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ADOPT-A-TRAIL

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The Blue Ridge Parkway offers over 100 hiking trails ranging from a casual walk thru the forest to a strenuous hike up a section of the Appalachian Trail.

These trails require constant maintenance and repair as annual storms bring down branches and trees, runoff erodes the trails, leaves cover the ground, and new seedlings, weeds, and roots invade the walking space.


For more than a decade, FRIENDS Adopt-a-Trail program has coordinated the groups and organizations that take on the trails. These groups keep the trails safe and accessible for Parkway visitors so they can enjoy nature and the Blue Ridge Mountain views.
INTERESTED?
If you’ve got a group interested in adopting a trail, make sure you have a basic understanding of what is involved and then identify a trail that is a good fit for your group. Once you’re ready, FRIENDS will work with you. We request groups adopting a trail do so for at least a year, and preferably three to five. It takes time to get your group set up and working so we do ask for a minimum commitment. Of course, we are thrilled to have your group stay on with the trail for as long as you like. We have many trail groups that enjoy being outside, find the work rewarding and stay with their trails long term.

Found your trail? Then there are a few details to take care of. You’ll need to complete and submit some forms, await approval from the National Park Service and FRIENDS, and if approved, take some training from other FRIENDS volunteers.

We’ve outlined the entire procedure for you below.

  1. Read our Adopt-a-Trail Guidelines to get a basic understanding of what is involved in trail maintenance.
  2. Many interested groups already have an idea which trail they’d like to adopt. Please review our list of adopted trails to see if a trail you’re interested in is available. In deciding if a particular trail is a good fit for your group, be sure to consider the travel time, terrain, and length of the trail. There is no substitute for taking your group out to a trail you’re interested in and hiking it to familiarize yourselves.
  3. If your trail is not available and no other trails are appropriate for your group, there is always the option to volunteer with the group that has adopted one near you and FRIENDS can put you in touch with that group.
  4. If your trail is available, please contact FRIENDS and talk to us. We can help you fill in any blanks, put you in touch with another trail group who can talk to you about their experiences, help you arrange to go out on a trail maintenance day, whatever you need to feel comfortable.
  5. Download the Adopt-a-Trail Application. This application is for your entire group and it must be completed and returned to FRIENDS to start the process. You may mail the completed application to us or you may scan and return the completed application by e-mail to staff@friendsbrp.org.
  6. Each member of your group must also be a registered volunteer with FRIENDS before you can start work. Please refer your members to our BECOME A VOLUNTEER page for information and forms.
  7. When your group is approved, FRIENDS will contact you to arrange for training.
  8. When your group begins your trail work, you will be asked to submit Adopt-a-Trail Maintenance Forms. These reports log the number of people working, the hours each worked and makes note of any special conditions that the National Park Service should be aware of on the trail. Again, you have the option to mail these to FRIENDS or scan and return them by e-mail to staff@friendsbrp.org.