June 22, 2019
by Julie Dodd
You can be part of restoring Trillium Gap Trail by volunteering with the Trails Forever crew.
The crew is working on the trail Mondays through Thursdays from May 13 through November 15. Volunteers join the crew on Wednesdays.
Contact Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator Adam Monroe at 828-497-1949 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and to register. You must register in advance to volunteer.
Trails Forever volunteers perform a wide range of trail maintenance and trail rehabilitation work. The particular jobs you are assigned will vary depending on your experience level and the part of the trail that is being worked on.
You may install drainage structures, rehabilitate trail surfaces, construct raised trail segments, remove brush and vegetation, or build foot logs and bridges.
All Trails Forever volunteers must be able to hike and safely perform strenuous and often difficult manual labor.
Volunteers should be able to hike at least 4 miles and be comfortable lifting heavy objects and using hand tools, such as shovels, fire rakes, axes, sledgehammers, etc.
Typically Trails Forever workdays will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. If you need to leave early or arrive late, let the Trails Volunteer Coordinator know when you register to volunteer. Volunteers need to provide their own transportation to the Trillium Gap Trailhead.
Volunteers are required to provide their own backpack, food, water and clothing. All tools and necessary equipment will be provided. Volunteers must wear closed-toes shoes (preferably boots) and long pants. No sandals or other open-toed shoes are allowed.
Volunteers are also responsible for cold-weather and rain gear. Because the weather in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is often unpredictable, volunteers must be prepared for a range of potential weather conditions.
Friends of the Smokies established the Trails Forever endowment in 2012, thanks to a matching gift from the Aslan Foundation in Knoxville.
Today, the endowment has grown to more than $6 million. The endowment funds a full-time trail crew in Great Smoky Mountains National Park to reconstruct and rehabilitate some of the park’s most used trails.