KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Ever been hiking in the Smokies and wish you could do something to help the park? Now you can. As the National Park Service continues work rehabilitating the Ramsey Cascades Trail, they are inviting people to help with the project.
Beginning May 25, volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Wednesday. The work will continue through September 28.
Volunteers are needed to perform a wide range of tasks, including installing drainage features, rehabilitating trail surfaces, constructing raised trail segments, and removing brush. Volunteers will work alongside park crews and tasks assigned to volunteers will depend on experience level.
Volunteers should be prepared to hike at least four miles and perform strenuous manual labor. They should also be able to lift heavy objects and use tools like shovels, rakes, axes and loppers.
All safety gear, tools, and equipment needed for the projects will be provided by the park, however, volunteers will need to wear close-toed footwear and long pants, and bring a day pack with food, water, rain gear and personal gear for the day.
The Ramsey Cascades Trail and Ramsey Prong Road are closed to the public Monday through Thursday, excluding federal holidays, until November 12 so that crews can safely conduct the rehabilitation work.
Crews are working to improve the overall trail safety and protect the park’s natural resources. The project is a partnership between the National Park Service and Friends of the Smokies.
HOW TO VOLUNTEER
Signup is required and attendance to project planning is mandatory.
To sign up, see the Friends of the Smokies volunteer page. You can also get more information by contacting Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator Adam Monroe at 828-497-1949 or Adam_Monroe@nps.gov.