Apply to Be a 2020 NextGen Trail Leader

American Hiking Society (AHS) invites applications for its third class of NextGen Trail Leaders.We’re looking for rising stars in the outdoor community, from all walks of life and across the country, to be the voice of young hikers through advocacy and stewardship to welcome all into the hiking community and protect public lands. 2020 will be a monumental year, and AHS is looking to empower new voices to lead the way! 

Deadline to apply is December 6, 2019.

Apply Below


NextGen Trail Leaders will:

  • Represent American Hiking Society as a voice for public lands across social media and AHS communications, including as part of out Vote Public Lands campaign;
  • Receive advocacy and communications training to be effective advocates and leaders;
  • Travel to Washington, DC in February to participate in Hike the Hill®, the annual advocacy week for trail users, and meet with members of Congress and agency leaders on public lands and trail issues;
  • Join annual National Trails Day® events in June as a host or participant;
  • Have the opportunity to participate in an all-expenses paid American Hiking Volunteer Vacation stewardship trip;
  • Be provided opportunities to attend events and build connections with other professionals in the outdoor industry; and;
  • Participate in other AHS programs and activities;
  • Be invited to serve on AHS Board Committees that align with their interests.

AHS Sponsorship for NextGen Trail Leaders includes:

  • Trip to Washington, DC to participate in Hike the Hill® (including airfare, lodging, meals, and Hike the Hill® registration);
  • Opportunity to participate in an all-expenses-paid American Hiking Volunteer Vacation trip;
  • Opportunity to request a stipend to help cover the cost of participating in professional development opportunities of their choosing, including: conferences, Outdoor Retailer, etc. 
  • 1-year Hiker membership to AHS (includes a 1 year subscription to BACKPACKER magazine);
  • Invaluable advocacy and communications training;
  • Networking opportunities with leaders and other professionals in the outdoor industry; and
  • Swag and gear from AHS and (when available) corporate sponsors

Applicants should be:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 40;
  • Passionate about outdoor advocacy and stewardship; and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in the outdoors
  • Excellent, dynamic communicators with social media savvy
  • Available to attend Hike the Hill®  February 9-12, 2020
  • Available to Attend or Host a National Trails Day®  Event on June 6, 2020; and
  • Available to engage regularly throughout the year on social media and AHS communications on efforts to protect public lands and support and expand a diverse hiking community.