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Cumberland Trails Conference, TN – Volunteer Vacations 2023

September 24 @ 5:00 pm - September 30 @ 10:00 am

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Join us and help connect the Cumberland Trail! Of 300 planned miles of trail, over 250 miles are currently open for public use. When complete, the trail will connect two national Parks, three Tennessee State Parks, five State Natural Areas, multiple Wildlife and Resource Management areas, and a Tennessee State Forest. The Cumberland Trail will be Tennessee’s contribution to the Great Eastern Trail, which will cross nine states and 1,800 miles, extending from Alabama to New York. On this project, volunteers will be building trail in moderate to steep terrain to extend the footpath of the Cumberland Trail in East Tennessee. Volunteers will use hand tools to prepare trail tread, clear brush and roots, and possibly construct steps and stream crossings. Volunteers will drive to the trailhead and then hike into the worksite from the trailhead. The hike will vary in distance from 1-3 miles of hiking on built trail with moderate elevation changes.

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 ᏣᎳᎫᏪᏘᏱ Tsalaguwetiyi (Cherokee, East), S’atsoyaha (Yuchi), Shawandasse Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee) 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.


Cumberland Trail State Park




Day hiking up to 3 miles each work day.

Project Rating


Minimum Volunteer Age


Maximum Group Size


Area and Attractions

The Cumberland Trail approximately parallels the eastern escarpment of the Cumberland Plateau, leading hikers along ridges with overlooks, across streams and along bluff lines, following a generally southwest-to-northeast route. The climate is moderate and the terrain in places is steep and rocky but in others it's gentle and rolling. The Plateau boasts a rich diversity of flowering plants, ferns, and wildlife habitat. A hike on the Black Mountain segment of the Cumberland Trail, just a few miles north of our work site, will lead hikers to views of Grassy Cove, a designated National Natural Landmark, and to close up observation of the unique geology that forms the Plateau. You'll have the chance to tour the historic Head of Sequatchie where the lodging accommodations are located. On these grounds, you will walk the same trails as the first European settlers of Tennessee as well as Native Americans dating back to the Mississippian Period when Devilstep Hollow Cave was an important ceremonial site (home to some of the most archaeologically significant pictographs, petroglyphs, and mud glyphs in the southeastern United States).

Accommodations Description

Volunteers will stay in the Head of Sequatchie Lodge with 6 large bedrooms with multiple beds in each room and cots available as well. The lodge has a fully equipped kitchen with double fridge, dishwasher, stove, oven, microwave and sink. There is no wi-fi and limited cell phone service available at the lodge. Potable water is available at the lodge. There are two separate bathroom areas. Each have stalled restrooms and stalled showers with 5 sinks. Washer and dryers are in each of the bathrooms. Volunteers should bring their own sleeping bags, linens and pillows.


Chattanooga Airport in Chattanooga, TN is the closest airport. Airport pick up and drop off is not available and volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to and from the project location. Carpooling can be arranged upon confirmation of the project.


Cumberland Trail State Park
409 Thurman Ave, Crossville, Tennessee 38555 United States + Google Map