May 15, 2009
American Hiking Society: Volunteer Vacations
You have a lot of vacation options for the summer but here's a terrific, affordable idea that you may not have heard about. The American Hiking Society offers an entire catalog full of Volunteer Vacations where you can spend time working on a trail stewardship project on America's public lands. You don't need any experience to become a volunteer-- just a love of the outdoors and a desire to get dirty. Here's what you need to know.
You pick the kind of adventure you want: Easy-moderate, moderate-difficult or strenuous-very strenuous. Each vacation in the AHS catalog has a difficulty rating as well as information about the kind of hiking or backpacking to expect and accommodations. Your trip may involve a primitive camp site, bunk house or cabin. Volunteer crews range from six to 15 individuals plus a crew leader and AHS says their participants range in age from 18 to 82. And then we get to the locations...because you'll be working on public lands, you have lots of spectacular choices: from Chugach National Forest in Alaska to Moosehorn National wildlife Refuge in Maine, to New Mexico's Cibola National Forest and Virgin Island National Park in, yep, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and lots and lots of beautiful places in between.
Costwise, this is a bargain! Your first trip will run you $275 ($245 if you're an AHS member) and each additional trip only $175.
What a great way to "get out and give back."
For more information about the American Hiking Society and volunteer vacations, click here.
To download the volunteer vacation catalog, click here.
FYI: I added a permanent link to the American Hiking Society in the resources section on the right side of the blog.
Image credit: Andrea Ketchmark taken by Allison Waterbury, American Hiking Society