Volunteer Trail Work FAQs
New to trail work? We’re here to help. To give you a better idea of what it’s like to be a Wilderness Trail Work Volunteer, check out the answers to our most frequently asked questions.
What is the cost?
It’s free! For all projects, Friends of Nevada Wilderness provides the tools and safety gear. For overnight projects, Friends will provide dinner and dessert, breakfast drinking water, and kitchen gear. Of course, we welcome and rely upon your support to help make projects like these happen. Please consider becoming a member and supporting stewardship!
What do I need to bring?
For all projects, you’ll need to bring a backpack, snacks, and appropriate clothing. Long pants and sturdy, close-toed shoes are required to do trailwork and long-sleeved shirts are recommended. For overnights, you’ll need to provide your own camping gear, including a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and personal items.
Do I need to have prior experience?
Nope! Projects don’t require prior trail work experience, and we encourage those with all levels of experience to get involved. You’ll receive a safety and training session by the leaders before you begin working on a project, including proper techniques and appropriate tool use. Recent hiking experience is required for Difficulty Levels 2 - 4.
What do trailwork volunteers do?
Trail work volunteers are a vital part of building, maintaining, and protecting Nevada’s Wilderness Trails.
Projects are dependent on the needs of the trail in that area. Trail work may include:
- Clearing overgrown vegetation on the trail
- Maintaining and improving the trail tread (tread is the area where people and stock walk on the trail)
- Maintaining and constructing structures such as drain dips, steps, or rock walls
- Tree and seedling planting
- Trash/debris removal
How do I sign up for a project?
There are three simple steps to register for a project. First, submit a volunteer application if you haven’t yet this year. For overnight trail work, a separate application is required and can be found here. Next, check out the project schedule and find a project that you want to join. Third, RSVP for the project!
How do I get to the project?
You’ll need to arrange transportation to and from the project. The meeting location is typically a trailhead. If you’re joining part way through the project, you’ll need to meet us on the trail. After you register for a project you’ll receive directions to the trailhead or meeting location.
Do I have to stay for the entire project?
You are welcome to volunteer for part of a project, however, we ask volunteers to attend for at least two full days. On the first day, leaders go overview safety and a project to the entire group.
If you’re volunteering for part of the project, you must notify the stewardship team in Northern Nevada at (775) 324-7667 or in Southern Nevada at (702) 515-5417 or firstname.lastname@example.org with the project name in the subject line.
Is working on a trail crew hard work?
Please review our Trail Work Difficulty Ratings on the Volunteer Info/Signup tab. Please note, tasks will vary in their degree of intensity, but it can be demanding work. Volunteers need to be prepared to hike to and from a project site while carrying tools and personal gear. Some projects may take place at a trailhead, but others may be three miles from the trailhead. Each project description lists the tasks and the fitness level required. If you’re unsure or concerned about the fitness level required, please contact us and we can help.
Do I need hiking experience?
Yes. Volunteers are required to have experience matching or beyond the difficult level of the project. For example, projects with 'Difficulty Level 2: Challenging' ratings will require that volunteer have experience hiking approximately six miles at 10,000’ elevation. If you are not taking advantage of pack support on overnight projects, volunteers must have backpacking experience to participate. Such volunteers need to be prepared to carry in their own personal gear for up to 3 miles to reach base camp.
Will there be a camp host or chef on the project?
We’ll take be cooking up gourmet camp dinners and desserts on overnights. We’ll have a coffee, tea, cocoa, and a simple oatmeal bar in the mornings. We’ll also have basic sandwich making fixings available in the morning for you to make lunch.
What are the age requirements?
In general, we accept volunteers that are 18 years of age or older. We’ll also consider youth ages 15-17 who are accompanied by a parent/guardian on a case to case basis. Please contact us to learn more.
Can I bring my dog?
Due to safety reasons and concern for the animal’s well-being we recommend not bringing your pet to a trailwork project. Please keep in mind there are swinging tools and moving objects at our work sites, which could be potentially hazardous. In addition, while your pet may be adorable and well-behaved, not everyone is comfortable around dogs.
What would you like to do next?