail. The crew will hike 3.2 miles, carrying with them their personal gear, food, and tools to reach their camp. Once there, they will have a very short hike to and from the worksite each day. Participants will be camping at one of the lean-to’s along Spruce Lake. Register Now

August 3-8---Hurricane Mountain- Hurricane Mountain Wilderness

The Hurricane Mountain is located a few miles east of Keene. Crew members will be creating a new, more sustainable trail to replace a section that has been damaged by erosion. The crew will hike 1 mile to reach their camp, carrying with them their personal gear, food, and tools. Once there, they will have a very short hike to and from the worksite each day. Participants will be camping using tents provided by the ADK. Register Now

Workshops & Special Events

May 10, June 21 & October 11 --- 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 10 workshop will be conducted on the main hiking trail that ascends Arab Mountain in the town of Piercefield. The June 21 workshop will be held on the short trail to Severance Hill which is located just south of exit 28 off of Interstate 87. The October 11 workshop will be held on the main hiking trail that ascends Blue Mountain in the town of Blue Mountain Lake. Detailed directions are included when you register. FREE - no participation fee, donations appreciated.

Register for Mount Arab - May 10th

Register for Severance Hill - June 21st

Register for Blue Mountain - October 11th

June 7 --- National Trails Day

This year’s National Trails Day event will be based in Northville. Trail projects will encompass several trails around the region. Installing water bars, step stones, bridge construction, blow down removal are just some of the projects that will be available. FREE - no participation fee, free camping available Friday and Saturday night, donations appreciated. To register, call 518-523-3441 or click here

October 18 --- 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 Register Now. More information and detailed project list.

2015 Projects

St. John Service Project --- January 31st - February 7th

Each year the Adirondack Mountain Club teams up with the Friends of Virgin Islands National Park to complete a week long trail project on the Island of St. John. Projects each day will be led by the ADK trails coordinator and a volunteer coordinator from the Friends of the USVI.  Work may include clearing vegetation around ruins or along trail corridors, installing rock drainage features, or constructing rock steps. A work day typically runs from 8:00am to 3:00pm. We will have a few days off, scattered throughout the week to give you time to explore the island in whatever way you choose.  You will receive a complete Itinerary upon registering for the project. 

Participants will be staying at the Cinnamon Bay Campground, the camp site will be set aside specifically for our volunteers.  In the camp site volunteers will be staying in one of 5 large tents.  Each tent will accommodate up to four volunteers, there will also be four cots on each tent.  There are large tarps throughout the campsite to protect us from any rain.  We also will be using a 2 burner propane cookstove to prepare our breakfast and dinner.  For lunch volunteers will pack a lunch with them for their time on the trail and also for their days off.  More details about the campsite, as well as a map to guide you through Cinnamon Bay will be provided upon registration.  

Participants should plan on arriving at the Cinnamon Bay campground on Saturday, January 31st. We will be serving a light dinner on the 31st at around 6:00pm.  Participants should book their return flight on Saturday, February 7th.  Keep in mind that it takes some time to get back to the St. Thomas International Airport.  Also an important note, it takes some time to get through customs at the St. Thomas airport.  Please keep these things in mind when you book your return flight.  Detailed directions to get from St. Thomas airport to the Cinnamon Bay campground in St. John is included upon registration.  Also an important note: If you are a US citizen you will not need a passport to travel to and from St. John.  

If you have any questions at all about the project, feel free to call or email Andrew, 518-523-3480 ext18 or trails@adk.org.

There is a $380 registration fee for this project. Register online or call 518-523-3441.

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