Apply to Be a 2023 NextGen Trail Leader

American Hiking Society (AHS) invites applications for its fifth class of NextGen Trail Leaders. With the goal to welcome all into the hiking community and advance public lands advocacy, we’re seeking five individuals, aged 18-40, from across the country who are interested in gaining advocacy experience and be a voice of young hikers for advocacy and stewardship. 2023 will be an important year in outdoor advocacy, and AHS is looking to support new voices to lead the way!


Deadline to apply is December 4, 2022.

Apply Below


NextGen Trail Leaders will:

  • Partner with American Hiking Society as a voice for public lands across social media and AHS communications;
  • Receive advocacy and communications training to be effective advocates and leaders;
  • Join quarterly community calls to meet with fellow NextGen participants and members of the AHS community;
  • Participate in Hike the Hill® (virtual event), the annual advocacy week for trail users, and meet virtually 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;
  • Be provided opportunities to attend events and build connections with other professionals in the outdoor industry;
  • Participate in other AHS programs and activities;

AHS Support for NextGen Trail Leaders includes:

  • $2,000 professional development stipend to support career advancement goals (Stipend may be used for conference registration fees, training courses, trips, conservation work, etc.);
  • Complimentary Volunteer Vacation week long trail stewardship trip participation, including travel, lodging, and meals (up to $860 value); (funding contingent)
  • $500 Gear Scholarship for outdoor recreation needs
  • Complimentary registration for Virtual Hike the Hill® 2023;
  • Advocacy and communications training and support;
  • Introductions/Connections to NextGen Trail leader alumni;
  • 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 an interest in sharing their voice on social media;
  • Available to attend portions of  virtual Hike the Hill®  issue briefings January 23-27 and meetings with congressional staff February 21-24, 2023 (we’ll work with your schedule);
  • Available to attend or host a National Trails Day® event on June 3, 2023;
  • Available to engage quarterly on social media and AHS communications on efforts to advance public lands and support and expand a diverse hiking community.

Apply Now