Thru-Hike

Camping

Camping on the Appalachian Trail

Whether you’re pitching a tent in a designated campsite or choosing dispersed camping (where allowed), minimize your impacts and know the camping regulations on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).

Camping and Fire Regulations

All overnight hikers should carry a tent or other lightweight portable shelter.

Backcountry camping is available at about 125 designated camp sites and is also allowed in the immediate vicinity of most of the 260 shelters along the Trail. Since almost all shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis, you cannot count on space in shelters. During the pandemic  hikers are advised to avoid them due to the difficulty of social distancing and the possibility of contaminated surfaces; many are also closed. The distance between shelters and campsites varies significantly so it is important to always carry a map. Guidebooks and apps may also list overnight sites.

Designated campsites along the A.T. are usually very simple. They have relatively flat areas where you can pitch a tent or other portable shelter. In a few areas, especially in New England on steep terrain or where soil is thin, wooden platforms may be provided. A natural water source such as a spring or creek is usually nearby. Unlike shelter sites these sites often do not have privies; info about how to properly dispose of waste can be found here. Designated campsites are generally available on a first-come, first-served basis, except in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Dispersed camping, which means campers have the freedom to select the location of their campsite, is allowed in some areas of the A.T.  Dispersed camping, sometimes called “stealth camping,” requires more time and effort and skill to find a comfortable and low-impact site than using a designated site, but can offer solitude and other advantages. Dispersed camping opportunities are most abundant on the the A.T. in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia on US Forest Service lands. It is prohibited in many areas, so it’s important to know local regulations. See below for more information.

Backpacking hammocks can offer more flexibility in choosing a site and can be low-impact in areas where dispersed camping is allowed. However, in the more typical scenario of a designated shelter site or campsite, it may actually be harder to find a spot where suitable trees are spaced the right distance apart. Hikers using hammocks in designated overnight sites should hang their hammocks in areas already bare of vegetation and always use wide  “tree-saver” type straps to protect trees from damage. For some basic tips on hammocking, click here.  To learn about the pros and cons of using  a backpacking hammock on the A.T., click here.

Hazard Trees: Due to an increasing number extreme weather events and invasive pests that damage or kill trees, be very careful in choosing places to camp, including at or in shelters. Look up and around out to a couple of tree lengths in distance to be sure your shelter or campsite is not threatened by broken limbs known as “widowmakers” or leaning, dead, diseased, or storm-damaged trees.

Food Storage: Storing your food properly to keep your food and you safe from bears and other wildlife is a critical component to best camping practices. Visit our Bear Safety page and our Food Storage Hiker Info video for tips!


 

Campfire Safety

For as long as there has been camping, there have been campfires — not only for warmth, lighting, and cooking, but also for group bonding, storytelling, and other social activities. However, campfires that are not built or cared for properly can cause devastating wildfires that may impact the landscape for decades. Before ​setting up camp, know how to build campfires responsibly:

  • Keep campfires small, and burn only small pieces of wood gathered from the surrounding environment (leave the hatchets and axes at home).
  • Use only existing fire rings at officially designated sites whenever possible. If an established fire ring is not available, choose areas that are already impacted and don’t have heavy vegetation that could potentially catch fire. Also be sure to clear away any dry leaves, twigs, or pine needles.
  • Use camp stoves for cooking — this minimizes the chances ​of ​sparks flying into the environment.
  • “Stealth camping” means leaving no impact on the environment — this means no campfires.
  • Do not burn trash — this can cause permanent damage to the environment and leach chemicals into nearby water sources.
  • Be aware of dry/drought conditions. If it has not rained recently, the chances for wildfires will be significantly higher. Do not build a fire during these conditions.

Keep in mind that campfires are not permitted on some parts of the Trail.  Many areas along the A.T. restrict fires to designated sites only or prohibit fires altogether. A chart listing regulations for fires and camping can be found by clicking the button below.

