Trail Apprentice Program

A group of young adults smiling and holding a flag with the National Trails System logo on it

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. Hailing 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.

Meet the 2022 Trail Apprentices!

2022 Trail Apprentice Program

I am so thankful to have been a part of this workshop as an Apprentice. Truly, I have learned so much about this industry, the trails community, and about myself, my future, and my purpose. I cannot wait to share my story, newly influenced by the knowledge I've gained here, with the world.

The Partnership for the National Trails System is pleased to announce the 2022 Trail Apprentice Program for emerging leaders aged 18 to 28 years. The PNTS Trail Apprentice Program provides scholarships to young leaders interested in a career in recreation, natural resource management, conservation, environmental studies, history, or a related field, so that they may attend the PNTS National Trails Workshop and participate in career exploration, networking and educational opportunities amongst the National Trails community. This year, a small, diverse group of applicants with potential to become future leaders in the trails community will be awarded Trail Apprenticeships.

The program will include orientation to the National Trails System, career exploration and team-building virtual sessions and attendance at the 2022 National Trails Workshop November 2nd–November 4th in Albuquerque, New Mexico. PNTS will provide workshop registration, lodging, a stipend for travel and a per diem for meals to those selected for the program. The workshop offers trainings and skill-building opportunities covering an array of topics important to trails such as management and stewardship, land protection, engagement, policy and advocacy and more. Those selected for the program will be an active part of the workshop dialogue, engaging in sessions and networking amongst the National Scenic and Historic Trail communities as well as many other communities not traditionally associated with the NSHTs.

We strongly encourage young adults from Indigenous communities in or around the Albuquerque, NM area to apply. The National Trails Workshop will feature sessions on tribal sovereignty and co-led stewardship with Indigenous communities, especially those that are local to the Albuquerque area, which makes this program especially relevant for local Indigenous young professionals. 

This is a highly competitive program, and only a few applicants will be selected. Not every applicant is guaranteed a spot in the program.


  • Applicants must be between the ages of 18–28 with an interest in the National Trails System.
  • Applicants must be available to attend virtual sessions on August 30, November 17, December 13, and at least one career exploration session in September 2022 (see timeline below for more detailed session date and time information)
  • Applicants must commit to attending all sessions during the 2022 National Trails Workshop to be held in Albuquerque, NM from November 2nd through November 4th, 2022 to attend the workshop in-person. Travel to and from the event may include November 1st and November 5th.

Program Timeline

Event Date  Time
2022 Trail Apprentice Orientation August 30 6:00-8:00pm ET
Career Exploration Session 1 September 12 5:30-7:00pm ET
Career Exploration Session 2 September 27 5:30-7:00pm ET
2022 National Trails Workshop November 2–4 See workshop schedule
Trail Apprentice Program Panel Discussion December 13 3:00-4:00pm ET
Program Wrap Up January 3 TBD

Application Deadline

July 15, 2022 at 11:59pm

Apprenticeships Awarded

Candidates will be notified by August 1, 2022


The application for the 2022 program has closed


Additional Information & Resources

Special Thanks

We would like to extend a special thanks to our federal agency partners and for their support of the 2022 Trail Apprentice Program