"It's the toughest part of the trail-building process," Hillis said.
"The dirtiest, too," volunteer Mitchell Pierpont, 15, chimed in.
Crews use the rocks they dig up to fill low spots in the trail and build retaining walls. Displaced dirt also is used to fill holes, or is spread in the woods. Tree roots and limbs are pitched to the side of the trail.
Once the trail has been "rough cut," volunteers level the dirt with rakes and shovels. They fill in holes in some places. They use rocks to build up some areas, allowing water to run off into the woods.
Andrews said multipurpose trails are more difficult to build than hiking trails. On a pedestrian-only path, trail builders can dig rock-lined ditches to move water from one side of the trail to the other.
Those ditches would be very difficult on mountain bikers, however, so the volunteers have to create banked sections of trail.
Even with the extra work, Andrews said one crew can cut as much as 150 feet per day.
Hillis said the trails are the honor society's big national project this year. Representatives from the society's 300 lodges nationwide will help.
He expects around 1,400 Scouts from around the nation to work on the trails this month. About 200 volunteers, plus organizers, were working Wednesday. He said the program will host about 400 Scouts next week.
"It's an incredible group of kids who could be doing something else with their summer," Hillis said.
He said the park service staked out 25 to 30 miles of trail for volunteers to cut.
"We're not sure how much we'll get done, but we're exceeding expectations," he said.
Volunteers will put in 80,000 hours this month. Hillis said that would save taxpayers around $1 million in labor.
Part of the trails will be on the 10,600 acres the Boy Scouts of America purchased to build the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve as the permanent location for their National Jamboree.
Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or zack.har...@dailymail.com.