Hangtags distributed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) are frequently seen dangling off an aspiring 2,000-miler’s pack, marking their intent to traverse the entire Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Since hangtags have become so popular with thru-hikers and section hikers, we wanted to address some frequently asked questions about the A.T. hangtags.
What are A.T. hangtags?
The A.T. hangtags distributed by the ATC are designed to hang from a hiker’s backpack during their attempts to complete all 2,190+ miles of the Trail, whether in one continuous thru-hike or over a series of section hikes. The front features the A.T. logo and the year of the attempted thru-hike and the back provides Leave No Trace information and a blank area where hikers can personalize the tags with a registration number, Trail name, or other information. The hang tags are in the shape of an elliptical triangle, the same shape as the Appalachian National Scenic Trail logo.
The ATC developed the A.T. hangtags in 2015 when the voluntary thru-hiker registration program began, now known as ATCamp. Registering your hike on ATCamp helps hikers choose less crowded starting dates for their hikes, which helps reduce overcrowding and the subsequent damage to the Trail and its surrounding environment.
What is the purpose of the A.T. hangtags?
In addition to providing a way for hikers to celebrate their thru-hike attempts, the primary purpose of the A.T. hangtag is to promote sustainable hiking practices aligned with Leave No Trace principles.
Who is eligible to receive a hangtag?
Anyone who has registered an A.T. thru-hike on ATCamp is eligible for a hangtag once distribution has been resumed. Section-hikers who have the goal of hiking the entire A.T. who have registered their hikes on ATCamp are also eligible.
Where can someone get a hangtag?
A.T. hangtags are distributed in person after a brief discussion about Leave No Trace principles on the Trail. Hikers can pick up their hangtags each year at the following locations:
- Amicalola Falls State Park, Dawsonville, Georgia
- ATC Headquarters and Visitor Center, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
- A.T. Visitor Center, Monson, Maine (June-October)
2022 hangtags will also be available at the ATC Damascus Trail Center in Damascus, Virginia during its weekend pop-up events starting May 13, 2022, and at the Boiling Springs Visitor Center in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania when it opens in the summer of 2022.