PATC conducts training, particularly in Shenandoah National Park, for overseers and anyone interested in trails maintenance and management.

Did you know there’s a right way and a wrong way to paint a blaze? Since everyone works together, you have ample opportunity to ask questions and get straight answers.

Trails Workshops

These workshops are two-day events based at a campground or facility that offers space for instruction as well as tent camping. Participants are typically offered training in:

  • Trail management standards, guidelines, & rules
  • Tool maintenance
  • Trail maintenance
  • Treadway maintenance
  • Project reporting
South District Workshop

Traditional Tools Workshop

The traditional tools workshop familiarizes overseers with proper crosscut saw and axe techniques. Instruction is provided on how to size up and safely clear a blowdown with hand tools, and when and how to use a wedge, swing an axe, and perform a single underbuck. Workshop leaders discuss situations you’ll likely encounter on the trail and conduct field exercises demonstrating the various tools used to tackle these challenges.

Traditional Tools Workshop

Rigging Workshop

The rigging workshop teaches:

  • Safe operation and maintenance of a Grip hoist winch
  • Use of nylon slings and chain baskets for moving boulders
  • Setup and working-load determination for high lines
  • Proper use and care of wire rope
Rigging Workshop

Classroom instruction and field exercises are followed by projects where skills are put into practice. Class size is limited so priority is given to trail overseers.

Chainsaw Certification

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, cooperating with the National Park Service, and the USDA Forest Service offer certification training for sawyers twice a year. The two-day course is open to trail, shelter, & cabin overseers as well as corridor monitors, District Managers, and crew leaders. Typically, the availability of seats for new participants is very limited since the priority is to re-certify currently certified sawyers. Additionally, PATC includes First Aid and CPR training to complete the certification requirements.

Chainsaw Certification field work

NPS certification is required for anyone who needs or intends to use a chainsaw on the A.T. or anywhere in a National Park. Certification is valid for three years.


Worktrips in the various trails districts are a good opportunity to learn trail maintenance techniques. Worktrips are typically a one- or two-day outing scheduled on a weekend. Bring work gloves, lunch, plenty of water, and other personal items such as sunscreen and insect repellent. The Club provides the tools and a leader to supervise the work.

Work trips occur throughout the year, and are announced on-line in the Calendar and in the Potomac Appalachian. Please be sure to review the Forecast section of the PA for upcoming events.