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Volunteer Opportunities

As our Trails Chair David Priester says, “trails don’t maintain themselves.”  And, as it turns out, all-volunteer non-profit organizations don’t maintain themselves either.  So, thank you for your interest in helping out!  Here are the many ways volunteers contribute their brawn, brains, time and energy to the Cayuga Trails Club:

Trail Adopters

The Cayuga Trails Club has constructed and is responsible for maintaining 100 miles of trails: the 10 mile Cayuga Trail along Fall Creek; the Finger Lakes Trail from Watkins Glen to Slaterville Springs; and the Abbott and Bob Cameron Loop Trails, both part of the Finger Lakes Trail System.  These 100 miles are divided into ~60 sections, each 1.5-2 miles long, which are adopted by individuals/pairs/groups who maintain them. The work involves hiking the trail at least 3 times per year, removing downed logs and branches, and cutting back shrubs and tree branches that are growing into the footpath.  When chainsaw work is needed, trail adopters get help from trained and certified sawyers. Interested?  Contact the Trails Committee Chair.

Hike Leaders

Are there trails you’re familiar with and would love to share with fellow hikers?  Want to find new routes for club outings?  Become a hike leader!  Training and guidelines are provided by the Hikes & Outings Committee and experienced hike leaders.  Interested?  Contact the Hikes Committee Chair. 

Trail Work Crew

When new trail construction, bridge and puncheon repair/building, or a trail reroute needs to be done, the Trails Chair will hold a Trail Work Party event or gather a smaller informal group to get the project done.  If you are interested in helping out on these, contact the Trails Committee Chair to get on the list of people contacted when a trails project is being planned.

Sawyers & Swampers

Interested in helping clear the trail when a tree has fallen across it?  You can become a certified sawyer, trained by the Finger Lakes Trail Conference, and approved to use a chainsaw on FLT system trails and the Cayuga Trail!  “Swamper” is the term used for the person who accompanies a sawyer, there as a safety person and to help clear the log rounds and branches from the trail.  Interested?  Contact the Trails Committee Chair.


The CTC engages in several outreach programs (described on the Outreach webpage), all fueled by the creativity, time, and energy of volunteers.  Interested in helping expand the TCAT to Trails program, by developing and describing new bus-access hike routes, distributing maps, or working with TCAT to advertise bus access to trails?  Would you like to help with the CTC/GIAC (Greater Ithaca Activities Center) partnership programs?  There are opportunities to serve as a naturalist or history guide on monthly hikes for the GIAC Seniors (ages 60+).  Enjoy working with kids or planning programs for kids?  Participate in the CTC/GIAC Outdoor Adventures Program for the GIAC Summer Camp groups.  Do you have other ideas for CTC Outreach activities?  Contact the Outreach Committee Chair.

Executive Board & Committee Service

The CTC Board includes elected members (President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Secretary, two members-at-large) as well as Chairs of Committees (Membership, Hikes & Outings, Trails, Landowner Relations, Finance, IT, Social, Newsletter, Publicity, Outreach) appointed by the President.  In addition to serving on the Board, volunteers can join a committee to help the Chair with a variety of tasks.  Interested?  Contact the CTC President.