ACE EPIC NPS: Trail Maintenance Intern – AmeriCorps – Middlesboro, KY

This job has been Expired
American Conservation Experience
Job Overview

Summary:  American Conservation Experience, a Non-Profit Conservation Corps, in partnership with Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is seeking ONE Trail Maintenance Intern interested in dedicating 17-weeks in support of the National Park Service.  The Trail Maintenance Intern will support CUGA in improving trail conditions. This excellent opportunity is ideal for an enthusiastic young professional who is deeply committed to the preservation of our national parks!

Start Date: ASAP

End Date: 17 weeks from start date with a possibility of extending to 26 weeks

*A 17-week commitment is required*


Location:  The internship is at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (CUGA), which is located at the corners of Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia.  The Park contains 24,000 acres of which 14,000 acres are proposed wilderness. The natural beauty of Appalachian mountain country, lush with vegetation, supports a diverse flora and fauna.  CUGA has 70 miles of hiking trails, mountains, streams, and caves.

Middlesboro, Kentucky is the nearest town and is large enough to accommodate three grocery stores, fast food, several restaurants, and a movie theater.  Knoxville, Tennessee is approximately 1.5 hours away and has many amenities of a large city.


Project Partner Website:  For more information regarding Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, or the National Park Service, please visit:

For more information about the American Conservation Experience, please visit:


Compensation:  The ACE intern will serve 40 hours/week and receive a living allowance of $250/week for food and incidentals. The Intern will be provided with a one-time equipment allowance of $200 for the purchase of field boots.  See below (housing) for additional stipend information.

Housing:  IF there is room in the NPS dormitory it will be available to the intern and a stipend equivalent to its rent will be provided.  The intern may opt out of NPS housing in favor of their own rental location and a housing stipend of $700/month ($175/week) will be provided for a total stipend of $425/week.

PLEASE NOTE: it can be rather difficult to secure rental accommodations in the Middlesboro area due to limited options.


AmeriCorps: This position may be eligible for a 675-hour AmeriCorps Education Award of ($2,255.24) upon successful completion of internship hours. Additional enrollment is required for this benefit.


Position Description:  The ACE intern will serve with and learn from National Park Service (NPS) employees as they support overall trail maintenance at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (CUGA).

Projects will include:

  • General maintenance tasks on several trails within and outside of CUGA’s recommended wilderness.
  • The transport; distribution and compaction of tread materials onto areas of eroded trail surface.
  • Installation and cleaning of water bars and grade dips/swales using hand tools (mattock, hoe, shovel, cross cut saw, ax, etc.).
  • Removal of encroaching vegetation and if necessary trail blockages like boulders or downed trees using hand tools.
  • Building retaining walls.
  • Other equipment used (outside the recommended wilderness) may include UTVs, weed trimmers, back pack leaf blowers, and cordless drills.
  • Backcountry projects may include the use of a horse(s)


Qualifications: Previous trail maintenance experience is ideal. A combination of relevant education and appropriate field experience is acceptable for this position. We are seeking a determined, detail-oriented person who is looking for experience in the National Park Service with an eye toward a career in resource management, facilities/maintenance, or trails work.


  • US Citizens and Permanent Residents only.
  • Intern must be 18-35 years of age.
  • A valid driver’s license and a clean driving record are required (documentation to be provided upon request). A personal vehicle is required for the duration of the internship.
  • Must be willing and able to perform the above field projects, including backcountry camping.
  • Must be physically fit and able to backpack to backcountry campsites
  • Intern will be required to hike up to 12 miles per day while carrying up to 40 pounds of gear on uneven and steep terrain, on and off trail, in a variety of weather conditions.
  • Must be able to serve in small a group setting, performing difficult duties, while keeping a positive attitude.
  • Interns must be comfortable serving in recommended wilderness using only primitive tools (including shovel, mattock, hoe, cross cut saw, ax, etc.).
  • Projects outside the recommended wilderness may require use of UTVs, weed trimmers, back pack leaf blowers and cordless drills.


  • Prior trail maintenance experience.
  • Ability to communicate clearly with peer professionals and volunteers.
  • Ability to serve independently in remote areas.
  • Strong desire to enter the public service field.

The ACE intern must be willing to represent ACE and the partner organization in a professional, positive, and enthusiastic manner. Drug users should not consider applying, as ACE reserves the right to require drug testing.


EOE: American Conservation Experience provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, American Conservation Experience complies with applicable state and local laws governing non-discrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities.


To Apply: Please submit a thoughtful resume and cover letter along with contact information for 3 professional references using the APPLY NOW section located on the upper right-hand corner of the position listing on our website here:


NOTE: Early consideration will be given as applications are received. This posting may close at any time. If you have any questions regarding this position, please feel free to contact the ACE EPIC NPS Recruitment Specialist, Madison Douthitt at (828) 329-4793 or [email protected]