Trail Apprentice Program

Meet the 2021-22 PNTS Trail Apprentice Cohort Here



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 2021–2022 Program:

The Partnership for the National Trails System is pleased to announce its second 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 2021 National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop (November 1st–November 4th). 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 (JEDI); strengthening and stabilizing organizations; collaboration and engagement; conserving trail lands; and more.

Following the workshop, Apprentices will have access to exclusive topical sessions during December 2021 and January 2022 that will provide career exploration and opportunities to interact with trails professionals within the National Trails System community.

Additional benefits include:

  • Access to networking, professional development, and educational opportunities
  • Access to PNTS webinars at no cost for up to two years after being awarded a Trail Apprentice scholarship
  • Access to PNTS Next Generation Roundtable
  • Access to the Trail Apprentice Program Alumni Facebook Group which provides access to job postings, upcoming events, and potential networking opportunities


  • Applicants must be between the ages of 18–28 with an interest in the National Trails System.
  • You must be available between November 1 and November 4, 2021.
  • You must be available to participate in program sessions planned for October 5, 2021; November 9, 2021; November 30, 2021; December 14, 2021; January 4, 2022; and January 18, 2021.
  • The deadline to apply is August 15, 2021.
    Please note that not every applicant is guaranteed a spot in the Trail Apprentice program.

Application Period:

July 1, 2021 until 11:59 PM August 15th, 2021. 

Apprenticeships Awarded:

Applicants will be contacted in early September, 2021.


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