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Training and education

Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Workshops Program Overview

Volunteer Trail Skills workshops are held each year in a variety of locations. Since 1995, with financial assistance provided by the National Park Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy has developed a series of training programs to improve the level of safety training, safety awareness, and skills development among Trail clubs, volunteer maintainers, Trail crews, and state and federal agencies. ATC has prepared curricula for a variety of topics (based on chapters in the ATC stewardship manual, Appalachian Trail Design, Construction, and Maintenance), including:

  • Basic Trail Maintenance: a program for beginning Trail maintainers (clearing, marking, footpath width, tools, drainage maintenance, and personal and group safety);
  • Corridor Monitoring and Boundary Maintenance: a course covering the techniques needed to manage the narrow corridor of land between Virginia and Maine purchased by the National Park Service since 1978;
  • Cable Rigging for Trail Work: a weekend course in how to use those simple mechanical devices that enable human-powered lifting, hauling, and transporting of tons of building materials;
  • Chain Saw Safety: a weekend course providing instruction and certification in safe chainsaw operation for A.T. maintainers (under revision)
  • Planning a Trailhead Bulletin Board: guidance for locating and constructing informational signboards at A.T. trailheads.

Additionally, comprehensive two-day wilderness first-aid courses are offered in conjunction with ridgerunner training/orientation programs.

For more on trail skills workshops and other training opportunities offered by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, visit the website at:

Handbook for Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Training Course

The Student's Guidebook for this course (U.S. Forest Service) is available as PDF files on the ATC Trails Training pages.


The National Trails Training Partnership
American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797(530) 605-4395Fax: (530)

The National Trails Training Partnership is an alliance of Federal agencies, training providers, nationwide supporters, and providers of products and services. Visit the online calendar of training opportunities, access hundreds of trail-related resources, read the news, learn how you can help, and see training resources in your state.

This material is based upon work supported by the Federal Highway Administration under Cooperative Agreement DTFH61-06-H-00023. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the Author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Federal Highway Administration.

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