Project Schedule: Southeast

Project Descriptions

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Pick Up Time: 2018-08-01 07:00:00

Crew Leader: Jess Coffee-Johnson (CL) & Charlotte Tate (ACL). Project Manager: Josh Burt

Project Description: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited park in the National Park system. It is comprised of 800 square miles of mixed hardwood forest less than a day's drive from over half of the country's population. Visitors come to the Smokies to see one of the park's blackbears, appreciate panoramic views of the Southern Appalachian mountains, tube Deep Creek, and hike the more than 800 miles of backcountry trails. This year the crew will be assisting the GRSM Trails Forever crew to rebuild and restore the Rainbow Falls Trail. The work will include cyclic maintenance, rock harvesting and shaping, and some carving trails out of bedrock. More info at:

Duration: Wednesday-Wednesday

Camping and Weather: The crew will be camping at the shelter on top of Mt. LeConte at 6000 feet. This is back country camping in a three-sided AT style shelter, so no tent required. It's a tough hike up, so make sure you keep weight where you need it: in a warm sleeping bag and extra clothes in case of rain (lots of socks!).

Project Specific Notes: The crew will be working in close proximity to the NPS Trails Forever Crew. This crew expects a high degree of professionalism and efficient work on the job site. Remember to stay moving and take initiative to find tasks. The work will include a significant amount of griphoisting (level 2 tool) and hand tool work.

Monongahela National Forest Trails

Pick Up Time: 2018-08-06 07:00:00

Crew Leader: CL: Brandon Sadur. Project Manager: Krishun Karau

Project Description: ACE is excited to partner with Monongahela National Forest for a second year of trail construction and maintenance in West Virginia! For the first week of this hitch the ACE crew will return to the Seneca Rocks Trail to conduct cyclic maintenance along the entire length of the trail with special attention given to the switchbacks, drainage improvement, and blocking social trails. This trail is 1.5 miles long, it’s steep and it’s the most visited trail with in Monongahela NF. It is very popular among rock climbers and the visitor center nearby has a wealth of information and exhibits. For the 2nd two weeks of the hitch the crew will return to the Lumberjack Trail to continue improving drainage that may involve putting in knicks, puddle drains, grade dips, rock armoring existing drains, creating water bars and touching up drains from last month. Some brushing work and cyclic maintenance will be done as well. This trail is 5.7 miles long and much of the work is toward the tail end of the trail so there will be lots of hiking. Explore the mountains of Appalachia and enjoy your time taking advantage of camping and working in this beautiful, unique and diverse National Forest. Check it out!

Duration: This project will run as a 3 week hitch. The crew will spend 3 weeks and 2 weekends in West Virginia, returning to Asheville,NC on the Thursday of the 3rd week for de-rig.

Camping and Weather: The crew will front country camp for the duration of the month. For the first week the crew will front country camp at the “Seneca Shadows Campground” with in Monongahela NF. This campground has running water and showers for the crew. After week 1 the crew will switch campsites to “Shot Cherry”, this is a USFS maintenance area. The crew will camp with in the maintenance area that has a gate, there are outhouses and potable water will be filled from a nearby environmental youth camp. The crew will be packed with solar showers for bathing. Cell phone service is VERY limited in this region, but I suggest bringing a solar charger if you have one. The crew will have a USFS radio for emergencies. The nearest “large” town to the is Elkins, WV over an hour away. The nearest unincorporated community is Circleville, WV. The Lumberjack trail is near the Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area of the Monongahela National Forest.

Project Specific Notes: Come prepared for all types of weather, pack layers and rain gear for wet days and cooler nights. Remember to pack/drink LOTS of water during the work day, apply sunscreen, eat salty snacks and pace yourself. The insects are getting more active as well, utilize bug spray and check yourself for ticks regularly. To dispose of human waste while on the trail, the crew will dig cat-holes.Remember your leave no trace ethics, there are bears in the area. Be safe, have fun and take care of each other!

