Trail Masters Program


Trail Masters are leaders in developing and maintaining segments of the Thread Trail throughout the 15-county region. Volunteers and industry professionals attend a four-day course on the latest techniques in sustainable trail building and maintenance as well as volunteer leadership. This nationally recognized certification last three years. Volunteer Trail Masters serve as crew chiefs during our volunteer workdays, monitor trails, assist on special trail projects, support our implementation partners, and have the opportunity to help facilitate special events and outdoor programs. Volunteer Trail Masters commit 40 hours of volunteer service to the Thread Trail each year for a period of three years and play a vital role in enhancing our trail efforts throughout our communities. To date, we have trained and certified 82 Trail Masters!

Applications are now being accepted for our 2017 Trail Masters course. This year, the course will be made up of past certified Trail Masters and new students. Besides the volunteer option for community volunteers, our implementation partners (Thread Trail municipalities and land trusts) may pay the certification fee as an industry professional a who will work on Thread Trail segments but not required to fulfill the volunteer commitment. A limited number of  applicants will be invited to participate in certification course. The course will be held October 12-15, 2017, at the Museum of the Waxhaws in Waxhaw, NC. The application deadline is August 28, 2017. The course, which is led by  Trail Design Specialists Owner Mike Riter, will teach volunteers the latest sustainable trail building and maintenance techniques through classroom and on-trail instruction and demonstrations.

To become a Trail Master, you must first apply in order to be considered into the program. After a review of all applications based on interest, commitment, availability and location in relation to our needs in the Thread Trail’s 15-county footprint, we will follow up with all applicants on September 1.

Application for the Trail Master program is currently  OPEN until August 28.

Trail Masters Eligibility Requirements:

Live in the 15 county Carolina Thread Trail footprint.

Attend a four-day trail building school from October 12-15: 9am-5pm each day.

Volunteer Trail Masters commit to 40 hours of service to the Thread Trail annually for the next three years.

Be at least 18 years of age.

Volunteer Trail Masters must attend the volunteer workday on October 21, 2017 in  Denver, NC on the Forney Creek Trail. 

2017 Trail Masters Course Online Application


Thread Trail Footprint

NC – Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, Union

SC –  Cherokee, Chester, Lancaster, York

Volunteer Trail Master Program after Certification

Volunteer Trail Masters are expected to lead groups of volunteers during Thread Trail hosted community and private workdays. Community workdays are hosted monthly on Saturday mornings or Friday mornings. Private workdays may be hosted during the week in the mornings or afternoon.

Volunteer Trail Masters will also have the opportunity to work with staff on special trail projects, support our implementation with their design, construction, volunteer workday efforts and help monitor the trails we directly manage on a monthly basis. Trail Masters may also represent the Thread Trail and community outreach events and support our special events and outdoor programs we host throughout the year.

Launched in 2011, the Trail Masters Program has already certified 82 Trail Masters. Increasing the number of Trail Masters will allow the Thread Trail to increase the amount of volunteer hours specifically dedicated to trail building and maintenance. Current Trail Masters have already registered more than 4,500 volunteer hours since the program’s launch.

For questions about the program, please contact Carolina Thread Trail Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator Vanessa Covington at 704-376-2556 (ext. 215) or


For Current Trail Masters:

How to submit your hours: To submit your drive time and additional hours working on the Thread Trail that don’t coincide with a posted event registration (those hours will automatically be documented when you register for an event on our website) , please login to your volunteer profile and hit Record / Update Service Project Activity to enter in those hours.

How to submit a workday you would like to host: To submit a volunteer workday you’d like to host in your section of the Thread Trail that we can promote and help recruit community volunteers to assist you, please submit the event online here and we’ll be in touch soon!

If you are hosting a workday, please contact Vanessa Gorr at or 704-376-2556 x215, for copies for the Volunteer Waiver or click here to download the PDF.

How to submit Trail Assessments:  Click here to access and complete a trail assessment. These are due by the end of each month.

Trail Master Class of 2016img_2973-edited







The Trail Masters:

*New 2016 Trail Masters

Gregg Antemann Michael Blackburn Scott Brown
Eric Brunsvold Stephanie Bush Beth Chuck
Ben Debow Bruce Elliot *Bill Farar
Joe Fisher Carolyn Genay  Sarah Genay
Jason Grice Byron Haigler John Harris
Brian Hinson Natalie Jackson Julia James
Lisa Jenkins *Krik Johnston *Madison Karriker
*Gerry Kingsley Mark Kincaid John Kinley
Dillon Lackey Charlie Lieske Allen Lowrance
Patrick Lynch Bert Lynn *Bill McCarter
Lisa McCarter *Jimi Moore  Mike Moore
*Charlotte Morley Jerry Myles David Nelson
Sheri Osborne Jeff Pinnow Chip Sell
Colleen Simmons Keith Sornensen Whit Strunk
Josh Taylor Chris Timberlake *Jason Toon
Jeff Watson  Tom Watson *Ashley Wittmer