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2023 Volunteer Events and Projects

2023 Volunteer Events and Projects

Since 1986, thousands of volunteers have worked with trained ADK trail crew leaders to complete trail maintenance and reconstruction projects in the Adirondacks and Catskills. As volunteers work together and form new friendships, they complete top-quality projects that will protect the natural resource for many years. A fun and rewarding experience is guaranteed. Trail work is demanding, so volunteers should expect to be challenged physically and mentally.    


trail volunteers in hard hats in the woods

One-Day Volunteer Events

National Trails Day, June 3

This year, ADK’s National Trails Day event will be held at the Heart Lake Program Center Saturday, June 3, from 8:00 a.m. to approximately 3:30 p.m. The program is free of charge for all participants; donations are appreciated. Individual projects will range from corridor and tread work on the new Mount Jo Long Trail, to drainage and blowdown clearing on select trails in the High Peaks from the Adirondak Loj trailhead. Visit ADK.org for additional details and to sign up for a project.

Fall Trails Day, September 30

ADK’s Fall Trails Day event will be held at the Heart Lake Program Center on Saturday, September 30. Leaders will bring groups of volunteers out to clear drainages and cut out blowdown along select trails in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. Hikes will be from 2  to 10 miles round trip. This is the big push to prep the trails for winter recreation and spring snow melt.

Multi-Day Supervised ­Volunteer Trail Crew ­Opportunities

Volunteers will be supervised by experienced crew leaders and taught how to build sustainable trail infrastructure. The All-Age Volunteer Trail Crew projects offer everyone the opportunity to construct and maintain hiking trails throughout the Adirondacks. The High School Volunteer Trail Crew projects are available throughout the summer for youth aged 14 to 17. Backcountry trips require participants to hike into the project site with group food, gear and tools, and camp for the ­duration of the project. Scholarships are available. Click here for additional information and to sign up.

All-Age Trail Projects

  • Dan Kane Memorial Work Weekend (June 9–11): Volunteers will choose from several trail work projects in the Johns Brook Valley in the High Peaks Wilderness Area. The crew will hike 3.5 miles to ADK’s Johns Brook Lodge, where participants will be based. Lodging and food are provided by Johns Brook Lodge.
  • Great Camp Sagamore (June 13–16): Volunteers will construct a reroute on the Beaver Flow trail to replace a frequently flooded section. During the project volunteers will be housed and fed by Great Camp ­Sagamore in Raquette Lake.
  • Elk Lake Lodge (June 19–23): Volunteers will be working to improve existing sections of trail near Elk Lake. Volunteers will be housed and fed by Elk Lake Lodge in North Hudson.
  • Mount Jo Long Trail (August 13–17): Volunteers will work on the finishing touches of the Mount Jo Long Trail before its grand opening. Expect to hike 1 mile to the project site each day. Lodging is provided at Heart Lake’s Wilderness Campground.

High School Trail Projects

  • High Peaks Wilderness Bridge Replacement (June 25–30): Participants will replace a dimensional bridge on the extremely popular Van Hoevenburg Trail to Mount Marcy in the High Peaks Wilderness. The crew will hike approximately 1.5 miles from the Adirondak Loj trailhead to the project site, and camp at Marcy Dam for the week.
  • High Peaks Wilderness Tread Hardening (July 9–14): Participants will utilize local rock harvested from the surrounding forest to harden portions of the Van Hoevenburg Trail in the High Peaks Wilderness. The crew will hike approximately 1.5 miles from the Adirondac Loj trailhead to the project site. The crew will camp at Marcy Dam for the week.
  • Northville-Placid Trail Sidecutting and Blowdow Removal (July 16–21): Participants will open the hiking corridor and cut out fallen trees along a section of the trail from Rock Pond to Mud Lake in the Silver Lake Wilderness Area. The crew will hike approximately 3 miles to the project site and camp at a nearby lean-to.
  • Northville-Placid Trail Rock Staircase (July 23–28): Participants will construct a rock staircase on the trail near Woods Lake, in the Silver Lake Wilderness. The crew will hike approximately 1.5 miles to the project site and will stay at a nearby campsite for the week.
  • Calamity Brook Trail Tread Hardening (July 30–August 4): Participants will utilize local rock and soil harvested from the surrounding forest to harden portions of this trail in the High Peaks Wilderness. The crew will hike approximately 3 miles to the project site and stay at a nearby campsite for the week.
  • Mount Jo Long Trail Construction (August 6–11): Participants will continue to construct the new Long Trail up Mount Jo at ADK’s Heart Lake Program Center. The crew will hike approximately 1 mile to the project site and stay at Heart Lake’s Wilderness Campground each night.

Self-Motivated Volunteer Opportunities

ADK partners with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) under volunteer stewardship agreements to adopt select trails and lean-tos throughout the Adirondack Park. As self-motivated volunteer programs, trail stewards and lean-to adopters are responsible for performing light annual maintenance at least twice a year to help keep trails and lean-tos functioning and looking their best. Trail stewards and lean-to adopters also help to inform DEC land managers and ADK’s Trails Program of any additional maintenance that may need to be performed that falls outside of the volunteer scope.


Click here to see details and apply/register for these and other volunteer opportunities. ADK provides the training required for volunteers in these programs.

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