Columbia Cascades Trail Skills College

Volunteers at the 2018 Columbia Cascades Trail Skills College learn to build turnpikes and work with packers and pack stock. Photo by Les Taylor.

2021 Columbia Cascades Trail Skills College

The Columbia Cascades Trail Skills College is a free week-long event for volunteers to learn about trail maintenance and stewardship. Beginners and experts alike can benefit from Trail Skills College courses like Intro to Trail Maintenance, Drain Dips and more.

Trail Skills College is offered free of charge in an effort to inspire stewardship of trails. In exchange for attending a training session, we encourage you to volunteer at least 8 hours of work on trail projects in the coming year.

The 2021 Columbia Cascades Trail Skills College is possible thanks to the U.S. Forest Service, PCTA’s Mount Hood Chapter, Washington Trails Association and Trailkeepers of Oregon.

When is it?

Online trainings and corresponding field sessions will take place Monday, April 26 – Sunday, May 2.

Where is it?

Online trainings will be held on Zoom. Corresponding field sessions will take place in the greater Columbia River Gorge area. Details for each field session location will be available during registration.

How much does it cost?

Trail Skills College is free of charge.

Are meals and lodging provided?

No. Unlike in years past, the 2021 Columbia Cascades Trail Skills College will not have a central basecamp, meals or lodging.

Volunteers will join online sessions from their personal devices. Field sessions will be single-day events, typically from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

What’s the fitness level of Trail Skills College?

The fitness level of the field sessions will vary depending on the classes you select during registration. However, all participants should be prepared to hike a minimum of 1-2 miles while carrying personal gear and tools. Participants should also be prepared for the hands-on learning opportunities in many of these classes, resulting in 6 hours of active trail maintenance per day.

What classes are being offered?

Four classes are being offered at the 2021 Columbia Cascades Trail Skills College: Intro to Trail Maintenance, Intro to Trail Scouting, Intro to Saw, and Drain Dips.

Each class has an online and field component. Volunteers are required to attend the online training before the field session.

Each field session will follow enhanced Covid-19 safety protocols.

Monday, April 26:

Online training for Intro to Saw, 5:30 PM

Tuesday, April 27:

Online training for Intro to Trail Maintenance, 5:30 PM

Wednesday, April 28:

Online training for Intro to Trail Scouting, 5:30 PM

Thursday, April 29:

Field session for Intro to Trail Maintenance, 9:00 AM

Online training for Drain Dips, 5:30 PM

Friday, April 30:

Field session for Intro to Trail Maintenance, 9:00 AM

Field session for Drain Dips, 9:00 AM

Field session for Intro to Saw, 9:00 AM

Online Meet & Greet, 5:30 PM

Saturday, May 1:

Field session for Intro to Trail Maintenance, 9:00 AM

Field sessions for Intro to Trail Scouting, 9:00 AM

Field session for Intro to Saw, 9:00 AM

Field session for Drain Dips, 9:00 AM

Sunday, May 2:

Field session for Intro to Trail Maintenance, 9:00 AM

Field session for Drain Dips, 9:00 AM

Online Social Hour, 5:30 PM

How do I register?

Registration is closed.

Can’t wait?

Don’t forget, you can learn new trail maintenance skills by volunteering on a PCTA trail crew any time. Most crews don’t require any previous trail maintenance experience. Knowledgeable and experienced crew leaders are on site to teach you the necessary skills.  Visit PCTA’s online schedule to find trail projects near you.

If you have questions about Trail Skills College, contact PCTA’s Volunteer Program at 916-285-1838 or [email protected].

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