Celebrate 40 Years of Trail Stewardship on an Outdoor Service Vacation

February 18, 2016

All across America, the American Hiking Society is celebrating 40 years of trail stewardship through its Volunteer Vacations program and invites all Americans to join the party on a once-in-a-lifetime outdoor volun-tour trip.   They have just released their 2016 Volunteer Vacations schedule, offering 50+ trail-building and maintaining vacations at iconic destinations across the country.

The Volunteer Vacations program was forged forty years ago out of a commitment to assist understaffed and underfunded land management agencies with the rapidly growing backlog of trail maintenance and building projects on our nation’s public lands.  “Our nationally prominent program provides vital volunteer assistance and resources to public land managers across the country, while offering individuals of all walks of life the chance to get out and give back to the places they love.” comments Gregory Miller, President of American Hiking Society.

These week-long volun-tour trips offer a range of difficulty levels and accommodation options and do not require any special skills or prior trail maintenance experience, just a willingness to get a little dirty.  In addition to meeting new friends and experiencing nature up close, the trail conservation work completed on a volunteer vacation will allow safe and sustainable trail access for hikers and other trail users well into the future.  Land managers will also be grateful for the essential assistance the volunteers are providing.  “We are humbled that people are so willing to donate their time and effort to help maintain this special place.” comments Denali National Park Volunteer Host, Melody Abel.  “It is a privilege to meet and work alongside so many great people and to share time on the trail which people will benefit from for a long time to come.”

Trail crews consist of 6-15 volunteers and include the guidance and supervision of an experienced crew leader.  Food, park entrance fees, campsite or cabin accommodations, tools and a one-year membership with American Hiking Society are all included in the $325 registration fee, making American Hiking’s Volunteer Vacations one of the most affordable adventure travel offerings.

Whether a person needs a push to organize their next outing, is eager to meet others who share their passion for the outdoors, or is interested in traveling to a new hiking locale, American Hiking Society does the dirty work of planning the adventure!  With 50+ volun-tour destinations in 26 states available, the 2016 trip schedule offers incredible, diverse opportunities to give back in backcountry wilds as well as in urban outdoor retreats.

Over the past four decades, American Hiking Society’s Volunteer Vacations have made significant contributions towards  keeping America’s trails system accessible and sustainable, but to be truly effective, the efforts must be on-going.  Join American Hiking Society to Get Out and Give Back in 2016 and beyond.

To learn more about the 2016 Volunteer Vacation’s trip schedule, visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call (800) 972-8608.

Volunteer Vacations are made possible by the generous support of our sponsors – REI, The Explore Fund, Vasque, and Backpacker’s Pantry, as well as our Federal Public Land Partners – the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

About American Hiking Society
Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call (800) 972-8608.