What is an Alternative Break with the American Hiking Society?
American Hiking Society’s Alternative Breaks are volunteer trail stewardship projects in America’s parks and forests designed specifically for college student groups. Part volunteer work project, part kick-back outdoor vacation. Read the General Information page for more details.
Alternative Break crews are generally 8-15 students. Supervision during the project will be provided by our experienced project hosts. Each trip has a group minimum that must be met to secure your group’s week. If you want to volunteer over your break as an individual, visit here to see all the trips we are offering as part of our year-round Volunteer Vacations program. Volunteer Vacations are are open for individual registration and are not limited to college students (There will be a variety of ages of participants on these trips). Many of these trips will coincide with your spring and summer break.
Most trips last one week with weekends used for group travel. Alternative Breaks combine day hiking, trail work, exploration, crew camaraderie, and FUN into a weeks time and are scheduled for your student group to participate during your school break. Never been hiking or done trail work before? We welcome you! Alternative Breaks don’t require any prior trail work experience, just a good attitude and a willingness to get a little dirty!
Lodging options vary depending on the trip you choose. Alternative Breaks will offer either indoor accommodations (bunkhouses, cabins, lodges) or access to a campground site where you bring your own tent and camping supplies. All location will offer access to indoor bathrooms and either a full service kitchen or camp cooking gear for meal prep.
Make new friends and share laughter over a campfire. Experience an amazing sense of accomplishment after building a bridge or restoring a neglected trail. Connect with the land. Experience nature first-hand. Spend your break doing something that makes a lasting difference.
If you would like to share the Alternative Break experience with others, download and distribute this flyer: American Hiking Society Alternative Break.