2016 Alternative Breaks

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The 2016 Alternative Break locations and their availability are listed below.  We are no longer accepting groups for 2016 spring break trips. If you would like to secure a particular week/location for your group for summer 2016 please first read through the General Information section to better understand the program and reservation process.  Then contact Libby Wile at LWile@AmericanHiking.org or call 1-800-972-8608 ext. 704.

PLEASE NOTE:  Alternative Breaks are intended for college student groups.  To participate your group would need to have the minimum number of volunteers listed with each project description.  If you are interested in participating in a service trip as an individual or with a small group, our 2016 Volunteer Vacations schedule has many spring/summer trips that are not exclusive to college students (all ages can participate) and offer individual registration.

Location
State
Summer '16
Santa Clara Parks
CA
Available
Crystal River SP
FL
Available
Knob Noster SP
MO
Available
Colorado Bend SP
TX
Available
York River SP
VA
Available
Santa Clara County Parks, CA 3
Santa Clara County Parks, California
Host: Santa Clara County Parks
Group Size: 8-15

Project & Hiking
Volunteers will work on various trail maintenance projects in Calero Country Park, Mt. Madonna County Park, and Coyote Lake Regional Recreation Area.  Work may include brushing, grading, installing signs and benches, carpentry for bridge building, transplanting native vegetation, and fixing trail drainage from potential erosion from El Nino on single track trails. Volunteers can expect to hike up to 4 miles each work day to complete these projects.
Area & Attractions
Northeastern University at Santa Clara Parks, CA 3Calero County Park is 4,455 acres, located in the shadow of the Santa Cruz Mountains and is home to beautiful trails. Two distinct areas define this park: the reservoir, which offers a host of water-oriented recreational activities, and the adjoining “back country” which reveals California Oak woodland, chaparral, riparian plant communities and associated wildlife habitats. During the months of March, April and May the “back country” offers a spectacular display of wildflowers. In addition, the park offers breathtaking views of southern Santa Clara County and the surrounding Santa Cruz Mountain Range.  Mt Madonna Park is 3,688 acres dominated by the redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountain range. To the east, the park overlooks the Santa Clara Valley, to the west, Monterey Bay. As the slopes of Mt. Madonna descend toward the valley, the landscape changes from redwood forest to oak woodland, dense chaparral and grassy.  Coyote Lake/Bear is 4,595-acre regional recreation area, nestled in the hills east of Gilroy at the southern end of the S. San Francisco Bay Area and features a 635-acre lake for fishing and boating. Coyote Lake has a “world-class” population of Black Bass. Hikers, can explore over 35 miles of trails that wind through cool oak forests and along breezy ridgelines with wonderful views. Santa Clara County’s other 29 regional parks offer urban and rural escapes, trails for hikers, runners, bikers and equestrians, historic and interpretive sites, camping, picnic areas and more.  In nearby San Jose and surrounding cities, students can enjoy diverse restaurants, museums and festivals. San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean are just an hour away!
Accommodations
Students will stay at the Muriel Wright Center, located within Santa Teresa Park. Students will each have their own dormitory-style room with a bed, closet and desk. Communal bathrooms/showers are down the hall. Volunteers will have access to a full industrial kitchen to prepare meals. The kitchen includes an industrial range, ovens, walk-in refrigerator and freezer, sinks for food prep and washing, counter top space, pantry storage, silverware, cookware, utensils, plates, cups, etc. Relax after work playing pool, watching movies, playing games in the Rec Room, or going for a hike in Santa Teresa Park! Volunteers should provide their own twin sized sheets (or sleeping bag), towels, and personal clothing/toiletries.
Contact AHS about this AB
Crystal River State Park, FL
Crystal River Preserve State Park, Florida
Host: Florida State Parks
Group Size: 10-25

Project & Hiking
Volunteers will spend the week working on the 1.7-mile, Crystal Cove Trail.  The trail starts at the day use fishing area (locally known as the “Mullet Hole”) and follows a limerock path around a freshwater pond, through scrubby areas and mixed pines/hardwoods down to a salt marsh and canal which connects to the Crystal River. The project will entail remarking, trail trimming, and developing a secondary “primitive trail” along the waters edge. Volunteers can expect to hike up to 2 miles each working day to complete these tasks. 
Area & Attractions
A place of exceptional natural beauty, the undisturbed islands, inlets, backwaters and forests of Crystal River Preserve are especially cherished by nature lovers and photographers. The park borders 20 miles of the northern Gulf Coast between the two cities of Yankeetown and Homosassa. Visitors can hike or bicycle along seven miles of trails or study the native wildlife and plants on the two mile interpretive trail. The town of Crystal River is known for it’s population of manatees in the winter months as well as it’s springs, and is the only place where you can legally “snorkel” with this gentle giant. On a free day, volunteers will have the opportunity to tour Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, a popular destination in the area to see Florida native wildlife. Volunteers will be rewarded for their hard work with a campfire fish-fry on the last night.
Accommodations
Volunteers will be staying at the park’s group campsites, which are car-accessible and close to the river. Shower and restroom facilities are 1/4 mile away. There is a composting toilet closer to the campsite. Firerings are available at the campsites. Volunteers will have access to camp kitchen supplies (pots, pans, cooking utensils, camp stoves, and ice chests).Volunteers should bring their own tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and personal items including eating utensils (cup, bowl, plate, knife, fork, and spoon).
Contact AHS about this AB
Knob Noster State Park, MO
Knob Noster State Park, Missouri
Host: Missouri State Parks
Group Size: 8-10

