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Adopt-a-Trail Manual

The Adopt-a-Trail manual addresses the work accomplished in the Adopt-a-Trail program. This manual is meant to acquaint the maintainer with park procedures, duties involved in adopting a trail, and methods for safely performing those duties.

by National Park Service


NPS AAT manual


The information that is gathered by Adopt-a-Trail teams will be utilized by the National Park Service in the following ways:

  • Maintenance staff will follow-up to repair trail surface, structural problems, and signage concerns reported to them.

  • Interpretation, Education & Visitor Services rangers will replace maps and information that is reported missing, faded, or incorrect on bulletin boards and kiosks.

  • Visitor & Resource Protection rangers will ensure protection of resources by responding to reports of resource degradation and violations, and serious injuries or illness.

  • Resource Management staff will respond to reports of resource disturbance.

  • NPS staff will use information about dumpsite locations to target these sites for clean-ups by staff and/or volunteers.

Published January 2011

About the Author


The National Park Service (NPS) was created in 1916 and today manages over 390 units found in all 50 states and some of the U.S. territories. NPS supports and operates trails in three interlocking arenas: trails in parks, technical assistance to States and communities, and administration of much of the National Trails System.

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