Happy Hiker Fund

Nearly 1.5 million people come to Shenandoah National Park from around the world every year—many of them to hike. With 500 miles of trails, Shenandoah is known worldwide as a hiker’s paradise.

Keeping trails in top condition not only keeps hikers happy, it’s good for the environment. When a fallen tree limb or other structure blocks a trail, hikers tend to walk off-trail to avoid it. This steady off-trail foot traffic erodes the bordering landscape. This might mean that sensitive or rare plants get trampled. When a water bar gets moved or damaged, runoff from rain or snow melt can erode a mountainside. Superior trail maintenance makes for happy hikers and healthy habitats!

In order to keep our trails in the best condition, the Trust raises funds annually to support our park’s dedicated Trail Maintenance Crew who work tirelessly across our park. Now, we are expanding our support for this work by raising funds to help the crew leverage the large number of requests they receive from individuals and groups wanting to volunteer for trail maintenance. By funding the park’s first Backcountry and Trails Special Projects Coordinator, we can leverage volunteer hours more effectively and set priorities for high-impact trail projects. We welcome your support of our trail maintenance work. Our goal is to secure four years of funding for this position.