17 forum posts
Have you seen the fun Volunteer Vacations put together by American Hiking Society and other organizations? They're a great way to give something back to the outdoors community while spending time in awesome locations like the Appalachian Trail.
Since I'm a Wisconsinite - I need to plug the coolest one of these I've ever come across. The Ice Age Trail is one of the eleven NPS National Scenic Trails and is located entirely in Wisconsin. Throughout the warmer months, the Ice Age Trail Alliance chooses about one location a month to do some trail upkeep, improvement, or rerouting. They call this the Mobile Skill Crew. This like other volunteer vacations where you show up and are provided with a place to camp, all meals, and all tools and instruction needed to help. However, unlike many others, there is no cost to participate.
For an example, we spent this last weekend just outside of Devil's Lake, rebuilding an old bridge and boardwalk, laying a stone staircase, and rerouteing a section of trail to take advantage of a much more beautiful viewscape that came available after some local oak savanna restoration work.
There are two events left for this year September 14 -18, and October 18-23. I keep telling people this is my "cubicle therapy". There's plenty of work to do, but it's fulfilling and makes me feel better in life. The October event is in Southern Wisconsin and would be very convenient for any of you Chicagolanders out there.
I believe the 2017 schedule will be up by March, so if you can't make it this year, but want to check out one of the best trails in the US (I'm not biased), check out the calendar early and get one of these events on your schedule.