Alternative Break

Spend Your School Break Making a Difference

Volunteer Vacation Icon with heart and trail tools

Make Spring Break
Mean Something

Volunteer Vacation Icon of two people sitting around a campfire under a starry sky

Make Memories Outdoors

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Make a Difference

What is an Alternative Break with the American Hiking Society?

American Hiking Society’s Alternative Breaks are volunteer trail stewardship projects in America’s parks and forests designed specifically for college student groups and young professionals. Part volunteer work project, part kick-back outdoor vacation.

Read the General Information page for more details. THANK YOU to all the 2020 Alternative Break Volunteers!

 

Land Managers, we are still accepting crew requests for Alternative Breaks this spring, albeit with additional COVID precautions and safety measures in place.  Request an Alternative Break Here.

General Information

Matthew Mage

The Crew

Alternative Break crews are a maximum of 10 people, due to COVID-19 safety precautions. Supervision during the project will be provided by our experienced project hosts.  If you want to volunteer over your break as an individual, check out all the trips we offer as part of our year-round  Volunteer Vacations program. Volunteer Vacations are open for individual registration and are not limited to college students (There will be a variety of ages of participants on these trips).  Many of these trips will coincide with your spring and summer break.

The Setup

Most trips last one week with weekends used for group travel. Alternative Breaks combine day hiking, trail work, exploration, crew camaraderie, and FUN into a weeks time and are scheduled for your student group to participate during your school break. Never been hiking or done trail work before? We welcome you! Alternative Breaks don’t require any prior trail work experience, just a good attitude and a willingness to get a little dirty!

The Accommodations

Lodging options vary depending on the trip you choose. Alternative Breaks will offer either indoor accommodations (bunkhouses, cabins, lodges) or access to a campground site where you bring your own tent and camping supplies.  All locations will offer access to indoor bathrooms and either a full-service kitchen or camp cooking gear for meal prep. All locations will be implementing social distancing, increased cleaning and hygiene practices, and volunteers will be required to wear face coverings indoors.

The Experience

Make new friends and share laughter over a campfire. Experience an amazing sense of accomplishment after building a bridge or restoring a neglected trail. Connect with the land. Experience nature first-hand. Spend your break doing something that makes a lasting difference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Secure Your Alternative Break Today

To secure an Alternative Break location for your group or for questions about the program, please read the info above, then contact Libby Wile at [email protected] or 1-800-972-8608 ext. 704.
Sarah Mekonnen

Location
State
(2/21) - (2/27)
(2/28) - (3/6)
(3/7) - (3/13)
(3/14) - (3/20)
(3/21) - (3/27)
(3/28) - (4/3)
Talbot Islands SP
FL
Available
Available
Available
X
X
X
Natchez Trace SP
TN
Available
Available
Available
X
X
X
Douthat SP
VA
Available
Available
Available
Available
Available
Available
Natural Bridge
VA
Available
Available
Available
Available
Available
Available

If you would like to secure a particular week/location for your group, first read through the General Information section to better understand the program and reservation process.  Then contact Libby Wile at [email protected] or call 1-800-972-8608 ext. 704.

Please Note:  Alternative Breaks are intended for college student and young professional groups.  To reserve a week/location, your group needs to have at least 6 participants. We are requiring that all volunteer groups abide by the AHS COVID-19 Volunteer Guidance.

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Talbot Islands State Park, Florida

Host: Florida State Parks
Maximum Group Size: 10
natchez bridge

Natchez Trace State Park, Tennessee

Host: Tennessee State Parks
Maximum Group Size: 10
Douthat-State-Park-VA-450x300

Douthat State Park, Virginia

Host: Virginia State Parks
Maximum Group Size: 10
Natural-Bridge-State-Park-VA-2-450x286

Natural Bridge State Park, Virginia

Host: Virginia State Parks
Maximum Group Size: 9

Secure Your Alternative Break Today

To secure an Alternative Break location for your group or for questions about the program, please read the general information section, then contact Libby Wile at [email protected] or 1-800-972-8608 ext. 704.