Iceland Wilderness Management Team

Video and Photos

About

The main activities of our team are maintaining hiking trails in the Thórsmörk area, trail mapping, survey work, and GPS data collection. We are also involved in a special erosion repair project in badly damaged areas close to the fresh lava from the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption.

On our 6-week placements, the project combines practical conservation work in one of the most beautiful parts of Iceland with an opportunity to complete the famous 4-day Laugavegur hiking trail from Landmannalaugar to Thórsmörk. These placements are an opportunity to get to know this amazing area and play an important role in helping to protect it.

Come visit this pristinely beautiful part of the world while learning about geology and erosion!

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

The minimum age is 20 years old! You can find more information here: https://trailteam.is/opportunities/
Just a summer program I believe, from May till September. See http://trailteam.is/ for more info.

Reviews

98%
based on 24 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.8
  • Value 9.6
  • Safety 9.1
Showing 16 - 24 of 24
Default avatar
Olga
10/10

Great work, great experiences and great people!

As a returning volunteer I can wholeheartedly recommend the programme to anyone that loves the great outdoors, meeting great like-minded people from all over and does not mind 2 to 6 weeks of dirty finger nails! Thórsmörk is a beautiful, rugged place with lots of hiking opportunities and places to explore.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Felix
10/10

Unforgettable Adventurous and Raw Conservation Experience!

I had an absolutely amazing time as a trail volunteer in the summer of 2014, i felt very much part of the conservation programs and while i the work was at times quite challenging, i felt a great sense of contribution to the project, feeling very satisfied as each day ended with yet more progress achieved! My volunteering was also very much appreciated and i felt very valued by means of the generous treatment from Chas and the forestry team in terms of keeping and food. The social scene was amazing, weekends were kept for exploring and recuperating before another conservation fueled week at work. There is so much to around the Thorsmork area that you volunteer. Also long distance work is a must, as the trip there and back involves crossing Icey streams and you have to take your walking boots off too! Anyone reading this and considering volunteering must take the leap, you will not regret it! Just make sure you pack that extra jumper!!!

How can this program be improved?
Health and safety needs to be reviewed consistently, especially with regard to working near steep drops, the carrying of tools and heavy objects such as rocks.

Conservation strategies need to consider more efficiently the impact of affecting an area to mend another area such as with erosion control within the trail zone.



Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Catherine
10/10

Once in a lifetime experience

I had an amazing time on this trip! You have breakfast together in the morning, split up into groups and go off for the day to do trail work. The work is varied and includes widening & graveling paths, erosion work, building drains, building and installing steps and bridges, carrying out GPS work and lopping overgrown branches of trees. The work is physically demanding and involves hiking to get to the sites but it is so rewarding as you can see the difference you're making and the view whilst you work is spectacular. Everyone is so friendly and it's like living in a community as everyone takes it in turns to cook meals, clean up and wash dishes. On the weekends you are free to do what you like and I went off to explore the many hiking trails. I made so many friends and enjoyed it so much that I want to go back again next year!

How can this program be improved?
I can't think of anything I would change about the program!
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Ines
9/10

Go wild, go simple and enjoy stunning nature

Volunteers´ camp is basic but comfortable enough, improving every year. Life is in tents, which provides privacy and freedom. The place is stunning, surrounded by glaciers and one of the greenest areas in Iceland, to my knowledge. Work is rewarding, as it´s turning out long-lasting and useful for the paths, that have high circulation in summer, with hikers doing the famous hike Laugavegur. Work doesn´t require skills or previous knowledge, as it´s explained and supervised by the coordinator and there´re also team leaders on the site. You just need to love being in nature and getting away from the city, traffic jams and crowds for some time. Don´t expect a lot of electricity on the site, just enough to charge devices from time to time. You´ll eventually love this. It´s really worth living this experience, besides it´s free. You´ll be fed and won´t have to pay the campsite fee. Be ready to work in teams and give a hand in different tasks around the campsite. It´s phisically demanding, so exercise before you go, there´s lots of hiking.Useful items in my opinion are ears plugs and eye mask to sleep well, and a sturdy tent and winter sleeping bag. I enjoyed it a lot, and I went back!

How can this program be improved?
I don´t have any complaints. If I were to decide I would introduce some teambuilding activities, provide the place with games that could make stronger bonds.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Tim
10/10

Fantastic experience - you'll want to come back again

Stunning place,people,community run by people who really do give a damn. Wish I could return this year, maybe next. Make a difference and make friends.Sometimes challenging - always worthwhile. Years of experience and local contacts make this the best volunteer programme in Iceland.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Mary
10/10

Adventure of a lifetime!

I spent an amazing summer in Thorsmork this year. The work involved a whole range of tasks in and around the forest - resurfacing and maintaining paths, building stone and wooden steps, waymarking and even building a full on stair case up the side of a mountain! I met so many great people and the basecamp and surroundings are just breath taking. It really is an excellent programme and I really can't recommend it enough. Best volunteering experience I've had and it's got the best approach... well organised, great people, rewarding work and stunning scenery! You can even sit and watch the glaciers whilst you have breakfast :) can't wait to go back.....

How can this program be improved?
I really can't think of anything I'd change
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Aardvark
10/10

amazing experience, best part of the summer

Life changing experience. Hard rewarding work. Fuelled by good food and great company. Fantastic scenery, whatever the weather if the view is visible it's a good one. An amazing base camp which is always getting better.

The work is varied but around the same theme. Building paths and steps, filling in holes (erosion), digging holes (drains), other things.

How can this program be improved?
Less rain. More tools. Reduced urge to eat biscuits
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jonathan
9/10

Become a volunteer to preserve the fragile icelandic nature

I've been part of this program during summer 2014. All I can say is that it was a great experience. I feel privileged to have spend time in this beautiful island. Living an experience like this will give you the opportunity to work in a beautiful wilderness and to meet many different people from all over the world. The program is well rounded and even if the work can be physically demanding, it gives you time to relax and to discover the beautiful area.

How can this program be improved?
the weather in Iceland can be quite demanding... ;-)
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Karl
10/10

It's good to get a little dirt under your fingernails.

Never having built wilderness trails before, I had no idea what to expect, but I came to relish the daily routine of packing up with food and tools and setting off to build and repair beautiful paths!

How can this program be improved?
Six weeks is a big commitment. If you don't have the time, stick with two!
Yes, I recommend

About Thórsmörk Trailteam Volunteers, Iceland (Trailteam.is)

Iceland’s Forest Service (Skógræktin) established 'Trailteam.is' in Thórsmörk and Goðaland (South Iceland) in 2012. It's role is to manage the area’s network of hiking trails as well as completing a variety of other practical conservation tasks....