Support the Trail
How Volunteer Trail Maintenance Helps
Volunteers are essential to trail clearing and support the work of seasonal trail crew. Inspecting, hand-trimming, clearing litter or fire pits, and maintaining drainage water bars are all carried out on volunteer events organized by the East Coast Trail Volunteer Maintenance Committee.
From late spring to early fall, we invite volunteers aged 16 and up to help maintain the trail on energized weekend outings. No advance training or experience is required to participate, as all outings are supervised by experienced volunteers and instruction on the East Coast Trail Standards for maintenance is given to newcomers.
Upcoming Volunteer Trail Maintenance Outings are posted to our events calendar.
Join our Volunteer Maintenance mailing list.
Volunteer Trail Maintenance Activities
- Vegetation Control – Volunteers trim back vegetation like tree branches, scrub alder, and heavy ground cover which can impede footfall on the trailbed or pose a walking or sight hazard.
- Firepit Remediation – The trail supports a ‘no open fire’ policy. Evidence of fire pits is removed and burn sites are restored, by hand, to a soil, grass or vegetation cover using nearby materials.
- Water Bar Maintenance – Water bars of wood and stone are dug up and their stones are repacked, by hand, to improve drainage on slopes.
We ask that hikers do not undertake any of the above activities without supervision or direction from the East Coast Trail’s experienced volunteers.
What to expect on a Volunteer Maintenance Outing
- Time Commitment: Volunteers should be prepared to commit to a full day; the trail work usually runs from around 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. This does not include travel to and from the trail head.
- Physical Demands: Volunteers should be prepared to hike 4 to 6 km carrying hand tools. Maintenance activities include cutting branches and small trees, and carrying slash off the path into the woods.
- What to wear: Wear long sleeves, long pants and bring work/gardening gloves. Trail rated hiking shoes or boots are a must.
- What to bring: Pack water, a lunch and your team enthusiasm!
- What ECTA provides: Eye protection, tools and training are supplied by the East Coast Trail Association.
Heads up! The East Coast Trail is a wilderness hiking trail. There are no washrooms nor picnic tables, and cell phone coverage can be unreliable. Please leave your pets at home when participating in a volunteer maintenance outing.
Volunteer Trail Parking Area Cleanup Program
- Hikers can volunteer to help keep the parking areas of all our trails clean by picking up and disposing the garbage found in the parking area before or after a hike. This simple task would go a long way towards helping us maintain the appeal of our entire trail system.
Volunteers can let us know the parking area that has been cleaned by filling out the Volunteer Trail Parking Area Cleanup Report. Please accept our thanks. Your contribution is very much appreciated.