Trail Work

A good days work

A good days work

For over fifteen years the HHC has held trail work days on the third Saturday of each month.   We generally work rain or shine, but snow and ice can cause a cancellation.  Unless otherwise noted in the work day information, we provide lunch for our workers.  We also provide tools and instruction.  All we ask of volunteers is that they bring water, gloves, and enthusiasm.  We encourage people to work at a pace that’s most comfortable for them, and we don’t expect anyone to do anything that’s disagreeable to them.  We welcome all ages and abilities.  There’s something for everyone!

How to Find Out About Work Days

Work day time and location information is posted on this website and on our Facebook page.  You can also contact the HHC at hoosierhikerscouncil@gmail.com to have your name and email address added to the list of volunteers who receive email notices of upcoming work days.  Signing up for these emails does not obligate you in any way.  We prefer that workers let us know if they plan to attend a work day so that we can plan food and tools, but we don’t require it.  If it’s possible that the weather will be bad, check the HHC website and Facebook page for cancellation notices, or call toll-free 1(855) 812-HIKE (4453).

What to Expect on an HHC Work Day

The day starts at 9:00 am with an informal introduction to the day’s project and the distribution of tools to those who don’t have their own.  Then we hike out along the trail and spread to begin working.  More experienced workers are happy to work with new volunteers to make sure they understand what’s going on.  People often work in one area for a while and then move around or leap-frog to another spot or activity.  We want people to take breaks as often as they desire in order to make sure they stay hydrated and don’t get worn out.

Trail workers "benching" a trail.

Trail workers “benching” a trail.

There are many different tasks associated with building a trail.  We need people to clip bushes, drag fallen branches, rake leaves from the path, dig “benches” and “drains” to level out the tread and control water flow, and scrape the trail to smooth it out.  The tools we use include clippers, loppers, fire rakes, McCleods, Rogue hoes, Pulaskis, and shovels.  We have a pretty good supply of tools, so you don’t need to bring your own.  Your muscles will probably be happy if you switch tools throughout the day!

Hot and tasty fajitas on a cold work day

Hot and tasty fajitas on a cold work day

The whole group gathers for lunch around noon.  We are fortunate to have a budget for food and excellent cooks to prepare it for us.  We might have ham and potatoes, fajitas, meatloaf, chili, or fresh fruit like cantaloupes and apples.  Lunch time is a great time to get to know each other and find out about everyone’s latest hiking adventures.

Trail ready for traffic

Trail ready for traffic

After lunch we go back to work for a few hours and see how far we can get before quitting time at 3:00 pm.  Most people will work for only(?) four hours or so, but with 12, 15, or 20 people, we can get a lot done.  It’s very satisfying to walk back to our cars and see how much we accomplished over the course of a day!

For more information about the details of building a trail, see the HHC Trail Building Guide.