Most campfire-based wildfires develop because the campfire was not completely extinguished. Even if there is no visible sign of burning (smoke, glowing embers, etc.), a fire may reignite if there is still heat beneath the surface.

To properly put out a campfire, follow these steps:

  1. Carefully ‘knock’ the fire down with a stick (or metal trowel) until only small or no flames are present.
  2. Mix the hot coals, underlying dirt, ash, and inorganic debris with the stick/trowel while steadily trickling water over it.
  3. Place hand, palm down, over the mixture without touching it to test for heat. If it’s still hot, repeat step 2 until it’s no longer hot.
  4. Once the mixture is no longer too hot to touch, continue to trickle water over it while carefully and methodically stirring the mixture with your hand until it’s cold to the touch.* If you encounter hot spots, douse it with water. If you used a stick to stir the mixture, make sure it’s also cold.
  5. Once the fire is completely out, use the remaining water to rinse your hand.

*When dealing with fire in any way, always use the highest degree of caution and care.

Though campfires can provide many benefits, they require time, effort, and knowledge to maintain. There are many other ways to meet your needs when in the outdoors:

  • A good layering system of moisture-wicking and insulating materials will provide warmth and comfort as well as — if not better than — a campfire could.
  • A headlamp will make moving around your campsite safe, simple, and hands free.
  • A candle can provide the atmosphere and camaraderie of a fire but on a smaller scale.
  • A flashlight or headlamp tucked under a clear Nalgene bottle full of water provides an awesome glowing centerpiece for any campsite.

 

atc_rp16287_2pam_mcafee_2017_by_pam_mcafee-lpr-1200x800

Dispersed camping

  • Set up a dispersed or low-impact “stealth” campsite only where allowed (the most abundant opportunities are on US Forest Service lands in Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia; in many other areas dispersed camping is prohibited or there may be restrictions. See our Camping Chart below for more details).
  • Either choose an area where the ground is already completely bare from use by previous campers (an established site) or choose a site with no sign of previous use.
  • Avoid places that show the beginnings of frequent use—those still have a chance to recover if left alone. Set up tents on durable surfaces, such as dead leaves or grass, well apart from each other and at least 70 paces from water.
  • Avoid trampling plants and seedlings.
  • Never build a new fire ring. Only use existing fire rings and keep camp fires small.
  • Use a camp stove and place it on rock or ground that is already bare.
atc_rp7591_img_0791

ATCamp​ Group Registration

If you are hiking with a group (6-10 people) you’re encouraged to register your hike in the ATCamp system. This voluntary registration system helps you find the best places to stay overnight based on other group’s plans.

Register your group camping trip

atc_rp7591_img_0791

Camping and campfire regulations on the A.T.

Camping regulations vary considerably along the A.T. A table showing regulations pertaining to camping (and fires) along the A.T. listed from north to south can be found by clicking on the button below.

Chart of Camping and Campfire regulations on the A.T.

Maine
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights
camp limit
Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
ME Baxter State Park Fires or other cooking or heating devices are permitted only in designated campsites or picnic areas. At Chimney Pond and Davis Pond, open fires are prohibited and only backpack-type stoves are allowed. Camping is allowed only in designated campsites in the park; campsites must be reserved in advance. Northbound hikers who have hiked 100+ miles have the option of staying at the first-come, first-served site The Birches (sign-up is at an information kiosk just north of Abol Bridge).
Baxter.Camping fee = $10 – $30
Y/N 1 night at The Birches (for northbound hikers who have hiked 100+ miles only) Y www.baxterstatepark.org/general-info/the-at/
(207) 723-5140 Baxter State Park
MATC
ME Maine AT Club (Katahdin to Grafton Notch) Only allowed at fireplace/rings designated by the Maine Forest Service (most lean-tos and campsites) Some areas off limits to camping except at designated sites: Road crossing S of Nahmakanta Lake to the Pollywog Stream bridge. Gulf Hagas Cut-of trail to N of the W Branch of the Pleasant River.

