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About the Trail Skills Project

The Trail Skills Project serves as the workforce hub for the trails community providing connections to trails education, trail expertise, professional development, and job opportunities.

Goals of the Trail Skills Project

  • Promote workforce development of current and future trail professionals
  • Advance trails training opportunities and development
  • Provide increased opportunities to connect trail volunteers, stewards, agency staff, and professionals
  • Define a pathway to a career in trails and inspire the next generation of trail professionals
  • Bolster the capacity of volunteers to meet stewardship needs

How it works:

What an individual can do on the Trail Skills Project:

What organizations, companies, and agencies can do on the Trail Skills Project:

What trails training providers can do on the Trail Skills Project:

  • Share trails training opportunities with a nationwide audience
  • Identify and fill gaps in trails training (topical and geographic)
  • Align and match trails training learning objectives with the Trail Competency Framework
  • Build out quality curricula to meet the needs of the trails industry

The Trail Competency Framework is the foundation of the Trail Skills Project:

Need for the Trail Skills Project

Because of:

  • Increased pressure on trail systems due to increased use
  • Maintenance backlog of existing trails
  • Increased demand for new trails
  • Lack of available workforce/volunteer-force to address the increased demand
  • Workforce turnover with retirement

We need:

  • Highly competent trail professionals across the field, which encompasses many job descriptions and demands the ability to demonstrate proficiency across several skills
  • A trained and quality volunteer-force to amplify stewardship across public lands
  • More consistent and quality trails training for both professionals and volunteers
  • A clear pathway for the next generation to become fully engaged as a trail professional
  • Shared language for efficient and effective communication between partners around trail project implementation, job descriptions, and training needs

Download the related presentation, Developing a Data-Driven Trail Competency Framework.

Trail Skills Collaborators
Federal Highway Administration USDA Forest Service National Park Service Bureau of Land Management
American Trails Professional TrailBuilders Association Partnership for the National Trails System Northern Vermont University Northwest Arkansas Community College Eppley Institute Corps Network