Project & Hiking
Volunteers will receive hands on training and guidance from park staff and participate in activities including deberming, clearing culverts, cleaning bridges, constructing small walk bridges and trail maintenance. Knob Noster State Park contains the perfect, natural balance of prairie, open woodland and forest that is native to Missouri. Alternative Breakers can immerse themselves in this idyllic setting by participating in the McAdoo Trail Project. Volunteers can expect to hike up to 6 miles each working day to complete these projects.
Area & Attractions
Knob Noster State Park is a tranquil, idyllic oasis mixture of prairie, open woodland and forest along both sides of a meandering creek. It’s a wonderful place for hikers to explore the trails, fishermen to wet a line, and mountain bikers to get outside. In addition, Missouri was voted “Best Trails State” by American Trails.  The park contains seven different trails that highlight the parks greatest natural and cultural features. Leisure time can be spent hiking, playing disc golf, cycling, kayaking, fishing or playing a round at the nearby golf course.  Volunteers can look forward to a closing night celebration with either a cookout or educational program as a reward for a hard week’s work.
Accommodations
Knob Noster State Park, WPA, Camp BobwhiteVolunteers will be housed at Camp Bobwhite cabins. Each cabin contains twin-sized bunk beds and full baths.  Volunteers will have access to a full commercial kitchen. Equipment includes all major appliances, utensils, plates, flatware, cups, etc. BBQ pits are also located throughout the camp.  Volunteers should bring their own bedding linens (twin sized bed sheets or sleeping bag), towels, and personal toiletries/clothing.
Contact AHS about this AB
Colorado Bend State Park, TX 2
Colorado Bend State Park, Texas
Host: Texas State Parks
Group Size: 8-12

Project & Hiking
Volunteers will assist with trail building with a focus on sustainable practices on the 32-miles of multiuse trails within the park.  The park is know for its single track trails and is looking to add addtional trails!  Work will include: rough cutting, erosion mitigation, surface leveling, and grooming.  Volunteers can expect to hike up to 4 miles each work day to complete these projects.
Area & Attractions
Colorado Bend is a remote park that provides visitors a chance to get away and enjoy the experience of a wilderness area. The park is situated in the Colorado River and hosts several premier destinations, including Gorman Falls and Spicewood Springs.  There are over 30 miles of hiking/biking trails that provide a backcountry experience, boasting rugged terrain, sweeping vistas, hidden canyons, and a true Hill Country adventure.  Nearby attractions include Inks Lake State Park, Longhorn Cavern State Park, and Fort Hood.
Accommodations
Volunteers will stay in a bunkhouse with full kitchen, 2 full bathrooms with showers, dining area, common area, and twin bunk beds. Volunteers should bring their own bedding linens (twin sheets or sleeping bag and pillow), towels, personal toiletries/clothing, and personal eating utensils including cup, bowl, plate, and silverware.
Contact AHS about this AB
Ohio State University at York River State Park, VA 4
York River State Park, Virginia
Host: Virginia State Parks
Group Size: 8-15

Project & Hiking
Volunteers will perform trail maintenance on various trails in the park (the park has 35 miles of trails to explore!) Volunteers can expect to hike up to 4 miles each working day to complete these projects.
Area & Attractions
York River State Park, VAYork River State Park is designated as a Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The park is known for its rare and delicate estuarine environment, where freshwater and saltwater meet to create a rich habitat for marine and plant life. The pristine environment offers clues to a rich natural and cultural history and hosts fossil beds and Colonial and Native American artifacts. The park offers more than 30 miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails, allowing visitors to explore the marsh, river shoreline and forests. Williamsburg is the home of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement, Yorktown Victory Center, Busch Gardens, Water World, and the college of William & Mary.
Accommodations
Marshall Unviersity Alternative Break at York River croppedVolunteers will stay in two mobile homes that provide bunkbeds, full kitchen facilities, bathrooms with showers, and living areas. Volunteers should bring their own personal toiletries/clothing.
Contact AHS about this AB

If you would like to secure a particular week/location for your group please first read through the General Information section to better understand the program and reservation process.  Then contact Libby Wile at LWile@AmericanHiking.org or call 1-800-972-8608 ext. 704.