Volunteer Vacations Press Kit

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Volunteer Vacations press inquiries should be directed toward Libby Wile, Senior Director of Volunteer Stewardship, at LWile@AmericanHiking.org or (301) 565-6704 x704.


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Selected Statistics from Volunteer Vacations 2016
  • 59 Trail Projects
  • 553 Total Volunteers
  • Improved Trail Access for more than 1.8 Million trail users
  • 17,960 Volunteer Hours, worth an estimated $521,1147 in sweat equity
  • American Hiking crew built or maintained over 291 miles of trail

What are Volunteer Vacations?

Volunteer Vacations are a series of trail stewardship projects on America’s public lands. In a time of reduced budgets and limited resources, land managers are often in need of able-bodied volunteers to assist with their trail maintenance needs.  American Hiking Society organizes week-long “working vacations”, which match volunteers to trail projects across the country.  More than a program that rehabilitates trails, Volunteer Vacations fosters public land stewardship and provides volunteers the opportunity to give back to the trails they love, meet new people, and have a great time doing it!

Why are Volunteer Vacations necessary?

American Hiking Society’s Volunteer Vacations program connects people with nature, introduces many to the wonders of outdoor recreation, and provides land managers with much-needed able-bodied volunteers and resources.  Volunteers return from their week of stewardship with a new found appreciation for nature and a desire to preserve it for future generations.

Who volunteers for these projects?

Our volunteers come from all walks of life and from across the country. Age ranges from 13 to 80. Volunteers under the age of 18 are welcome on certain trips if accompanied by a legal guardian. Each trip lists the minimum age allowed on the project details page. While each trip usually has a couple or two, or friends traveling together, many participants travel alone.

What are the trip logistics?

Each crew consists of 6-15 volunteers accompanied by a crew leader. Trips involve backpacking or day hiking and accommodations vary from primitive campsites to bunkhouses or cabins. Tools and supervision are provided by the host agency or organization.

What if I have never done trail maintenance?

We welcome you! While we do ask that volunteers are in good physical condition, prior trail maintenance experience is not necessary on any of our trips.

Who Sponsors/Supports Volunteer Vacations?

Volunteer Vacations are made possible by 2017 corporate sponsors REI, The Explore Fund, Vasque, and Backpacker’s Pantry.  Also by Federal Partners US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management.  If you are interested in supporting our Volunteer Vacations program through sponsorship, please contact Kim Lyons, Director of Development, at KLyons@AmericanHiking.org.