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Spring Walk-Throughs on the NCT

Categories: Trail Alerts, Trail Maintenance


A spring walk-through on a section of the North Country Trail is a straightforward, yet very helpful volunteer task for those interested in helping out their local Chapter. Volunteers walk an assigned Trail section, and either remedy or report common trail problems, including tree blowdowns, extra wet or muddy spots, thick brush, winter logging damage, or motorized use impacts.

Local NCTA Chapters or Affiliate organizations should be able to provide you with all necessary hand tools for proper trail maintenance.

• Small debris in the Trail: Remove by hand, trekking pole or foot.
• Thick trailside brush: Lop branches that are within the 4 x 8-foot Trail corridor. If in doubt, cut it!
• Trail structures: Check on structures like puncheon and bridges, and note any significant problems such as wobbly sections, broken railings or damage from fallen trees.
• Downed trees: Safely remove small downed trees from the Trail using hand saws (e.g. Silky Big Boy), or a chainsaw if you are a *certified sawyer.
*Note: Using chainsaws and/or crosscut saws require National Park Service or U.S. Forest Service certification and current First Aid and CPR training. Also, please work with a partner, not alone.

The NCTA doesn’t expect anyone to remedy a trail condition if they are uncomfortable or ill-equipped. Any trail condition can be reported using the online Report Trail Conditions form, or by emailing the local Chapter or Affiliate. The Avenza app is not only handy for utilizing free NCTA mapping resources, but for recording placemarks and photos of problem locations, as well. Learn more on the Trails and Maps and Downloads page or the Avenza website.

Learn More
NCTA’s Volunteer Resource Center: Trail Adopter Basics video, the Trail Adopter Handbook, and more.
• Get Involved: Contact your local Chapter or Affiliate, and sign a Volunteer Agreement Form (if you’re not a NCTA Chapter member).
• Safety: Your safety is essential! Before attempting any volunteer work, please visit the National Park Service’s website to study important safety information.