Dear Ambassadors, Congratulations on the 2020 season! With challenges seemingly around every corner, it was certainly not an easy road, but we still accomplished some big things. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you who…
By Cheryl Hill – TKO Trail Ambassador and author of Fire Lookouts of Oregon
You may know that you can volunteer with TKO to build and maintain trails, but did you know that you can also volunteer as a Trail Ambassador?
Trail Ambassadors are stationed at popular trailheads at the Oregon Coast, Mt. Hood, and Columbia Gorge. These volunteers talk with visitors about responsible use of public lands, the principles of Leave No Trace, and the importance of the ten essentials, as well as answer a wide variety of questions about the trail, where to camp nearby, restaurant recommendations, and more.
New this year is an on-trail opportunity in the wilderness. The Mt. Hood Wilderness Stewards are now part of the Trail Ambassador program. These volunteers also engage with visitors, but instead of being stationed at a trailhead they hike wilderness trails and talk to hikers in the backcountry.
If you’re interested in volunteering the first step is to take the online training. After you compete the training and the quizzes (we promise it’s not hard!) TKO will follow-up with next steps. If you’d like to find out more before committing, we have a virtual orientation session scheduled on Wednesday, April 27th, 7:00pm.
What do volunteers love about being a Trail Ambassador? Here’s what past volunteers have to say:
“As a Gorge local, I love sharing information about local trails (and spots for post-hike brews!) with locals — and being able to share ways we can all respect and care for our trails.” – Lexi Irene
“I volunteer because I love the outdoors and I want to give back to help preserve these wilderness areas for future visitors.” – Kevin Lu
“I love meeting the people, many with kids or visiting, who are curious about the Gorge.” – Ardith Bowman
“I volunteer to ensure the manpower is available to keep our national forests and wilderness areas open and available for all interested users.” – John Ruehle
“I love sharing the awesomeness of the Gorge with folks (i.e., info on the trails, wildflowers, the Historic Columbia River Highway, geology, etc.), helping them discover new aspects to heighten their experience, and passion for this wonderful natural resource.” – Steve Carples