Maintainer – Adopter Program

 Cumberland Trail Maintainer and Adopter Program

What is a Maintainer?

–Maintainers are volunteers who sign-up to make independent maintenance trips to areas of their choosing.

–Maintainers will perform basic care such as litter removal, lopping, removing brush, and reporting more complex maintenance needs (such as downed large trees requiring use of a chainsaw).

**No Financial Contributions**

**Individuals, Families, and Organizations – Can Participate as Maintainers**

**Before Making Independent Trips – Certification or Ranger-Approval of Prior Experience Required-  See “Is there training?” section below**

Read the Maintainer Booklet Here

Click Here to Become a Maintainer Today!

What is an Adopter?

–Adopters contribute financially to trail and trailhead upkeep/ maintenance. Think the Adopt-A-Highway program.

–These financial donations are used for monthly upkeep such as: trash removal, signage and kiosk repair/upkeep, gravel parking are upkeep, fencing, and parking area bumpers. The donations go to supplies to help park staff and maintainers with upkeep.

–Major trailheads can be adopted with a donation of $1,000-$4,000.

–All other trailheads can be adopted with a contribution of $330 – $1,000.

–Besides adopting existing trailheads you can also adopt and sponsor the construction of future trailheads. Range is generally $3000 – $8000.

**Contributions will be managed by the Friends of the Cumberland Trail and are tax-deductible.** 

**Individuals, Families, and Organizations – Can Participate as Adopters**

Click here for a detailed breakdown of each adopter level

Click here for some suggested Adopter Projects

Click Here to Become a Adopter Today!

Can I be both a Maintainer and an Adopter?

Of course. We already have Adopters who not only financially support a portion of trail but also organize together to go out and work on the trail.

Can I Invite Friends & Family?

Absolutely. If you know someone who would like to be involved have them contact us at 423-566-2229,, sign-up here – or bring them to an event.

Share Our Flyer – Great for Handing Out

Maintainer Only Flyer

Adopter Only Flyer

Is there Training?

Yes. Maintainers must have a training session or demonstrate sufficient prior experience to CT Park Ranger staff before being official Maintainers.

**If you choose to be an Adopter Only – you would not need training as you would not be working on trails.

Maintainer training is required so each person who works to maintain the trail will have proper education on trail sustainability techniques and safety. Proper Maintenance is Safe Maintenance.

At these training sessions you will be instructed on proper techniques, reporting principles, and given an introduction to the Maintainer and Adopter Program by Park Ranger Staff.

**Training will be announced via email and on the official Cumberland Trail Facebook Page and the Cumberland Trail Maintainer and Adopters Facebook Page.

**Training events will be held as needed. Once you sign-up to be a Maintainer we’ll begin evaluating how to get you trained as quickly as possible.

**Each person will be evaluated on a person by person basis of prior skill, location, etc. to determine what training is needed, what location to attend training, etc. We will find a place for everyone who wants to help.

I’m Waiting to Be Trained/Certified – May I Do Anything Now?

Yes. One area where we need immediate assistance is having people hike our trails and report any problem areas, pick-up litter, etc. These are tasks of vital importance as often we don’t have the staffing to hike the entire trail.

Before Heading Out Submit a Volunteer Registration Form (REQUIRED – DO NOT DO ANYTHING BEFORE SUBMISSION)

You Can Download a Form – Here

Fill-out & Submit Both Pages (a picture works!) to— 

We would have you: 1. Hike the trail of your choice – at your leisure. 2. Complete either our ONLINE FORM or DOWNLOAD OUR OFFLINE FORM (and submit to

–There may be other trail related volunteer opportunities available prior to certification – for details call the Park Office at 423-566-2229 or email

–There are also other volunteer opportunities with the Cumberland Trail and Friends of the Cumberland Trail – from Appalachian history, culture, music, and more. You can learn more by calling the Park Office at 423-566-2229.

I’m a Trained Maintainer – Now What?

Once you have been trained, as a Maintainer, you will be assigned to a Ranger in your section and be placed on an email list to be constantly updated on Maintainer and Adopter events. You will now be certified to work individually.

–You will be able to contact your assigned Ranger regarding questions you have about your section, reporting work, and so forth.  Staff Directory

–You may also ask here:  Cumberland Trail Maintainer and Adopters Facebook Page – Cumberland Trail Staff maintain this page and will answer questions as received.

Maintainers – Before Heading Out – Please Be Safe

Just as you would with any hike – please always let someone know where you are going, when you are going, and when you plan to arrive back home. Feel free to report this with our office at or 423-566-2229 (M-F 8am – 4:30pm ET) – if you wish.

Be sure to pack a first-aid kit and dress appropriately for any hike or work you may be doing.

Safety First!

Your Maintenance Trip is Complete – SUBMIT YOUR WORK

No step is more important than this. If we don’t know where you worked, what you did, and when you did it – we have no way of informing CT staff and other Maintainers what needs maintenance. Please always submit your work.

We’ve Made it Easy to Report Work:
Complete Our Online Form
1. Complete this form here (it will automatically download as a Word File when you click the following link): Maintainer and Adopter Checklist Form
2. Submit to

Visit with other Maintainer-Adopters and share what work you’ve been doing:

Cumberland Trail Maintainer and Adopters Facebook Page

What Happens in Case of Injury?
  • Serious Injuries: Call 911 – First and Foremost.
    • Secondary Calls Should Include: CT Park Safety Ranger Joshua Kuykendall or Your Section Ranger.
  • Other Injuries: Call CT Park Safety Ranger Joshua Kuykendall or Your Section Ranger.

**You Must Always Report Any Injuries to Park Staff**

Click Here for the Staff Directory – Please Keep These Numbers On You At All Times

Click Here for Proper Safety Suggestions. 

If I Have Questions – Who Do I Ask?

One option is your assigned Ranger – but because Rangers are often in the field without cell or internet service it is best to email or call our Main Office at:



**Please ask for Bradley Smiddy (if he is not available any office staff member will be glad to assist)


Cumberland Trail Maintainer and Adopters Facebook Page

You may also:

Read the In-Depth Adopter Guide

Read the Maintainer Booklet Here

We are proud to have you interested in helping build and sustain the Cumberland Trail! It can not be done without your help, time, and dedication!

Tennessee State Parks are built upon the notion of community involvement and all Tennessee State Parks encourage community ownership. Everything we do, we do it for you, your family, and to provide an affordable recreational experience all can enjoy!