About the local hosting organizationGreen Mountain Club was established to build and maintain Vermont's Long Trail, America's first long-distance hiking trail. Join with local volunteers to build a piece of the Appalachian Trail, a wilderness footpath that runs through the mountains of the eastern U.S. http://www.greenmountainclub.org/
About the volunteer workYou will be working and camping in the woods for five days at a time. The work is physically demanding, but very fun. Volunteers will work together to repair and maintain hiking trails. The crew camps out in the woods all week and on the last day of the week the crew packs out of the woods in the afternoon and returns to the base camp for the weekend. You will be using hand tools such as pickmatics, sledgehammers, shovels, hazel hoes and rock bars on a daily basis. These tools will help you build turnpike, check steps and native puncheon and other trail structures as necessary. You will have to carry all of your equipment, group equipment and tools into the woods. You will have the most fun if you are in good physical condition and have been walking regularly before arriving. Stamford Meadows Puncheon: Our work continues on a wet and muddy section of the Long Trail/Appalachian Trail. Crews will replace broken bog bridging along a beaver dam just south of Congdon Shelter on the Appalachian Trail. This project is done in partnership with the Green Mountain National Forest and VASA: Vermont ATV Sportsmen's Association Branch Pond Trail Re-Route: Located in the Lye Brook Wilderness, Branch Pond Trail is a 8.3 mile trail running through the heart of the Green Mountain National Forest in Southern Vermont. Crews will be re-routing the Branch Pond Trail onto higher ground to protect the trail from erosion and flooding cause by the construction of beaver dams.
Local accommodationYou will be living in the woods for five days at a time. There are no showers, electricity, cell phone service or running water. Your shelter is a tent that you might have to share with another person. You will be wearing the same dirty clothes, multiple days in a row, your hair will get messy and you might smell a little bit. But don't worry! So will everyone else. Sometimes you will be camped near some water and you will be able to wash your face. You are not allowed to use regular soap because it is harmful to the pristine environment you will be living in so please bring soap that is meant for camping. You will be sleeping in a tent and an outdoor kitchen will be set up for cooking. Food is kept in the buckets to protect it from mice and sometimes flying squirrels! Water is filtered from nearby streams. Everyone works together to make food, get water and clean up. There are a lot of biting bugs that live in the VT woods so be prepared. Bring a head net and some bug spray! On your two days off a week, while you are not working in the woods, you will be staying at the Mt. Tabor Forest Service Housing. At Mt. Tabor there are showers! There is also electricity, limited internet access, a full kitchen, laundry and bunk style sleeping arrangements. It will feel luxurious after your time in the woods! Be sure to tell the other volunteers and the group leader if you have any special diet needs.
About the project locationVolunteers will live and work on the historic Long Trail/Appalachian Trail (LT/AT). In Vermont the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail run together for about 100 miles before the AT traverses east across VT and into NH, while the LT continues northward to Canada. The Mt Tabor Forest Service Work Center (where volunteers are accommodated when not on the trail) is on Brooklyn Road in Danby, Vermont. It is 12 miles north of Manchester and 18 miles south of Rutland. Most of your day will be spent at the work site. In the evening you will have time to hang out in camp and tell stories, read or play card games. There will be many opportunities to enjoy beauty and nature and there will be formal and informal discussions about topics of interest to the group. Bring music, games or other activities to share.