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National Forest Foundation - Trail Crews

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

Do you know who creates and maintains your favorite hiking trails? Trail crews! Trail crews range from weekend volunteers to paid employees on behalf of conservation organizations. In the case of the National Forest Foundation, NFF provides funding and grants for conservation orgs to hire local crews to preserve our favorite trails. I joined and documented two crews that focused on creating opportunities and providing work experience for teenagers and young adults to enter conservation work.


I joined the Big Sur crew on an overnight trip into the Ventana Wilderness backcountry. The crew was working on cleaning up the Big Sur loop by cleaning debris, removing rocks, widening the trail, and cutting back overgrown poison ivy.


I joined the Big Bear crew for a day while they worked on the Grout Bay picnic area and Grays Peak trail head. Both parking and amenities have been closed for several years and are planning on reopening after clean up and maintenance work. Grout Bay is overgrown, with dirt and mud build up from rains. Grays Peak trail was eroding from recent rains; the trail crew worked on water control to prevent further washout by filling in the eroded areas and creating new drainage features.

Before and After


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