Volunteer Days – Trail work at Rock Run Nature Preserve

Come Help us Cut in the Last Mile of this Wilderness Trail!


Tuesday, Nov 19

Tuesday, Nov 26

Saturday, Dec 7


From 10 am to mid-afternoon. Be sure to Register so we know you are coming!

Meet at Rock Run Trailhead parking lot, directly across the street from Sandy Springs Campground (directions below)



Our Workday.

For the last eight weeks, Arc Staff, an AmeriCorp crew, and volunteers have cut in 2.5 miles of wilderness trail at the Rock Run Nature Preserve, outside Portmouth, OH. The AmeriCorp crew is now gone, and we need your help to finish the last mile of trail.   Be part of creating this trail, which will be a lasting legacy for visitors to appreciate and experience the wild places of southern Ohio!! 

We will be focusing on benching work, cutting into the hillside to create a level walking surface for the trail, as the trail cuts along the contour of the hillside.   We will also be carrying in tools and posts for trail signs.  We will be using maddox and other trail tools to accomplish our task. These are very physically oriented work days.

Physical Requirements

This is very physical and demanding work.  No prior trail experience is necessary to participate, but experience is helpful.   We will be swinging a maddox hoe into the hillside, and cutting through roots and rocks.  We will work as a team to cut in the bench along the contour of the hill. You must be in good physical shape, and able to handle rough terrain, and physical work.  We will provide basic training, and you will be working alongside others who can help guide you. We will be walking a couple of miles throughout the day.

What to Bring

Bring a backpack filled with water, snacks, and a lunch.  Wear sturdy shoes, and tough clothes for working with dirt and rocks.  Bring a pair of leather gloves and safety glasses.  Be sure to dress in layers and be prepared for the weather.  There is a bathroom available for a small fee at the campground across the road if necessary.  Please be sure to be respectful of their facilities and leave it as clean as you found it.  


As available, there may be free lodging available at the Arc’s Volunteer Headquarters, the Highlands Nature Sanctuary, which is an hour and a half away from Rock Run.  Please inquire when you register.  You may also contact Sandy Springs Campground and make arrangements on your own, either for tent camping or rent an RV, with a two night minimum on the RVs.

Rock Run Natural History

Rock Run is one of the most wild places in all of the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System.  Its steep hillsides, vistas of the Ohio River, vast vernal pools and amphibians, and the vast diversity of wildflowers and rare plants, make Rock Run a one of a kind hiking destination.  Surrounded by Shawnee State Forest, the Rock Run Preserve encompasses almost the entire watershed. The history of sandstone mining has created “shelves” in the hillside, that make for spectacular views of the Ohio River, and have created many large vernal pools and wetlands, that are home to many special creatures. 


Please contact Tim Pohlar with any questions at tpohlar@arcofappalachia.org, or call/text 937-509-2796


Directions:  Google Maps “Sandy Springs Campground” for directions.  The Rock Run trailhead is across the street from this campground.