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Trails Carolina

  • 500 Winding Gap Road, Lake Toxaway, NC

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Wilderness Field Instructor


Meaningful work with the power to change young lives! The most incredible group of co-staff you'll ever meet! 8 days to be fully engaged with the students then 6 days off to relax, explore, travel, adventure! Your office: Nantahala National Forest, Pisgah National Forest, Panthertown Valley, Blue Ridge Parkway, Dupont State Forest, climbing, canoeing, hiking, horses, campfires, yoga and so much more!

min experience

salary range

$145 - $170 / day

Additional Job Details

International Applicants Allowed?
Work Visa Sponsoring Available

Job Overview

Trails Carolina is a therapeutic wilderness program located in Western NC offering a unique combination of backcountry expedition and base camp programming to help troubled teens reach their full potential. Our Wilderness Field Instructors (WFI) play an integral role in this process, leading youth as they engage in a wide variety of activities;

– Group backpacking expeditions in the beautiful wilderness of Western North Carolina

– Therapeutic work with horses to teach communication skills

– Yoga and mindfulness practice to foster a holistic sense of wellbeing

– Classrooms that reignite a love of learning through nature and hands-on engagement

– Primitive wilderness skills work to build confidence and mastery in the outdoors

-Adventure education activities like rock climbing and canoeing to challenge comfort zones and create peak experiences.

Wilderness Field Instructors are trained to support our students through building rapport, managing risk, and maintaining close supervision. WFI manage challenging behaviors, create opportunities for therapeutic insight, and work alongside therapists to help our students reach their goals. This role is challenging and requires a combination of passion, grit, and care. Many have called this ‘the hardest job you’ll ever love’!

You can learn more about our program at trailscarolina.com


Wilderness Field Instructors work a full time year round shift rotation of 8 days with students, followed by 6 days off. Food and sleeping arrangements provided on shift.


Based in the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina.

Staff housing provided on-shift, staff can live several hours away on shift schedule.


Hourly compensation with the opportunity to increase in responsibility and rate based on performance.

To Apply

Please send resume to [email protected]

Special Benefits

Extensive training in backpacking and backcountry skills as well as our therapuetic model and behavior managment appraoch

WFI will receive training and certification in deescalation and crisis management through CPI (Crisis Management Institute)

Health, Vision, and Dental insurance available after 30 days.


WFR/Approved Training Support and reimbursement for Lead level and above.

PTO for Lead WFI and above

Pro Deals and wholesale discounts on gear

Up to four mental health visit reimbursed by TC

LQBTQ+ Supportive environment for students and staff

Minimum Requirements

-Wilderness Field Instructors must be 21 years old or above.

-Must have a clear background and be able to pass a drug screen.

-CPR/1st Aid Certified.

-Experience working with youth.

-Desire to face and overcome the challenges of working with troubled youth.

-Ability to fulfill physical demands of hiking and backcountry camping in a wilderness setting.

-Trails provides extensive training in backcountry skills and risk management, no previous backpacking experience required.

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