American Conservation Experience

Trail Maintenance Intern

Posted: July 08, 2019
Location: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Time Commitment: 17 weeks from start date with a possibility of extending to 26 weeks

American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is seeking ONE Trail Maintenance Intern interested in dedicating 17-weeks in support of the National Park Service.The Trail Maintenance Intern will support CUGA in improving trail conditions. This excellent opportunity is ideal for an enthusiastic young professional who is deeply committed to the preservation of our national parks!

Projects will include:

  • General maintenance tasks on several trails within and outside of CUGA's recommended wilderness.
  • The transport; distribution and compaction of tread materials onto areas of eroded trail surface.
  • Installation and cleaning of water bars and grade dips/swales using hand tools (mattock, hoe, shovel, cross cut saw, ax, etc.).
  • Removal of encroaching vegetation and if necessary trail blockages like boulders or downed trees using hand tools.
  • Building retaining walls.
  • Other equipment used (outside the recommended wilderness) may include UTVs, weed trimmers, back pack leaf blowers, and cordless drills.
  • Backcountry projects may include the use of a horse(s).

Required Qualifications

Previous trail maintenance experience is ideal. A combination of relevant education and appropriate field experience is acceptable for this position. We are seeking a determined, detail-oriented person who is looking for experience in the National Park Service with an eye toward a career in resource management, facilities/maintenance, or trails work.


  • US Citizens and Permanent Residents only.
  • Intern must be 18-35 years of age.
  • A valid driver's license and a clean driving record are required (documentation to be provided upon request). A personal vehicle is required for the duration of the internship.
  • Must be willing and able to perform the above field projects, including backcountry camping.
  • Must be physically fit and able to backpack to backcountry campsites
  • Intern will be required to hike up to 12 miles per day while carrying up to 40 pounds of gear on uneven and steep terrain, on and off trail, in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Must be able to serve in small a group setting, performing difficult duties, while keeping a positive attitude.
  • Interns must be comfortable serving in recommended wilderness using only primitive tools (including shovel, mattock, hoe, cross cut saw, ax, etc.).
  • Projects outside the recommended wilderness may require use of UTVs, weed trimmers, back pack leaf blowers and cordless drills.
  • Applicants with prior trail maintenance experience are encouraged to apply

The ACE intern must be willing to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.

Desired Qualifications

  • Ability to communicate clearly with peer professionals and volunteers.
  • Ability to serve independently in remote areas.
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field.

Salary and Benefits

Compensation: The ACE intern will serve 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $250/week for food and incidentals. The Intern will be provided with a one-time equipment allowance of $200 for the purchase of field boots. See below (housing) for additional stipend information. Housing: IF there is room in the NPS dormitory it will be available to the intern and a stipend equivalent to its rent will be provided. The intern may opt out of NPS housing in favor of their own rental location and a housing stipend of $700/month ($175/week) will be provided for a total stipend of $425/week.

Application Process

To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with contact information for 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right-hand corner of the position listing on our website here: