With the current elevated fire danger across much of the East, hikers are asked to do their part to help protect the trails and forests by using extreme care with fire. Avoid the use of ground fire, even in fire rings, and instead rely on your backpack stove for cooking. This eliminates the potential of leaving dangerous hot coals behind. Additionally, hikers are asked to douse unattended fires and report any large smoke columns promptly to the local 911 dispatch.
Due to the low humidity, warm temperatures, and dry fuel conditions, many Trail states currently have high fire warnings or watches in effect.
Check local conditions and alerts when planning your hike. Watch for and obey all trail closures.
Follow instructions for alternate routes that may be identified during fires or fire-fighting activities. Temporary closures and detours are for your safety and will be lifted as soon as conditions permit.
VA - Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah National Park
(Updated 12:45pm, 4/30/16) The section of the Appalachian Trail closed by the Rocky Mtn Fire in Shenandoah National Park is now open. Skyline Drive re-opened 4/29. For information about the status of other trails in the park, check the SNP Alerts webpage.
To learn more about about the Rocky Mountain Fire go to the Incident Information System (Inciweb) website at http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4689/
TN - Appalachian Trail has re-opened from USFS 293 to Dennis Cove - Moreland Gap Shelter open
(4/25/16) The A.T. is now re-opened from USFS 293 to Dennis Cove. The wildfire that the USFS was dealing with, known as the "Railroad Grade" fire, is out. Hikers should remain situationally aware of potential threats along the Trail. For more information about this wildfire, see InciWeb.
NC - Appalachian Trail closed from Hot Springs to Allen Gap
(Updated 3:15pm, 4/29/16) No change. The A.T. remains closed from Hot Springs (approx. mile 273.7 from Springer) to Allen Gap (mile 288.4) due to the aftermath of the Silver Mine wildfire. The Pisgah National Forest has posted notices at Trailheads to advise hikers. The affected section of A.T. is forecast to remain closed through the weekend, until the Trail is safe for hikers. We will make updates as events unfold.
NC - Appalachian Trail has reopened from Wallace Gap to Winding Stair Gap
(4/21/16) Due to a wildfire, the 3.1 mile section of the A.T. from Wallace Gap (A.T. mileage 106.7) to Winding Stair Gap (A.T. mileage 109.8) in the Nantahala National Forest was closed. It is now open.
Norovirus Alert & Prevention
Outbreaks of highly contagious norovirus (stomach bug) have occurred at various locations on the A.T. the last several years in a row, with the northbound thru-hiker "bubble" disproportionately affected.
Several hikers have come down with vomiting and diarrhea
in the Smokies area in the last few days.
Hygiene measures such as hand-washing, avoiding sharing of food, and prompt reporting are critical in helping prevent an outbreak or containing one should it occur. Please report date and location of any cases or outbreaks of vomiting and diarrhea on the A.T. or at places used by A.T. hikers (e.g. hostels) to the local health department and ATC at [email protected].
For more information visit our Health and Safety Page. For a poster you can download, click this link: Prevent Norovirus 2016. (3/10/2016)
A.T. Weather Website
A new website www.atweather.org (not affiliated with the ATC) provides weather forecasts for shelters along the A.T.
Although not absolutely precise in every shelter location, especially at higher elevations, it does provide National Weather Service forecast data that will often be more accurate than relying on forecasts in nearby towns, which can be dangerously misleading for A.T. hikers. Always be prepared for conditions that are colder, wetter, and windier than forecasts predict.