AMC Trail Training Programs
The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Trail Training Program adheres to industry standards and leading-edge techniques in the world of trails and recreation management to bring skills, trainings, and regional experts to AMC’s Camp Dodge Trails Center and other AMC facilities. Through collaboration with federal, state, and local partners, and in coordination with regional volunteer trail clubs in the northeast, AMC helps to create standardized training curriculums for the trails community at large.
Leveraging our network of instructors as well as our highly skilled team and partners, AMC created a world-class system that focuses on development, progression, and the education of proper techniques and standards.
AMC is also engaged in various school programs. We are supporting and developing programs at both Kennett High School and the Northeast Woodland School (K-8), thanks to a partnership with the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust. By investing in youth training opportunities, AMC aims to build up the local work force in the outdoors and on trails.
With large-scale trail community events such as the Trail Skills College growing in popularity, AMC connects trail enthusiasts from across the country and leads the charge for professional development and education.
Trail Skills College
This event is for the entire trails community: volunteer and professional trail stewards at all levels of experience. Whether you are just starting out and looking for ways to get involved, or you’re a professional looking to further your skills and build your network, AMC’s Trail Skills College offers opportunities for everyone.
The 2024 Trail Skills College will take place May 16-20 at the Camp Dodge Trails Center in Gorham, NH. Registration will open in early spring.
AMC Chapter Trail Volunteer Trainings
AMC offers a variety of trail trainings specifically designed for AMC trail adopters and Chapter Trail Volunteers. These trainings are offered at various AMC facilities and locations. Stay tuned for a calendar of training opportunities to be published this spring.
Open Enrollment Trainings
AMC has a full-season schedule of trail training workshops such as chainsaw certification, crosscut certification, alpine stewardship, rigging training, rock work progression, and much more. The Camp Dodge Trails Training Center hosts many of AMC’s Wilderness First Aid classes and Leave No Trace courses for both the Master Educator and Trainer levels.
Hire AMC to train your crew! AMC offers a variety of trail training programs, which can take place at Camp Dodge or at the off-site location of your choice. Contact Erik Samia, Trails Training Programs and Facility Supervisor, at [email protected] to learn about the options available for our partners.
Camp Dodge Trails Center
Located just north of Pinkham Notch Visitor Center in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains region, Camp Dodge has been a crucial part of trail stewardship activity since the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) days of the 1930s. At the start of World War II, Civilian Public Service hosted conscientious objectors, providing alternative work in exchange for military service. The U.S. Army used the property to test cold-weather gear for the Korean War around the 1950s, and the Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) occupied the property from 1974 to 1982, renaming the facility Camp Dodge after former AMC huts manager Joe Dodge.
In 1982 AMC began leasing Camp Dodge from the U.S. Forest Service through a special-use permit to house its trail crews and volunteers. For nearly four decades, Camp Dodge has been the seasonal home of AMC’s White Mountain Volunteer Trail Crews, as well as an educational space for a variety of trail-focused programming, such as AMC’s trail adopter program. More recently Camp Dodge has led both teen and adult volunteer crews weekly through the summer months, primarily working in the White Mountains, but also offering work trips in a variety of spaces in Maine, such as the Maine Woods, Baxter State Park, and Acadia National Park.
In 2019 Camp Dodge received a much-needed renovation to the facility, transitioning from a volunteer center to the hub of the AMC’s North Country trails operations. It serves as basecamp for AMC’s professional trail crews, AmeriCorps crews, volunteer programs leaders, backcountry caretakers, research interns, camp facility staff, and some Forest Service employees.
Camp Dodge’s renovation not only expanded AMC’s capacity to build and maintain trails and backcountry campsites, but it has also created a regional trails center where all land managers, trail organizations, agencies, and volunteer stewards can come together to learn and share best practices and standards. As a designated trails center, Camp Dodge now offers a variety of trail skills training programs and events to trail enthusiasts throughout the northeast and beyond.