What is Adopt-A-Trail?

The Prince William County Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (DPRT) maintains an extensive trail system across the county, both within our park boundaries and outside of them, connecting communities to their parks and other resources.

Having a strong group of volunteer trail stewards to support the trail system is key to its success. While DPRT partners with established non-profit trail groups and professional contractors to build trails and maintain the trail tread itself, it takes many hands to make sure our miles of trails are clear of trash and debris, while offering our trail users the best possible recreation experience.

DPRT’s Adopt-A-Trail Program is designed to address this need. By linking citizen volunteers to their public lands and trails, the program will minimize litter and unsafe trail conditions while encouraging citizen stewardship of our public spaces and positive use of our trail system.

Steps to Adopting a Trail

  1. Select a trail
  2. Walk the trail at least twice a year and provide simple maintenance
  3. Write a short report

Once you have selected a trail or section of trail, the expectation is that an individual or organization would walk the trail at least two times in a calendar year, preferably once in the spring and once in the fall. During the walk, the work would include removing litter (PWTSC will provide trash bags), clearing the trail of leaves, and trimming any small branches overhanging the trail. After the walk, a short report would need to be submitted via email to Trails@pwtsc. org, detailing when the walk was done, how many volunteers had participated, and what work was accomplished. If any major maintenance is needed, that too should be identified in the report (such as a downed tree or a washed-out bridge).

Who Can Participate?

This program is designed to encourage wide participation in the county’s trail network, and everyone is welcome to pitch in! Students can use their volunteer time toward community service hours.

Businesses are strongly urged to join the Adopt-A-Trail program and receive recognition for their stewardship of the environment. Your group or organization can help preserve, protect and enhance community trails. It is easy, fun, and a great team building experience for all ages. Join us and help make a difference in your backyard!

  • Scout troops
  • Youth groups
  • Service organizations
  • Environmental organizations
  • HOAs or other community groups
  • Schools or school clubs
  • Families
  • Individuals
  • Businesses
  • Church groups
  • Sports teams

Get Started!


Mike Gulden
Adopt-A-Trail Coordinator
PW Trails & Streams Coalition
[email protected]

DPRT’s long-time trail maintenance partner, Prince William Trails and Streams Coalition (PWTSC), has authored a new phase of this partnership by stepping up to equip and manage Adopt-a-Trail volunteers.

After completing at least one year with the program, your Adopt-A-Trail group or individual will receive a metal “Adopt-A-Trail” sign that will be installed at your trail. It will show the group’s or individual’s name along with the trail name.