Alternative Break Host Information

Alternative Breaks are week-long trail building/maintaining projects organized by American Hiking Society & hosted by BLM, NPS, USDA-FS, USFWS, state parks, trail organizations and other nonprofit partner groups across the country.  Most projects are one-week or shorter in length, consist of 8-14 crew members, and involve trail maintenance and building tasks on hiking trails on public lands.

Alternative Breaks are volunteer trail stewardship projects designed specifically for college student groups and young professionals. We have many colleges and universities interested in Alternative Breaks for 2023, so we encourage you to consider hosting an Alternative Break crew, especially if you have worked with AHS in the past and can provide indoor accomodations such as cabins or a bunkhouse (which is usually preferred by these groups). Alternative Break projects primarily take place from late February-early April.

Please read through the Alternative Break Host Guide as well as the COVID specific requirements for hosting a crew with us.

American Hiking provides:

  • Communication and selection of a crew from a pool of interested colleges and universities
  • Logistical support and communication throughout the planning and trip process
  • Assistance from a volunteer crew leader who will aid with menu planning, food shopping and lodging logistics

Hosts provide:

  • Project plan and backup plan
  • Technical expertise and supervision of the volunteers
  • Lodging/Accommodations for volunteers (cabin, lodge, house, or campsite. Please note indoor accomodations are often preferred)
  • Tools & safety equipment/first-aid supplies
  • Group cooking supplies including stove, pots, pans, utensils, and fuel (see AHS Volunteer Vacations Group Cooking Gear)
  • Follow the COVID specific guidelines for hosting

Volunteers provide:

  • Volunteer labor and eager attitudes!
  • Limited hiking and camping gear (backpack, sleeping bag, tent, personal items) if indoor accommodations are not provided
  • Travel to the project location

Project requests are now open for 2024. Please email for questions about the application process.

Shaun Paul

Spread the word about hosting an Alternative Break

Lionello Delpiccolo


If you are wondering what type of trail projects we typically select, please review these things to consider before making your request.
If you need further information about hosting an Alternative Break, please contact Ellie Place at or call 301-565-6704 ext. 704.