Information for Appalachian Trail Volunteers

A trail marker mounted to a tree on the Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail maintaining clubs are responsible for most of the day-to-day work of keeping the A.T. open. In addition to Trail maintenance, club volunteers may build and repair shelters and other structures, monitor and protect the Trail corridor, monitor and manage rare plants and invasive species, develop management plans for their sections, and much more.

Volunteer Roles

MCM’s responsibility as an Appalachian Trail maintaining club includes the following duties:

  • We maintain the northernmost 10 miles of the A.T in Maryland and 32 more miles (including 29 miles of the A.T and 3 miles of side trails) in two sections in Pennsylvania. Trail work can include installing and cleaning water bars, clearing trees that fall across the Trail, improving stream crossings, and repairing bridges.
  • We maintain four hiking shelters along our Pennsylvania sections of the A.T. The shelters work includes carrying in supplies, keeping privies in good working shape, and making repairs to the structures.
  • We monitor the boundaries of land owned by the National Park Service (NPS) surrounding our Pennsylvania sections of the A.T. This work typically involves following boundary lines through brush and rough terrain, locating markers and monuments, repainting blazes, and reporting incursions onto NPS land.

Information Sources

Each Trail Club’s policies for its assigned Trail sections are documented in a Local Management Plan (LMP). To view the current version of the Mountain Club’s LMP, click here.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) web site provides training and safety information for Trail volunteers, include Job Hazard Analyses and the Trail Safe Training program. This ATC web page also includes important information about volunteer service agreements and steps that volunteers should take to report an injury. All A.T. volunteers should review these materials, which are available here.

Each Trail club is required to have a Check-In/Check-Out Policy for volunteers to follow. The purpose of this requirement is to assure that if a volunteer is injured on the trail and cannot get to his/her vehicle or summon help, another person will be able to (1) realize that the volunteer is missing and (2) inform rescuers where to look for him/her. To view MCM’s Check-In/Check-Out Policy, check here.

Each Trail club is required to have an Emergency Response Plan describing the steps volunteers should followed in case an emergency occurs during volunteer work on the Trail. To view MCM’s Emergency Response Plan, click here.

Contact Us for More Information 

If you have any questions about the Mountain Club of Maryland’s Appalachian Trail volunteer work, contact us:

Applachaian Trail Maintenance:
ATTrails@mcomd.org

Appalachian Trail Shelters:
ATShelters@mcomd.org

Appalachian Trail Corridor Monitoring:
ATMonitor@mcomd.org