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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

Hike the A.T.
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*:
 
• June 8-10, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
• July 27-29, Pisgah National Forest
• September 14-16, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. (Course is full, wait-list only)
• October 5-7, Pisgah National Forest. (Course is full, wait-list only)
*Note that the courses will be spending the two nights backpacking, rain or shine. These courses will run with no fewer than four participants. If less than three participants apply, then participants may change course dates, or be entitled to a full refund. Decisions on course cancellation will be made 4 weeks before scheduled course date. Participants are advised not to purchase plane tickets until they receive confirmation one-month in advance of course. 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.