Facebook triumphs again!

I  have a Facebook friend who was recently asking, on the site, for other volunteers to join him as he and his wife worked with the Appalachian Mountain Club for a day on the Metacomet Monadnock Trail in Fitzwilliam, NH. They were fixing up the trail, making sure it was safe for travelers. It was, as I understand, a hard days work, but a satisfying day indeed.

And his Facebook post did produce the other enthusiastic volunteers he was searching for. Yay, Facebook!

But back to this trail work… it got me interested. How do these trails – rail trails, hiking, biking, riding trails, etc. – stay in such beautiful condition? I’m ashamed to say that, before now, I had never really considered that there were groups of people volunteering to keep these trails safe and enjoyable for all to experience.

As I said, my friend is a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club . There mission, in part, is to “promote the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of the Appalachian region.” With the help of their 450 full time staff members, 16,000 volunteers and 100,000 supporters, the Appalachian Mountain Club is able to offer not only traveling programs, activities and workshops, but also maintenance of the trails and waterways themselves. My friend specifically worked on the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail this particular day, improving a section of the trail so that it was more stable for hikers. Volunteers bring their own food, water and hiking gear (including 2Toms BlisterShield, of course!), tools if they have them (but tools here are also provided), and – most importantly – enthusiasm to keep the trails in tact!

If you are interested in joining the process, you can visit the Appalachian Mountain Club website and click on the Volunteer tab to see all the opportunities waiting for you.

Another NH based volunteer run trail maintenance organization can be found at www.trailwrights.org. However, if you are not local to NH, but still interested in helping maintain the beauty and usage of area rail trails, I urge you to visit www.railstotrails.org to find the specific organizations in your area eager for your volunteered time and financial assistance.