Nantahala/Pisgah NF Restoration

Pick Up Time: 2018-07-18 07:00:00

Crew Leader: CL: Nicole MacNamee. Project Manager: Mike Santiago, Krishun Karau

Project Description: For the next few months an ACE crew will work to restore habitat within the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. The crew will help to survey for and control exotic plant species that have invaded both forests. Many of the areas to be surveyed and treated have burned during recent wildfires and other areas are important riparian habitat. Exotic plants can be very opportunistic and will invade heavily impacted natural areas. Both forests have partnered with ACE to help protect these critical habitats for the benefit of native fauna and flora. Once identified, crew members will treat exotic plants with herbicide to help reduce their numbers. THIS HITCH (08/01 -08/08/18), the crew will use backpack sprayers to foliar spray treat the invasive, Japanese Knotweed that has infested a 2 mile stretch of Wilson’s Creek located with in the Pisgah National Forest. Wilson’s Creek is a designated as a National Wild and Scenic River area. It is a popular swimming and angling location, and provides excellent wildlife habitat, especially for native trout species. This project is going to be an adventure, it’s remote, rugged, physically challenging and there will be LOTS OF HIKING. The terrain isn't steep but it's rocky, slippery and you will definitely get wet in the creek at some points during the work day. The crew will be packed with rubber boots and waders but you have the option to wear their own hiking shoes if they are more comfortable and don't mind getting those wet. Japanese Knotweed is extremely aggressive and these dense infestations pose a serious threat to riparian (river) habitat because when left unchecked they will exclude all other plants and animals.

Duration: This is an 8 day project, meaning 8 straight 10 hour days. Crew members will have 6 days off following the hitch ** IF** they are placed back on this project or another Wednesday to Wednesday hitch project.

Camping and Weather: Camp area and work area approximately 2.5 hour drive from Asheville. The crew will camp back country along Wilson’s Creek. The vehicle will be parked on a Forest Service gravel road and the hike down to the camp/work area is approximately 1 mile from the vehicle but as time goes on the work area will be further and further from the vehicle. This area is remote but there is a trail accessible to the public that the runs parallel to the creek. Cell service is VERY limited. The crew will have radios and a “spot device” to use in the event of an emergency. Water will be supplemented from Wilsons Creek and filtered/treated for safe drinking. The crew will have outdoor solar showers. A latrine and cat holes will be dug to dispose of human waste and food. Food hangs to store food and scented items will be set up to keep out of reach of wildlife. WE ARE IN BEAR COUNTRY.

Project Specific Notes: Bring all of your long sleeve shirts for pesticide use days. I HIGHLY recommend wearing light weight pants that are made of quick drying material and LOTS of extra socks. Watch your footing, be weary swift moving water, and on the look out for bees and ticks. I suggest bringing your bathing suit to cool off in after a hot day! Be safe and have fun!!

Gettysburg National Military Park Vegetation and Battlefield Management

Pick Up Time: 2018-05-14 07:00:00

Crew Leader: Caroline Lower (CL) & Kylie Thornburg (ACL). Project Manager: Mike Santiago

Project Description: May 14th, 2018 will mark the third year of ACE's partnership with Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. Previous crews have helped our NPS partners to restore and maintain areas of the historic battlefield along with important wildlife habitat. This current crew will focus on exotic plant control throughout the Park, including within the many orchards within its boundaries. Using backpack sprayers, crew members will treat Canada thistle and mile-a-minute weeds with an herbicide that will be applied directly to the leaves of each plant. The work is extremely important for preserving both the historic nature of the Park and its role as a natural area for native flora and fauna. Crew members will also have plenty of free time to explore one of America's most important National Parks. The crew will work a regular 5 day week, with each day being 8 hours long. This is a 4 WEEK project, with off-days being in the field. Please bring extra clothes for your weekend off-days. Please also bring all of your ACE shirts and at least two pairs of work pants.

Duration: This is a 4 WEEK project with off-days in the field. The crew will return on Friday, June 8th.

Camping and Weather: The crew will be staying in an historic house within the Park, so tents are not necessary. You are free to bring your tent if you would like to camp on your off-days outside of the Park's boundaries.

Project Specific Notes: Remember the rain gear!!! It is still spring, and it gets rainy in Pennsylvania. Daytime temps will be in the mid 60s to upper 70s. Nighttime temps will be in the upper 50s to mid 60s.

Gettysburg Rock Wall and Fencing

Pick Up Time: 2018-07-16 07:00:00

Crew Leader: CL: Stephanie Hightower. Project Manager: Mike Santiago

Project Description: This will be the second ACE crew working in Gettysburg in 2018! A crew of 6 will be helping the Park to build and repair free-standing rock walls in multiple locations. The crew will use dry stone masonry techniques, which means that no concrete or mortar will be used. The walls will be built to match the historic walls already present within the Park. Crew members will work alongside NPS maintenance staff and archaeologists. Later in the hitch, crew members will help to rebuild historic wooden fences in several areas throughout the park. The crew will have an opportunity to work with brushcutters and small hand tools when fixing and rebuilding those fences. This is a MONTH-LONG project, which means the crew will be out for 4 straight weeks in Gettysburg. The crew will also be camping PART-TIME in the Park while also sharing a house with the veg crew. Please make sure to bring all of your camping gear, including your tent and sleeping bags. The crew will have access to showers each day at the visitor center.

