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Advanced Trail Construction Courses Offered

The Tellico Ranger District of the Cherokee National Forest in conjunction with Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS) is offering two Advanced Trail Construction Courses to build skills within the agency and partner staff and within the volunteer community. The Advanced Trail Construction Skills Training is being offered this fall (September 28th through October 16th). This training is provided at no cost to accepted students. Applicants should have prior trail construction experience and plan to use the skills gained from this training in stewarding public lands. Camping will be available for those students who wish to camp at Indian Boundary Recreation Area (Overflow Area) at no cost. Showers are available at Indian Boundary.

Please review the course descriptions below before completing the application process at Applicants may apply for one or both courses. Questions concerning this training should be directed to Bill Hodge at


Grip Hoist and Rigging


Course Dates: September 28 - October 2, 2015

Instructor: Fred Lashley

This five-day course will introduce the basics of rigging equipment and a grip hoist for moving and/or securing materials for work on trails. The course will include a limited amount of classroom time and plenty of field experience on the Bald River Gorge Trail in the Bald River Gorge Wilderness. The class will establish high lines and will move rock material to worksites using a variety of methods. Each student will learn how to properly and safely use the equipment while in the field.


Advanced Stone Work

APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 8, 2015 Course Dates: October 5-9 & 12-16, 2015 Instructors: Chris Ingui & Artie Hidalgo, Jolly Rovers Trail Crew

This ten-day course, dispersed over a two week period, will involve building new retaining walls, switchbacks, and steps with the use of advanced dry stack masonry techniques. Students will learn how to shape, fit, and secure rock material from some of the top instructors in the country. This course will include some classroom time, but the majority of the course will be taught in the field on the trail. The first week will be focused on detailed instruction. The second week will be an apprenticeship where students will complete two major projects.

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