The Heritage Chapter of the North Country Trail Association is looking for several Interns to work with our member volunteer trail building crew. Northland interns are essential to helping realize the goal of the North County Trail to have a continuous trail from New York to North Dakota by building and repairing sections in Ashland and Iron Counties of Wisconsin, (within 25 miles of Ashland).  We build hiking trail tread from start to finish using hand tools and some power tools like a brush mower and chain saw (if certified).  Our main focus in 2019 is constructing new hiking trail in a 1.5 mile section from Upson Lake north to Sullivan fire lane.

Our trail building crews work one weekend each month from May through November.  The work weekend generally has us working around nine hours on Saturday and around six hours on Sunday.  The Heritage Chapter provides free camping at Copper Falls State park during work weekends and provides dinner on Saturdays immediately following the work shift.  Camping and dinner with the crew are optional for the attendee, but we encourage interns to camp on Friday and Saturday night with the crew to make logistics and planning easier. Tools, gloves, and safety equipment will be provided. Transportation to the various trail sections will be provided from the Copper Falls State Park base camp. Interns will be need to provide: transportation to and from Copper Falls State Park, state park admission sticker for vehicle, and personal camping gear.

The intern will be introduced to the North Country Trail Association and the North Country National Scenic Trail and their history and function. The introduction will include hiking sections of the existing trail and exploring portions of potential trail marked for construction.

The internship is paid a stipend of $10 per hour of participation at Heritage Chapter events.  Intern must be able to sign-up for all three of the scheduled work weekends to qualify for the stipend. (Volunteers are always welcome to sign up for only one work weekend or even one work day).

Below are the scheduled work weekends. Each work weekend has 15 scheduled hours (Sat = 9 and Sun = 6)

Fall Session: September 14/15, October 5/6, November 2/3

Responsibilities and Qualifications

During the scheduled weekend, the intern will receive training on some of the tools used in trail maintenance and construction and will participate in those activities. Tools include Pulaski, McLeod rake, pick, hammer, loppers, ax, handsaws, pry bar, leaf blower and other small tools.

The intern may also participate in marking the trail either with plastic nail-on blazes or paint blazes placed on trees along the trail as reassurance marks for hikers.

The intern might also take part in the construction or maintenance of bridges and other structures built along the trail. Trail maintenance activities include but not be limited to cutting back plant growth found along the trail, operating a self-propelled mowing machine, digging water bars, removing small trees that have fallen across the trail, removing rocks from the trail tread, restructuring the tread, and installing puncheon or other wet area bridging devices.  Construction activities include cutting and disposing of brush along the planned trail corridor, raking/blowing leaves off the tread area, benching side hills for placement of trail tread and other associated activities.

Intern must be physically capable of hiking up to a mile on foot trail to the work site while carrying tools, water and trail lunch.


Organization Details

North Country Trail Association - Heritage Chapter Copper Falls State Park Mellen, Wisconsin Website

Number of Position Openings: 8

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for this position, please call Michael Stafford at 414-403-4575 or email to Please indicate that you are interested in the fall session.

To earn credit for this internship, application and registration deadlines are:
Fall Semester: apply by Aug. 30; registration materials due to the Registrar by Sept. 13

Application Deadline: October 28, 2019

Download Application (DOCX File)


Mike Stafford