The Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) is pleased to announce that the 2023 Trail Apprentice Program is currently accepting applications through February 28, 2023. Young adults aged 18-28 who are interested in a career in a trails-related field (recreation, natural resource management, conservation, environmental studies, history, etc.) are invited to apply. Through the program, Trail Apprentices will gain leadership, networking, and training opportunities. Learn more & apply now!


Selected Trail Apprentices will:

  • Actively participate in virtual leadership development, career exploration, and educational activities between April 2023 and January 2024
  • Receive a scholarship to attend the 2023 National Trails Workshop in Orlando, FL (November 7–9, 2023)
  • Network with a cohort of peers and established trails professionals


This year, a small, diverse group of Apprentices will build leadership skills by working with a PNTS committee on a project to advance the work of PNTS. Committee projects may involve developing skills in social media, fundraising, advocacy and policy, event planning, programs, membership, and more. Apprentices will work with PNTS to develop a project that aligns with their interests. Apprentices will provide valuable perspectives to PNTS committee work and leave the program with hands-on experience and a greater knowledge of priority issues in the trails community.

In addition to working on a project with a PNTS committee, the program will include orientation to the National Trails System, career exploration and team-building virtual sessions and attendance at the 2023 National Trails Workshop November 7th–November 9th in Orlando, Florida. PNTS will provide workshop registration, lodging, 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.

To Apply & For more information about the Trail Apprentice Program, selection criteria, participation in the 2023 National Trails Workshop, and more, please visit the Trail Apprentice Program webpage. 

Please reach out to with any questions.


No financial compensation is provided for participation in the program but PNTS will provide workshop registration, lodging, and a per diem for meals to those selected for the program

~80 hours total from April 2023 to Jan 2024 (including time at the National Trails Workshop)


Past Apprentices have gained valuable skills for a future career in the environmental field, build up their resumes with experience at the workshop and with program activities, and made important connections with trails professionals that have provided insight about job opportunities.

Quotes from 2022 Trail Apprentices:

“I came into this program without a background in outdoor recreation. Going to the workshop and meeting my peers, I realized that they also have different backgrounds…and I felt very supported. It gave me the confidence to continue pursuing these interests.” 

“I was able to learn more about accessibility of outdoor spaces for people of lower income, which I am passionate about. I felt inspired after the Workshop, because I saw how many programs exist that allow kids to have access to National Trails. I strive to help connect that bridge for students in my own community”