Trail Apprentice Program

Welcome to the Trail Apprentice Program


Since 2009, the Partnership for the National Trails System with the support of its federal partners has brought next generation attendees to its conferences and workshops. Between the ages of 18 and 28 and from across the country, these Trail Apprentices have brought valued perspectives to the trails community. A cornerstone of the program has been attending either the PNTS conference or workshops. This successful program resulted in the creation of the intern grant program enabling membership organizations to recruit and hire young adults. For more information, visit the National Trails System Intern Grants page.

The 2020 – 2021 Program:

Are you interested in a career in history, recreation and the outdoors? The Partnership for the National Trails System is looking for young leaders for its 2020-2021 Trail Apprentice program. The program will include orientation and attendance at the 2020 National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop Oct 21st – Oct 29th. In addition, we are currently looking at ways to extend the program virtually with mentoring and other opportunities.

The workshop is a skill building opportunity covering a variety of topics. You will be an active part of the workshop dialogue, engaging in skill- and tool-sharing and networking amongst the national scenic and historic trail communities. Selected participants should be ready to explore, learn, and engage virtually! Topics will include, though are not limited to, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; tools for planning and building trails; creating new partnerships; fundraising in turbulent times; and more.

Currently, the 2020 – 2021 program will offer the following to successful applicants:

  • Free attendance to all sessions at the Virtual Fall Workshop (October 21-29, 2020)
  • Orientation prior to the workshop (1 to 2 ZOOM calls)
  • Access to other webinars/workshops through 3/1/2021
  • Wrap up call for other opportunities and feedback
  • Possible inclusion in Hike the Hill 2021 and any related trainings
  • Access to Facebook Group


  • Applicants must be between the ages of 18-28 with an interest in the National Trails System.
  • You must be available between October 21st and October 29th.
  • The deadline to apply is September 18th.
    Please note that not every applicant is guaranteed a spot in the Trail Apprentice program.

Application Period:

Now until midnight September 18th, 2020. 

Apprenticeships Awarded:

Applicants will be contacted no later than September 30th, 2020.


Link to the Application HERE

Additional Information & Resources:

Special Thanks:

We would like to extend a special thanks to our federal agency partners and for their support of the 2020 2021 Trail Apprentice Program.

National Park Service







Federal Highway Administration