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How to Hike the A.T.

Hiking even 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.

How to Hike the A.T. Backpacking Courses

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The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. With 95+ years of managing the Appalachian Trail within a cooperative management system, the ATC announces the arrival of its "How to Hike the A.T." backpacking courses. These courses are designed to enhance understanding, enlightened participation, and a lifelong affinity for hiking on the A.T.. 
 
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., 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.

This year we will offer two courses*:
 
• Nov. 17-19 (Great Smoky Mountains National Park)
• Dec. 1-3 (Great Smoky Mountains National Park)
 

*Note that the courses will be spending the two nights backpacking, rain or shine. Courses are limited to six participants, and spots will be tentatively reserved on a first come, first serve basis. Pending review, applicants will be chosen by ATC staff.  Cost of courses are $375 per person, which includes food and course materials.