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:

The Partnership for the National Trails System is pleased to announce its first virtual Trail Apprentices Program for young leaders aged 18 to 28 years. As in previous years, the expanded program includes orientation and attendance at the 2020 National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop (Oct 21st – Oct 29th). The workshop is a skill building opportunity covering a variety of topics. Trail Apprentices are an active part of the workshop dialogue, engaging in skill- and tool-sharing and networking amongst the national scenic and historic trail communities. 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.

Following the workshop, Apprentices will have access to exclusive topical sessions between November 2020 and March 2021 that will provide opportunities to interact with trails professionals and learn more about priority topics within the National Trails System community such as JEDI and advocacy.  The program will culminate with Apprentices joining us at our virtual Hike the Hill event in March 2021. Apprentices also receive 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 21 and October 29, 2020.
  • The deadline to apply is September 18, 2020.
    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