Duration: This is a MONTH-LONG project. All off days will be in the field. The schedule will be 10 hour days Mon-Thurs. with three days off.

Camping and Weather: The crew will be camping near the Park's ranger station. It is a very large field with plenty of room to spread out. There will be deluxe port-o-potties that include sinks. Showers will be available at the visitor center. Please bring ALL of your camping gear.

Project Specific Notes: Please bring your rain gear!!!

Wayne National Forest Trails

Pick Up Time: 2018-06-25 00:00:00

Crew Leader: Kalie White & Ian Cockrill, Project Manager: Krishun Karau

Project Description: The ACE crew will be returning to Wayne NF in southeast Ohio for a second year in a row! This time to do new trail construction and the construction of a re-route of the North Country Trail. Approximately 4,600 miles long the North Country trail traverses through 7 different northern states from upstate New York to North Dakota.

Duration: This is a month long project. The crew will spend 4 work weeks in Ohio and 3 weekends. Returning to Asheville after the 4th week. The entire project is 8 weeks in length so the project will be split into 2 month long hitches. For the first 3 weeks of the month-long the crew works 5, 9 hour days (7am - 4:30pm). On the final week of the month the crew works 3, 10 hour days (7am-5:30pm), the final day, Thursday, is a drive day and the crew will return to Asheville for de-rig.

Camping and Weather: Front country camping at the Burr Oak Cove USFS Campground in Wayne NF near the town of Glouster, OH. There are vault toilets (beware, they're smelly!) and running water from a spigot/water fountain. The crew will have access to showers at a nearby State Park just a couple minutes drive away There is some cell reception at campa be spotty cell reception at the worksite.

Project Specific Notes: Look out for bees, ticks and poison ivy this time of year! Bring plenty of water everyday to work and eat salty snacks! Always pack your rain gear. Bring a bathing suit, the nearby State Park has a lake! The closest large town is Athens,Ohio, about a 30 minute drive from where the crew is camped and home to Ohio University.

BLRI Parkway Moses Cone Estate Rock Retaining Wall Repair

Pick Up Time: 2018-07-10 07:00:00

Crew Leader: Mat Landis, Project Manager: Krishun Karau

Project Description: Moses H. Cone Memorial Park was a former estate and now a beautiful National Park Service recreation area that is a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, located near the town of Blowing Rock, NC. This 360 acre area boasts 25 miles of carriage trails, many of them lined with historic dry-stone retaining walls. This year an ACE crew will work with the NPS to reconstruct and repair two historic rock culvert retaining walls that support a carriage road. Additional work will include correcting drainage below, behind and around the culvert and walls as necessary as well as removing/brushing back encroaching vegetation along walls to ensure roots and branches do not damage existing walls. The crew will work closely with NPS staff that will be running an excavator (heavy machinery).

Duration: This is a 4 day, 10 hour day working week. The crew will work Tuesdays to Friday, returning to the ACE office on Friday in the afternoon for de-rig.

Camping and Weather: The crew will front country camp at the Julian Price Park campground (owned by NPS) which is only a few miles from the work site at Moses Cone. There are bathrooms with flush toilets, running water AND showers, new this year! Cell phone service can be limited along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Project Specific Notes: This is a very popular place for trail users including hikers, horseback riders, bicyclists and runners. You will be in the public eye a lot, remember to stay professional and put your best foot forward. It’s hot out there, drink lots of water and look out for bees and ticks. Be safe and have fun!!

Otter Creek Trail, Blue Ridge Parkway

Pick Up Time: 2018-07-10 07:00:00

Crew Leader: Jason Rannow, Project Manager: Josh Burt

Project Description: The Otter Creek Trail leaves from the James River Visitor Center along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. It meanders next to it's namesake creek for roughly 3 miles until it's terminus at the Otter Creek Campground. The crew will be completing cyclic maintenance and structure work along the trail.

Duration: The crew will work 4 days, take a weekend off on site, work 4 more days and spend a weekend in Asheville.

Camping and Weather: The crew will be frontcountry in the Otter Creek Campground.

