Training Information: WFE-0410 - Sustainable Trail Building One-Year Certification Program

The one-year online and in-person Sustainable Trail Building Certificate program offers a unique opportunity to jump-start a career as a trail professional through a flexible, part-time program of study. Gain the education and skills needed to learn safe, effective, and ecologically focused trail design and construction techniques. The program is designed to help future trail builders enter a career in this growing field to build better, maintain, plan, and manage essential corridors connecting users to natural, cultural, and historical spaces.
Program participants will meet at NorthWood's Stewardship Center for intensive one-week, hands-on education in the field in September, October 2024, and April 2025. The in-person sessions will enable participants to gain the fundamental skills needed to build non-motorized trails directly from industry leaders and trail-building experts. Accommodation is available in the NWSC bunkhouse at no additional cost.
The program includes a 100-hour "Trail-ship" cooperative with a partner trail organization of your choice.
The program's outdoor learning laboratory includes more than 100 miles of natural, machine-made, and gravity trails at NorthWoods Stewardship Center, the Vermont State University Lyndon campus, Kingdom Trail Association, and Burke Mountain Resort, where students will learn and master trail-building techniques.
This trail-building program is the first of its kind grounded in the core competencies of the Trail Competency Framework for professional trail construction and maintenance put forward by American Trails and the Professional Trailbuilders Association, whose members represent federal agencies, trail nonprofits, professional educators, and the private sector. The competencies outline skills and knowledge to help standardize levels of trail workforce aptitude.
The program includes the opportunity to join a field trip to the 2025 Sustainable Trails Conference, held by the Professional Trailbuilder Association, typically in March 2025.

Location: East Charleston - Lyndon - Burke, Vermont

Sprint 1: September 9-14, 2024 (arriving on the evening of the 8th)
Rain day scheduled for September 21, 2024 (the following Saturday)

Sprint 2: October 7-12, 2024 (arriving on the evening of the 6th)
Rain day scheduled for October 19, 2024 (the following Saturday)

PTBA Conference: TBD March 2025

Sprint 3: April 28-May 3, 2025 (arriving on the evening of the 27th)
Rain day scheduled for May 11, 2025 (the following Saturday)
REGISTRATION: Registration closes two (2) weeks before the training starts. Any registrations from the initial close up to five (5) days before the start will be assessed a $50 late registration fee. No registrations within five (5) days of the training.

CANCELLATION: Cancellations up to two (2) weeks before the training starts will be assessed a 10% cancellation fee. No refunds are given within two (2) weeks of the start. No refunds are given for no-shows.

STOP: If you have been awarded a VSAC Advancement Grant or plan to use your AmeriCorps Segal funds, please email to register.

Course Resources
Please contact Ann Nygard for any additional information and/or questions.
2024-2025 Sustainable Trail Building One-Year Certificate Schedule (PDF Document)

Available Sessions