2017 Trail Building and Stewardship Training Series

Mass Audubon, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MA DCR), is sponsoring the second annual trail building and stewardship training series for Massachusetts land managers, conservation professional and volunteer trail stewards.

Participants will learn how to design and construct two foot bridges for a variety of trail users; how to design, build and construct a series of re-routed trail; how to build stone stair cases, as well as how to cut and shape stone; and how safely and effectively use a chainsaw to remove storm damage and cut back leaning trees through Game of Logging Level 3.

Additionally, participants will gain hands-on practical experience in trail stewardship and safety practices, build a network within the Massachusetts trail stewardship community, and become a resource for designing and maintaining public trails across the Commonwealth.


This series will be instructed by experts from the Professional Trail Builders Association (PBTA), Northeast Woodland Trainers (NEWT), and Mass Audubon. The following three workshops will be offered.

Trail Building and Stewardship Skills

Friday to Saturday, October 6-7, 2017
Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary 
Easthampton and Northampton, MA

Arcadia bridge training

Participants will work with Timber and Stone, LLC, a professional trail building company based in Montpelier, VT. They will learn how to design and construct two foot bridges and a series of short re-routed sections of trail. Instructors will also discuss wildlife considerations, permit acquisition, how to manage and maintain trails for a variety of users including motorized and non-motorized trails, project site risk management, and how to lead volunteers to accomplish project goals.

Building With Stone

Friday to Saturday, October 20-21, 2017
Franklin Land Trust’s Guyette Farm 
Plainfield, MA

Arcadia stone training

Cutting & Shaping Stone (Friday)
Instructor and Professional Trail Builder Erin Amadon, of Peter Jensen Associates, LLC, will train participants in stone selection, shaping stone to meet the needs of the project, and breaking stone into smaller, usable pieces. Participants will be trained to use a variety of methods for stone cutting and shaping including drilling, splitting and using hand tools.

Stone Staircase Construction (Saturday)
In this hands-on workshop, instructor Erin Amadon will teach participants best practices in stone stair case construction. Participants will learn how to move and set stones, how to build hiker-friendly stairs, and how to build sustainable and lasting stone structures.

Game of Logging Level 3—Storm Damage Removal

Friday, November 10, 2017
Location TBD


Instructed by Northeast Woodland Training, Inc., this Level 3 Game of Logging training will focus on storm damage removal, including techniques for cutting back leaning trees. Instructors combine demonstration with participation to teach chainsaw safety, productivity and cutting techniques. Instructors will focus on meeting the needs of trail stewards and land managers who clear trails and assist with storm clean-up activities.

Participants attending this training must have gone through Game of Logging Levels 1 and 2.


In order to make the trainings accessible to organizations and individuals, Mass Audubon and the MA DCR are partnering to offer these technical trainings at $25 per person per day including training and lunch.

Housing will not be provided. 

To Apply

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Download the Application

Please send completed applications to Melissa Patterson by email. You will receive an information packet and payment instructions upon selection. 

We have limited space for course participants and ask that no more than four people from one organization apply per training. We will review all applications and select participants based on available course space, diversity of organizations and geography, and demonstrated need for skills training.

Questions? Contact Melissa Patterson by email.