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Special Abbreviated Trip! Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area, OH – Volunteer Vacation 2024

May 11 @ 5:00 pm - May 15 @ 10:00 am

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Support trails and enjoy the outdoors at the newly designated Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area, the largest wildlife area owned by Ohio’s Division of Wildlife.

Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area was purchased from American Electric Power from 2018 -2021. Before European settlement, this area was an old growth forest. Today all of the forests are second or third growth timber. Various forms of coal mining, including strip mining, took place on Appalachian Hills throughout the 20th century. As with other strip-mined lands, Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area affords the opportunity to provide habitat for declining grassland nesting species. Active management activities include managing grassland habitat and annually planting 25 acres of food plots for dove fields. The forested portion of Appalachian Hills is managed for recreational opportunities and will continue to be maintained to offer a diversity of successional stages providing a variety of game and nongame wildlife species.

Volunteers will conduct heavy vegetation control with DR mowers, loppers and blazing on off-road trail (18 miles), potential re-establishment of 6 mile trail corridor at Onion Run, and hiking and blazing on road segments of the section (39 miles). Volunteers may need to hike into the worksite, but no more than 2 miles over gentle terrain.

During this trip, the Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area’s average high temperature is 70°, and average low temperature is 50°.

There is no experience needed to join a Volunteer Vacation! Your expert hosts will provide detailed instruction, tool demonstrations, and project oversight throughout the week. All you need is a willing attitude and to be in good physical condition to participate in moderate physical activity for approximately 6-8 hours a day with plenty of breaks, at your own pace. Find out more about what it’s like to join a Volunteer Vacation and other frequently asked questions here.

AHS acknowledges with gratitude that this project takes place on the traditional lands of the 𐓏𐒰𐓓𐒰𐓓𐒷 𐒼𐓂𐓊𐒻 𐓆𐒻𐒿𐒷 𐓀𐒰^𐓓𐒰^(Osage), Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee), Kaskaskia, Hopewell Culture, and Ofo peoples past and present. We honor the land itself, the Indigenous communities who have stewarded this land for generations, their deep and sacred connection to these lands, and those who continue to steward these lands today. We offer this land acknowledgement as the first of many steps to stand as an ally and amplify Indigenous voices. We invite the American Hiking Society community to join us through continued efforts to support Indigenous communities and learn more about the history of the lands on which we live, work and recreate.

Click here for a PDF of trip details.


Buckeye Trail Association, Little Cities of the Forest Chapter


Primitive Tent Sites


Volunteers may need to hike into the worksite, but no more than 2 miles over gentle terrain.

Project Rating


Minimum Volunteer Age


Maximum Group Size


Area and Attractions

The Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area lies in Guernsey, Morgan, Muskingum, and Noble counties, near McConnelsville. It connects a network of habitats between Jesse Owens State Park in addition to The Wilds, an outlet of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area is a popular destination for hunting, fishing, trapping, and other forms of wildlife recreation. Scattered ponds which were created through the reclamation process provide fishing prospects for anglers. The combination of woodland, open areas, and islands of vegetation left undisturbed during the mining process creates transitional zones that provide brushy and reverting fields. These areas are prime habitat components that provide excellent hunting opportunities.

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will have access to a primitive camping site with a pit toilet. Volunteers need to bring their own camping gear, sleeping bags or linens, towels, and personal toiletries. Volunteers need to bring their own water filtration.


John Glenn International Airport in Columbus, Ohio is the closest major airport. Airport pick up and drop off is not available for volunteers, however carpooling and rideshare can be arranged upon confirmation of the trip. Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area is about an hour and a half drive from John Glenn International Airport.


Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area
Campground K, Cumberland, OH 43732 United States + Google Map