Great Smoky Mountains seeks hiking volunteers, ‘critical’ information

Do you love hiking? If so, the most-visited park in the nation wants your help.

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to “adopt” sections of its many trails. Volunteers would hike at least one designated trail four times per year and tell the park what they see.

The park said it would use volunteer input to figure out which trails need work – and where. In a press release, the park said this information is “critical” for keeping trails accessible.

No experience is required, but the park said volunteers should be comfortable hiking in the back country and enjoy interacting with visitors.

Volunteers must attend a 3-hour required training. The park said the training covers how it maintains trails, how to report a relevant trail needs information, and how to emphasize ‘Leave No Trace’ practices while hiking.

The park is holding two training sessions.

9 a.m. to noon at Oconaluftee Visitor Center near Cherokee, NC on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
9 a.m. to noon at Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, TN on Saturday, April 11, 2020.

If you’re interested, the park said you can contact Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator Adam Monroe by phone (828-497-1949) or email (adam_monroe@nps.gov) to register for the training.

 

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