Discover Volunteer Vacations: Accessible Adventures for Everyone

In 2024, AHS is providing over 40 Volunteer Vacation options, from day hikes to multi-day backpacking adventures, each tailored to accommodate participants of different skill levels.

Whether you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of trail stewardship or tackle a more challenging trek, there’s something for everyone.

Today, we will highlight some of the trip offerings that are perfect for first-time volunteers, or those looking for a less intense adventure. 

John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

Volunteers on this trip will support trail access at America’s first urban refuge, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum. This refuge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, boasts Tinicum Marsh, the state’s largest remaining freshwater tidal marsh. The trails here, heavily utilized by over 260,000 visitors annually, require regular maintenance beyond what refuge staff can manage alone.

Tasks for volunteers include:

  • Expanding and widening trails.
  • Trimming back growth.
  • Removing invasive species.
  • Stabilizing and repairing trails. 

During downtime, volunteers can explore Philadelphia’s rich history, including its status as home to America’s First Urban Refuge and numerous other historic landmarks. The city offers a wealth of museums, parks, national historic sites, and culinary delights, ensuring something for everyone.

Hungry Mother State Park

Nestled in the heart of the Appalachian mountains of southwest Virginia lies Hungry Mother State Park, known for its beautiful woodlands and tranquil 108-acre lake. Volunteers on this trip will continue trail work on the Raiders Run Reroute, focusing on sustainability improvements such as water diversion features and maintaining existing hiking and mountain bike features.

The park offers a range of outdoor activities, including canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and hiking. Trails wind through the park, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and countryside, including Molly’s Knob, the park’s highest peak. Nearby attractions such as the Channels, the Pinnacles, the Cascades, and Grayson Highlands State Park provide ample opportunities for exploration.

Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge

Situated in the floodplain of Liberty County in Southeast Texas, the Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge offers a unique opportunity for volunteers to maintain access to its trail system. Volunteers will work on the Knobby Knees Trail and Great Egret Ridge Trail, which wind through bayous, oxbow lakes, and cypress-tupelo swamps.

Volunteers can expect primitive trails that are relatively simple to maintain, providing a true “walk in the woods” experience. The refuge is located within easy driving distance of Houston and Galveston Beach and other natural attractions such as Big Thicket National Preserve and Sam Houston National Forest.

Sign up today!

Ready to embark on a journey of adventure, exploration, and giving back? Visit our Volunteer Vacation page to browse our upcoming trips and find the perfect adventure for you. Whether you’re passionate about conservation, eager to explore new landscapes, or simply looking for a meaningful way to spend your vacation, American Hiking Society’s Volunteer Vacation program has something for everyone. Join us today and experience the magic of hiking and volunteering in nature!