Trail Conference COVID-19 Protocols

Latest update: September 2021

If you are volunteering or participating in a Trail Conference event you must follow our COVID-19 protocols detailed below. If you have questions email [email protected].

Full Protocols
Disclaimer Regarding COVID-19 for Outdoor Group Outings


A.T. Volunteers: The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has additional guidance that only applies to volunteers on the Appalachian Trail. A.T. volunteers are responsible for adhering to all Trail Conference protocols as well as ATC's.

Full Appalachian Trail Volunteer Protocols are located at the following link. All A.T. volunteers must complete their online acknowledgement form. This includes watching a 16-minute video, reviewing the JHA (Job Hazard Analysis) document, and then submitting the Re-Engagement Acknowledgement form on the webpage. Each volunteer should allocate 30 minutes to complete this review and acknowledgement.



Trail Conference COVID-19 Protocols

  • Wearing a Mask: Unvaccinated persons participating in a group activity MUST wear a mask. Otherwise, follow the park's guidelines where you are working. It is your responsibility to know the park's rules. We work with over 150 different parks and it is impossible for us to keep up with the patchwork of ever-changing policies across so many areas. Some of our partners still require a mask whenever there is less than 6 feet between people so check before you go! Participants are responsible for bringing their own mask.

    • To find your park's latest mask policy check their website or call them.

  • No Sharing Protective Eyewear: Risk of infection from a surface is low, however there is still a small amount of risk. Protective eyewear shall not be transferred between participants during the day. Disinfect shared eyewear at the end of the workday, to the best of your ability.

  • Trip/Group Leaders:

    • COVID-19 Disclaimer: Trip leaders should provide the COVID-19 disclaimer to participants either by emailing it prior to the group outing or by stating the disclaimer at the beginning of the day.

    • Check the mask policy of the park you'll be working in and share it with your participants at the beginning of the day.

    • Optional PPE funded by the Trail Conference (if you are a trip leader seeking this PPE, please email [email protected]):

      • Disinfection:

        • Disinfectant for hands/people (i.e Hand sanitizer)

        • Disinfectant for protective eyewear

      • Spare masks (intended for those who accidentally drop/lose a mask while out working)

      • If desired, yard signs alerting the public to an upcoming crew so they will put their masks on 

  • Testing Positive: If you test positive for COVID-19 within 7 days of attending a group outing please alert [email protected] (your identity will be kept confidential). In the case that somebody from a group trip tests positive, for safety reasons, the group with an infected member will be instructed to follow current health guidelines regarding quarantine.


Disclaimer Regarding COVID-19 for Outdoor Group Outings

The New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has implemented safety protocols for all group volunteer outings. You must follow all protocols while participating in volunteer activities.

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, senior citizens and people with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.

By participating in a group outing you:

  • Acknowledge the existence of the COVID-19 virus and voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19. 
  • Affirm you have not tested positive for COVID-19, do not have symptoms of COVID-19 (i.e. cough, fever, shortness of breath), and have not within the last 14 days arrived from or been in contact with someone who has travelled abroad.
  • Agree that in the case someone from the group tests positive, the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference can provide your contact information to the state for contact tracing.
  • Agree that the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and its staff and volunteers will not be liable to you as a result of the COVID-19 virus causing injury, illness or other damages arising from the attendance at a group outing.