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.

How to Hike the A.T. Backpacking Courses

Hike 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., 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 2019 schedule includes seven 3 day/2-night courses:
  • June 21-23 (Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, VA, course full; wait-list only)
  • July 19-21 (Great Smoky Mountains National Park, TN, course full; wait-list only)
  • August 23-25 (Pisgah National Forest, NC, course full; wait-list only)
  • September 20-22 (Great Smoky Mountains National Forest, TN, course full; wait-list only)
  • October 18-20 (Nantahala National Forest, NC course full; wait-list only)
  • November 8-10 (Pisgah National Forest, NC, course full; wait-list only)

After you've filled out an application and it has been reviewed, an ATC staff member will be in contact with you. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

*Please be prepared for the possibility of inclement weather as we will be spending two nights backpacking, rain or shine. Courses with fewer than three participants are subject to cancellation. Cancellation decisions will be made 4 weeks prior to the scheduled course date. Participants are, therefore, advised not to make any non-refundable travel arrangements (including plane, hotel, and car reservations) more than 4 weeks prior to the course. If your course is canceled, you will be given the opportunity to reschedule for another date (subject to availability) or offered a full refund of your registration fees. Courses are limited to no more than six participants and openings will be filled (pending review of applications by ATC staff) on a first come, first served basis. The course registration fee of $375 per person includes food and course materials.