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Trail Maintenance

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Spring is here, and with spring comes maintenance of the trails and parks that the majority of geocachers use. I would like to encourage all cachers to volunteer for trail work. Common work done in spring includes:

1. Moderate brushing, clipping and clearing.

2. Painting blazes or constructing cairns.


Work requiring a team includes:

1. Major brush removal

2. Creating or re-routing trails

3. Bridge and Lean-to maintenance or construction

4. Stone work, such as creating steps on inclines


In you live in the Delaware Valley one group to contact that performs trail work is the DV-AMC (Delaware Valley Appalachian Mountain Club).


Request cachers involved with other clubs, conferences, and organizations list them.

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Good post Waterboy! In southeastern NY, northern NJ and parts of LI the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference is always looking for volunteers. There are now several prominent area geocachers who are maintaining trails and serving in positions of responsibility.


You can volunteer by maintaining an assigned section of trail (usually 1-3 miles) or by joining one of the established trail crews (North Jersey, East Hudson, West Hudson, Catskill, AT and West Jersey).


Maintainer responsibilities include clipping, blazing, removing litter, minor erosion control and reporting major problems (serious erosion, down trees, trail encroachment, etc...) on your section to your supervisor. Maintainers are asked to visit their trail a minimum of twice a year, but many trail sections need more frequent visits. I know of several vacant sections of trail, so you can contact me if you are interested, or e-mail Josh using the above link.


Trail crews usually go out on Sundays and do a lot of the 'heavy lifting". Building bridges, stone steps, relocations, new trail construction, chainsawing, etc... Trail crews are a good way to get involved if you don't want the responsibility of maintaining a section of trail. You can join up with a crew whenever you are available. There is no obligation beyond that.


And to tie this post into geocaching (we don't want Keystone Approver or NJ Admin shutting it down for being OT), when you maintain a section of trail, you learn the best spots to hide a cache and can get back there fairly frequently to check on it.

Edited by briansnat
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The post is hardly off-topic, as a geocacher who volunteers to work with trail maintenance is helping to maintain good relations with the managers of the land where we play our game.


In addition to volunteering with an existing organized trail group, geocachers can get together and do a CITO event involving litter pickup along the trail together with brush clearing and other maintenance. At an event like this last year, capably organized by IV Warrior, each participant was awarded a Pennsylvania DCNR Conservation Volunteer patch. It is the best geocaching trade item I've ever received.


For more information, click on this link to the Pennsylvania DCNR Conservation Volunteer Program homepage.

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French Creek State Park in the lower corner of Berks County, PA


There is a volunteer "Tuesday Crew" at this state park. They meet (would you believe it?) every Tuesday evening during Daylight Savings Time - i.e. the warmer months. They do the routine tasks of trail maintenance and other tasks that might not be so routine. They meet at the Maintenance Building across the street from the Park Office, which is at:

N 40° 11.881'    W 075° 47.582'


If you are interested in joining them (even for just one Tuesday), call the park at 610-582-9680 and leave a message for Colin H.

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Some other organizations and agencies that accept volunteers for our trails and forests:


If you live in Long Island, check with the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference.


If you live near the Appalachain Trail, there is the Appalachian Trail Conference.


New Jersey residents can also check with:


New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry


Somerset County Parks Commission.


Morris County Land Conservancy


There are also many hiking and outdoors clubs whose members participate in trail maintenance.

Edited by briansnat
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Just wanted to say thanks for this post, I've thought about volunteering in such capacities, but never really knew there was a central point of contact. Now I have a good lead.


I think these kinds of efforts are a great way of showing the park administrations the benefits of having us geocachers around, and keeping on their good side. Not to mention the benefits on the trails themselves.


Thanks again.

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To add to what Brian said, there are many local parks that may not be maintained by organizations such as the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference. My wife and I discovered a small Westchester County park (Muscoot) where the trails needed work. Instead of complaining about the condition of the trails, my wife and I asked if we could help fix them up. The manager of the park was only too happy to take up our offer, and we are on our third year of maintaining that park's trail system.

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