Because wildfires, wind storms, floods, gravity, and vegetation growth are constant threats to the PCT, the annual maintenance and reconstruction of the trail is a never-ending and monumental undertaking. Such work, historically carried out by government trail crews, is increasingly done by hundreds of volunteers organized by the PCTA. These volunteers perform hard, physical labor so that others may safely enjoy the beauty and challenge along the trail.
To help our volunteers succeed in their trail work, PCTA collaborated with many partners to develop a Trail Skills College curriculum. It is designed for workshops to train volunteers both new and old. The curriculum is available for free for all who wish to use it, whether you are a partner working along the PCT, or working on trails around the world.
A grant from REI funded the initial development of the curriculum. The PCTA worked with U.S. Forest Service Trails Specialist John Schubert to write these documents. They are free to be copied provided the PCTA and John Schubert are acknowledged as the source. Drawings from publications of The Student Conservation Association, Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, U.S. Forest Service, and IMBA are used with permission.
The referenced forms contained within the curriculum can be found on our crew leader page.
If you have questions, suggestions or corrections on the PCTA Trail Skills curriculum, please email Jennifer Tripp at [email protected].
- Overview – March 2011
- Terminology – April 2017
- 100 Intro to Trail Maintenance – March 2011
- 101 Brushing and Scouting – March 2011
- 102 Tread and Drainage – March 2011
- 103 Basic Saw Crew Training – March 2011
- 107 Hand Tool Field Maintenance – March 2011
- 200 Basic Trail Design (Powerpoint – 30MB) – March 2011
- 201 Drainage Design & Drain Dips – March 2011
- 203 Waterbars & Checks – March 2011
- 204 Cooking & Camping with the Crew – April 2017
- 205 Tread Re-Construction – March 2011
- 207 Trail Decommission & Wildland Restoration – March 2011
- 208 Trail Sign Installation & Inventory – March 2011
- 300 Rock Retaining Walls – March 2011
- 302 Drainage Crossings – March 2011
- 304 Crew Leadership: Managing Volunteers – April 2011
- 306 Working with Packers & Packstock – April 2017
- 400 Crew Leadership: Project Management – April 2013