Home Support Us Adopt-aTrail Program

Adopt-a-Trail Application Process

  • Visit the trail to determine if it is a match for your group or organization. Consider the terrain and access to your section of trail.
  • Review the Trail Maintenance Standards in the Adopt-A-Trail Procedure Manual.
  • Assess whether your group has sufficient commitment and manpower to maintain the trail section for 3 to 5 years.
  • Download and submit the Adopt-a-Trail Application or request an application packet by calling 248-981-1242.
  • Submit PAT Volunteer Hold Harmless Agreement Forms for all group members.
  • Await approval from the PATMC before beginning work.
  • Once approved, submit regular maintenance forms to report your trail work and hours of service using the  downloadable Maintenance Activity Form.

Overview of Trail Maintenance Requirements

Preserving the quality of the trail experience, while providing a minimal level of soil and vegetation disturbance should be the goals of trail workers. The following priorities should be considered in this order whenever trail maintenance is performed:

  • User and volunteer safety
  • Natural resource protection
  • User and volunteer convenience

Basic trail maintenance may include the following:

  • Keeping the trail clear of uncomplicated windfalls, brush and annual vegetation at a minimum width of 8’ wide by 8-12’  tall.
  • Making an assessment of the condition of the trail and reporting problems that need attention.
  • Reporting signs that are missing, inaccurate or damaged.
  • Suggest reasonable improvements for the trail.
Seasonal Maintenance Activities (Mandatory):
Spring Walk-Through
The maintenance tasks for the spring walk-through are clearing windfalls, brush and winter trash pick-up. Spring  walk-through is best done at the end of winter before the spring rainy season and before the trail receives much use.  This work should be completed before the end of April at the latest. Assessment of other trail work needs is an important function of the spring walk-through. It is good to have a notebook and pencil or tape recorder along to record problems that need attention.
Summer Walk-Through
In addition to completing the tasks identified on the spring walkthrough, the summer season is a good time to clear the trail of woody brush and vines. The trail is most obscured when leaves are fully out as overhead branches sag and encroach on the trail. Early summer is also the best time to clear the trail through open areas, before plants such as grasses and briars reach peak growth. Stones and debris should be removed from the paved sections of the trail.  Routine trash pickup is required.
Fall Walk-Through
At the end of the season, regular leaf removal is required on the paved surfaces of the trail. A final walk-through is recommended late in the season to remove windfall before winter use. Routine trash pickup is required.
After you begin work on your adopted section, please track and submit quarterly the hours worked using the Maintenance Activity Form.
Safety is the most important consideration while working on the trail. There is always the potential for accidents while using trail maintenance tools in the woods. Volunteers need to be constantly aware of these dangers. The following is a good common sense checklist:
  • Let someone know where you are
  • Carry a small first aid kit
  • Wear a good pair of work gloves to protect your hands and safety glasses to protect your eyes
  • Secure hair and wear bug spray and sunscreen or a hat
  • Wear long pants, even in summer, when working in brush
  • Be certain that all tool heads and handles are tight with no cracks
  • Wear sturdy leather boots when digging or using cutting tools
  • Carry tools on the trail safely
  • Wear blaze orange colors when working during firearm hunting season.