Project Specific Notes:

Little River Canyon National Preserve Overlook Restoration

Pick Up Time: 2018-07-24 07:00:00

Crew Leader: CL: Mike Burrows. Project Manager: Mike Santiago

Project Description: We are very happy to be heading back to Little River Canyon Preserve near Fort Payne, Alabama. In 2016, an ACE crew built an incredible rock staircase that allowed safe access to the Little River, a very popular recreation area for locals. They NPS were so happy with the crew's work that they decided to bring us back to continue improving the Preserve's users experience. This current ACE crew will help clear overgrown veg from along trails and also improve drainage and tread. The crew will also help with several other maintenance tasks within the Park. Corps members will learn all about the history of the Preserve while also gaining new insight into the daily management of a very popular NPS unit. The crew will be comprised of 1 crew leader and 5 corps members and will stay in the field for three weeks. The full project will be 2, 3 week hitches. Each week will be 4, 10 hour days with three days off in the field.

Duration: This is a THREE WEEK project, which means the crew will spend two weekends in Alabama. There are numerous recreational activities in the area including rock climbing, fishing, hiking, boating, and many others.

Camping and Weather: The crew will be camping at Desoto State Park right down the road from the Preserve. The campsites have bathrooms and running water, plus a host of other amenities including a nature center and pool. Please bring all of your camping gear.

Project Specific Notes: The crew will be working along a deep canyon so any corps member near an edge will be required to wear fall protection. The NPS will have all the details we the crew arrives. Temps should be in the mid-80s during the day and mid-60s at night. Please bring your rain gear!!!

Hunting Island State Park - Diamondback Rattlesnake Trail

Pick Up Time: 2018-08-13 07:00:00

Crew Leader: Nicole MacNamee, project manager: Krishun Karau

Project Description: Hunting Island State Park is the state’s most popular park, attracting more than a million visitors every year who come to recreate on the trail network, view wildlife, walk the beach, and enjoy this unique island park. The Diamondback Rattlesnake Trail is 2.3 miles connecting the Nature Center on the southern end of the park to the Park Office in the north. The trail traverses over and through ancient sand dunes and semi-tropical maritime forest thickly vegetated with cabbage palmetto, live oaks draped in Spanish moss and towering slash pines. Unfortunately, the trail has been closed to park users since 2016 when Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc on the South Carolina coast, bringing down trees and flooding sections of the trail corridor. Without regular cyclic maintenance, vegetation has begun to encroach and in some sections completely overtake the trail corridor and fallen trees now block the trail. The ACE crew will brush back vegetation and grub out roots where necessary with a combination of chainsaws, brushcutters and hand tools to open up the corridor. Based on other trails in the park with similar characteristics, ACE recommends the vegetation corridor to be 6 feet wide by 8 feet high. Much of the tread surface, comprised of sand, has been covered by a thick layer of duff made of pine needles and oak leaves. The tread can be re-exposed by raking off the duff layer using a combination of McCleods and hard rakes. Based on other trails in the park with similar characteristics, ACE recommends the tread width to be a minimum of 30-36 inches. There is potential to remove signage on trees that no longer make sense in the corridor and possibly re-install signs and there is potential to dig in with trails tools and re-route short lags of the trail.

Duration: This a two week hitch. The crew will spend two weeks in South Carolina, taking off days in South Carolina at Hunting Island. Work days will be Monday through Friday, five, eight hour days. It is going to be HOT down there. Highs in the upper 80s will feel like the upper 90s. In order to avoid working during the hottest part of the day the work day will begin at 6:30am and end at 2:30pm

Camping and Weather: The crew will be front country camping at a “rustic camp area” near the campground with in Hunting Island State Park. This area is not open to the public for reservations so the ACE crew should have it to themselves. There will be water spigots with potable drinking water and the camp area is within walking distance of the campground bathrooms that have running water, flush toilets, and showers. The van and trailer will be able to be parked very near the camp area. The drive time from the camp area to the Diamondback Rattlesnake Trailhead should only take a minute or two.

Project Specific Notes: It will be very very hot. DO NOT skimp on drinking water and take breaks in the shade. There are lots of ticks along this trail! Do regular tick checks often. Afternoon brief rain/T-storms often roll through his area this time of year and quickly dissipate, don't forget rain gear. You will be right near the Atlantic Ocean! Bring a bathing suit but don't exhaust yourself in the sun if you know you have a tough day of work ahead of you :) The nature center is awesome and has a ton of native wildlife!!