trail guardian program

Land use and Stewardship

A source for good

Overland Bound and its members are grateful stewards of the public and private lands that our community enjoys. For future generations to experience the solitude, joy, and wildness of remote landscapes, we must work together now to ensure their survival. 

We strive to instill land use ethics and good stewardship while encouraging people to traverse unpaved paths. “Leaving it better than you found it” can be as simple as packing out more than you packed in, being equipped to travel with minimal impact to the terrain, or volunteering time to clean up an area you love. 

Respect for wilderness and an unwavering commitment to Tread Lightly principles drive Overland Bound members to work closely with the US National Parks Service, National Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management to clean-up trails, restore ecosystems, and repair outdoor recreation areas.

The Overland Bound Trail Guardian Program exists because governments around the world do not have the resources to keep all of our public lands clean and safe for everyone to enjoy. Since 2018, Trail Guardian events have removed 100 tons of garbage from public lands, with many more clean up projects happening multiple times a year.

Anyone can create a Rally Point as a Trail Guardian event. We’re proud of our members who volunteer their time to organize and execute a truly communal gathering with the goal of improving our wild places, one trail at a time.

Trail Guardian Event

Mojave National Preserve

50 Overland Bound member volunteers

80 yards of garbage removed

2.2 miles of cable barrier installed

Several illegal tracks erased

Trail Guardian Event

BLM Land, Joshua Tree CA

200 Overland Bound member volunteers

10+ tons of garbage, debris, and old vehicles removed

Volunteers from CA, NV and AZ

2 additional Trail Guardian events planned for the year to finish the job

Be a Trail Guardian

Cleaning up neglected trails is critical, but also should be a last resort. To maintain wild places for generations, we advocate for the land stewardship principles from our friends and Official Partner Tread Lightly!®

Tread Lightly!® is a non-profit organization that leads a “national initiative to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities by promoting outdoor ethics to heighten individuals’ sense of good stewardship.” 

TL! distilled down the basics to the following TREAD principles:

    • Travel Responsibly
    • Respect the Rights of Others
    • Educate Yourself
    • Avoid Sensitive Areas

Do your part

Please visit the Tread Lightly! website for more information and guidance on proper land use. We highly recommend all Overland Bound members take the free Tread Lightly 101 course available online. 

Email a copy of your Tread Lightly! 101 completion certificate to and we’ll add the Tread Lightly badge to your profile.  

Organize Trail Guardian events in your community

Become an Overland Bound member today to organize a Trail Guardian event in your community and to participate in trail clean-ups around the globe!