Volunteer on Cumberland Ranger District


Volunteer in some of the most scenic areas of Kentucky! The Forest Service is looking for volunteers with a variety of skills and interests. We also offer training for new skills related to our programs.

Contact Volunteer Coordinator Mark Engler if interested in volunteering on the Cumberland Ranger District. 606-663-8100 x102 or maengler@fs.fed.us.

View the 2015 Volunteer Internship opportunities in Red River Gorge here.

In exchange for service, volunteers may receive lodging and mileage reimbursement. Free lodging requires minimum time commitments from volunteers. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for details.

  • Volunteers may receive a free campsite with water, electric, and sewer hookup at:
    • Twin Knobs or Zilpo campgrounds for Morehead and Zilpo positions (bathhouse available).
    • Gladie Visitor Center Gladie Volunteer campsite
    • Koomer Ridge Campground (no sewer hookup, bathhouse available with toilets and showers).
  • A free one-bedroom apartment (Gladie Visitor Center only) with washer/dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator/freezer, stove/oven, and bathroom with shower.
  • A free pass for backcountry camping in the Red River Gorge. 
  • Free housing in mobile home and campers in Stanton for Red River Gorge. 

We are seeking volunteers for several visitor centers and campgrounds:

Morehead Visitors Center (Morehead, KY) – Join the team at the Visitor Center in the District Office! We need your help to staff the center from Memorial Day to Labor Day. We are looking for upbeat, friendly people interested in talking to and helping visitors in the area. We need one volunteer or one couple to arrive in early May and volunteer until early September.

Zilpo Campground (Morehead, KY) – Spend your summer outdoors leading activities for kids of all ages! We are looking for motivated volunteers to provide educational activities for our campground visitors. Training and guidance are available from our seasoned campground program coordinators. We need one volunteer or one couple to arrive in early May and volunteer until early September. This volunteer position includes a campsite either at Twin Knobs Campground (requiring volunteers to drive to Zilpo Campground at least once each week) or at Zilpo Campground (requiring volunteers to drive to the Morehead Office at least once each week).

Gladie Visitor Center (Frenchburg, KY) – Join the team at the Gladie Visitor Center to share many recreation opportunities in the Red River Gorge with thousands of visitors. Recognized as a leading area for hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and hunting, the Red River Gorge is a unique, scenic area near Frenchburg, KY. We are looking for volunteers to help us staff the Gladie Visitor Center and assist with interpretation and conservation education.

We need upbeat, friendly people interested in staffing the front desk, greeting visitors, and providing excellent customer service for our visitors. Opportunities are available to help with special events, education programs, and other projects based on volunteer interests and skills. Volunteers should be prepared to commit to at least two months of time (if staying in the apartment or on-site campsite) or to a regular schedule over several months (for example, every other weekend for several months).

Koomer Ridge Campground (Slade, KY) – Work closely with Forest Service staff to present campground programs and activities at the only Forest Service campground in the Red River Gorge. We are looking for a motivated individual or couple to work with us to present campground programs every Saturday evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Programs vary from educational to entertaining. This is an exciting opportunity to spend your summer interacting with campers and promoting safe, sustainable use of our natural resources.

Backcountry Ranger Volunteers

The Red River Gorge has volunteer backcountry rangers that perform a wide range of duties. Most volunteer interns work for 10-14 week periods during the main recreation season which is from April-October. Backcountry Rangers rehabilitate backcountry campsites, close off illegal paths and campsites, patrol the backcountry trails, meet and talk with visitors, provide information on low-impact recreation use, record visitor use, monitor archaeological sites and help maintain the trails and trailhead facilities. We are looking for people that can hike long distances in a variety of weather conditions, are outgoing and willing to talk with visitors, and can work weekends and some evenings. Contact Tim Eling with questions: teling@fs.fed.us.

View the 2015 Volunteer Internship opportunities in Red River Gorge here.


Red River Gorge Trail Crew
This is a unique volunteer opportunity in the Red River Gorge (Frenchburg, KY). The crew meets once each month, usually the second Saturday of the month. The crew members work to maintain the official Forest Service trails in the gorge, build bridges, blaze trails, and generally have a great time outdoors.

For more information: http://rrgtc.com/ or Charlie Rowe at 606-663-0576, Ext. 106. 


For Cave Run Lake Information:

Cumberland Ranger Distrct
2375 KY 801 South
Morehead, KY 40351

For Red River Gorge Information:

Gladie Visitor Center
3451 Sky Bridge Road
Stanton, KY 40380