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Wilderness Volunteers

Athens District, Wayne National Forest, OH (May 23rd - May 29th 2021)

This service project is sponsored by:

  • Ed Leonard

  • Description
  • Details
  • Map

The Wayne National Forest is the only National Forest in Ohio. It was started as a reforestation program and currently encompasses over 244,000 patchwork acres located in three units across twelve Ohio Counties. Although the proclamation boundaries include 833,990 acres, most of the land within those boundaries is still in private ownership. Reforestation of Ohio's heavily eroded and denuded agricultural and mining lands began in the 1930's when land was purchased to create Wayne National Forest and the Civilian Conservation Corp began planting trees (to stabilize the land) and legumes (to revitalize the soil). Over the next decades many groups continued the work planting so once abandoned farmlands are now thriving healthy forests. The Shawnee Lookout Tower was once a sentinel built to protect a fledgling forest from wildfire. Today, it stands as a tribute to its builders, the last lookout tower remaining on the Wayne National Forest. There are three canoeable rivers on the Wayne National Forest; the Little Muskingum River on the Marietta unit, the Hocking River on the Athens unit, and Symmes Creek on the Ironton District. Located 70 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, the Athens Unit of the Athens Ranger District is home to the Wayne National Forest Welcome Center.

Our service project will have us helping the Wayne Forest Service with trail maintenance, brushing, benching, pruning, and clearing the trail. We'll spend the week driving (~10 minutes) from our basecamp to various trailheads to perform our project tasks. Volunteers should expect to hike ~2 miles daily from the trailhead to our job site. During our project, we'll tent camp near our cars and our downtime will offer the chance to hike, mountain bike, fish, explore Wayne National Forest's various districts, and much more.

Please note: Due to COVID-19, Wilderness Volunteers is operating our 2021 project schedule under our Modified Project Procedures for Volunteers. These project guidelines will be revised as needed. Please check back often for the latest version.

Due to additional COVID-19 precautions, we are prohibiting mixed household volunteer carpooling (with volunteers outside of the same household traveling in the same vehicle) to projects until further notice. Exceptions to this policy (eg close friends traveling together) will need to be discussed with/pre-approved by the office and will require additional precautionary steps for the individuals involved.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

This project is rated as a active project.


May 23rd - May 29th 2021

Service Project

Trail maintenance, brushing, benching, pruning, clearing

Agency logo

Free Days

Hiking, mountain biking, fishing, wildlife viewing, photography, geology


Tent camping near cars

Project Difficulty

Active : ~2-mile hikes, bending, digging, hauling, lifting, kneeling, planting


Aidalicia Swertfeger
Sarah Kocher

Equipment List