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How to Hike the A.T.

Hiking just a portion of the Appalachian Trail is the adventure of a lifetime, but you'll enjoy that adventure even more if you're prepared.

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How to Hike the A.T. Backpacking Courses

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Hike the A.T.
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The ATC is currently accepting applications for novice hikers interested in an educational and informative experience to prepare them for a long-distance hike. The courses will help new hikers feel prepared to successfully hike the A.T. while gaining an appreciation for the outdoors, knowledge of the A.T., Leave No Trace, and exposure to long-distance hiking culture. Course graduates should leave these programs as competent, responsible hikers prepared to accomplish their version of a successful A.T. hike.
 

The ATC is closely monitoring federal, state, and local responses to current impacts of COVID-19. We will make a decision to either continue or cancel courses at least 30 days prior to their start date. In the event the course you applied and paid for is cancelled, you will receive a full refund. If you have any questions, or would like to be added to the wait-list, please contact [email protected].

Backpacking 101 (3 days, 2-nights)
Description: Ideal for beginner hikers interested in learning the basics of backpacking. The course will last three days and two nights, rain or shine. The first night will be spent at a front-country campground, the second will be at a back-country campsite. We will hike an average of 3-7 miles per day with fully loaded backpacks. Over the length of the course we will teach new hikers essential skills such as trip planning, food preparation, gear selection, Leave No Trace awareness, and how to pack a backpack.

Intro to Thru-Hiking (3 days, 2-nights)
Description: Designed for novice to intermediate hikers interested in an educational and informative experience that will prepare them for a long-distance hike. The course will last three days and two nights, rain or shine spending both nights in the back-country. We will hike an average of 3-7 miles per day with fully loaded backpacks. The courses will help new hikers feel prepared to successfully hike the A.T. while gaining an appreciation for the outdoors, knowledge of the A.T., Leave No Trace, and exposure to long-distance hiking culture. 

Intro to Thru-Hiking (5 days, 4-nights)
Description: Designed for intermediate backpackers looking for a challenging hiking experience. This five-day, four-night course will teach hikers to successfully hike the A.T., knowledge of the A.T., Leave No Trace, and exposure to long-distance hiking culture. In addition, this course will teach the fundamentals of lightweight backpacking and educate clients on strategies to reduce their own pack weight for a long-distance trip. This course will have a higher daily mileage than the Backpacking and Thru-hiking 101 courses and is intended for backpackers who have prior experience. Participants must be able to hike an average of ten miles per day with a fully loaded pack. The first day will be spent indoors in a classroom setting, followed by four days in the back-country.