The new year has been in full swing for nearly two weeks now. We've seen a lot of weather here in East Tennessee, and due to that, there's sure to be some damage on the trails we know and love. If your resolution for 2011 was to give back then there's plenty of opportunities. I know that we enjoy getting on the trail and hiking until our hearts are content, but if it wasn't for the volunteers who sacrifice their weekends to maintain the trails we love, our hike would be more laborious, or worse - unavailable - to us to enjoy.
One of our favorite camping and hiking destinations is Frozen Head State Park in Wartburg, TN. There's over 80 miles worth of trail hiking at Frozen Head and to keep these trails up takes a lot of hard work. This weekend on Saturday, January 15th will be the first of many opportunities to give back. Everyone wishing to volunteer should meet at the park office/visitor center at 9am equipped with a daypack and water, appropriate clothing for the weather, sturdy hiking shoes, and a will to work/give back.
Work to be done will be announced before hitting the trail. Moderate hiking maybe required. Work should be completed and crews returning to the visitor center by 3:00pm or before.
If you can't make it this weekend, don't fret. There will be plenty more opportunities throughout the year. The rest of the year's volunteer trail maintenance dates are March 19, May 21, June 4 (this is the same day as National Trail's Day), July 16, August 20, September 17, October 15, and November 19.
So be sure to make an effort to give back to your local, state, or national parks if you can. We'd love to be at this one, but I'm on call this weekend. Hopefully, we can make it to the next date.
For a complete list of volunteer trail days and other events at Frozen Head State Park go here.
Tim and Robin