No camping above treeline.

N 2 nights N MATC maps

A.T. Guide to Maine, p. 147.

2021 Thru-hikers’ Companion pg. 236

MATC
ME Bigelow Preserve No campfires except at approved Maine Forest Service campfire sites No camping above treeline. N N/A N MATC
ME NPS-APPA lands, Trailwide, outside of established National Parks, National Forests, and state parks, forests and
gamelands
On NPS lands, campfires are prohibited except at the locations specified by the state and in the applicable local
management plan.
On NPS lands, camping is allowed at designated sites only, for 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan. N 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan N Check ATC-Area Guidebooks, Thru-hikers’ Handbook, local agency rules, ATC regional offices, ATC HQ

A.T. Compendium

NPS
APPA
ME Other lands No campfires except at approved Maine Forest Service sites. For example, no campfires at Speck Pond. N N/A N ATC New England Regional Office AMC
New Hampshire
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
NH White Mountain NF No fires in Forest
Protection Areas, at
Gentian Pond Shelter, or
in Great Gulf Wilderness
Camp at designated sites, or 1/4 mi from roads, facilities and water, 200 feet from trail, below alpine zone (where trees are 8′
tall or less). Additionally, in Great Gulf Wilderness, no camping within 1/4 mile on
Great Gulf Trail between its junctions with Sphinx and Gulfside Trails.Camping Fee = Fee required at campsites and shelters managed by AMC and RMC
N 14 days Y AMC, (603) 466-2721

Backcountry Camping Rules – WMNF

AMC
NH Conn. River to Mt.
Moosilauke (overlaps with
some areas, below)
No fires within 200 ft of
A.T. except at shelters in
fireplace/ring
No camping within 200 ft of A.T. except at
shelters
N N/A N Backcountry Camping Rules – WMNF DOC
NH NH 25 to Lyme-Dorchester
Rd
Fires prohibited except at
shelters In fireplace/ring
Where trail is surrounded by private land,
camp at shelters only. Elsewhere, camp at
shelters or at least 200 ft away from A.T.
N N/A N Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 166
DOC
NH Lyme-Dorchester Rd to CT
River
Fires prohibited except at
shelters In fireplace/ring
No camping within 200 ft of A.T. except at
shelters
N N/A N Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 185
DOC
NH NH 25 (Glencliff) to Ore Hill No fires within 200 ft of the trail, except at shelter in fireplace/ring No camping within 200 ft of A.T. except at shelter N N/A N Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 158
DOC
NH Ore Hill to NH 25A Fires prohibited except at shelter or designated campsite in fireplace/ring No camping except at shelter/designated campsite N N/A N Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 158
DOC
Vermont
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
VT CT River to VT 14 Fires prohibited except at
shelters In fireplace/ring
No camping except at shelter N N/A N Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 188
GMC
VT VT 14 to VT 12 Fires prohibited except at
shelters In fireplace/ring
No camping except at shelter N N/A N Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 196
GMC
VT Green Mountain NF N/A N/A N 2 nights N Order # 2010-07: AT-LT Shelter
Stay LimitsCamping Regulations
GMC
VT VT 12 to US 4 No fires except at shelter
in fieplace/ring or Gifford
Woods SP
No camping except at shelter or Gifford
Woods SP camping areaCamping Fee = Gifford Woods SP
tentsites $18 and
up, shelters $25 and up
N 2 nights Y 802 775-5354

Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 206

GMC
VT US 4 to VT 103 No fires at Cooper Lodge
or Churchill Scott shelter;
fires permitted at other
shelters, only in
fireplace/ring.
No camping except at shelters N 2 nights N Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 220
GMC
VT VT 103 to Danby-Landgrove
Rd.
Fires restricted to shelters
and designated campsites
in provided fireplace/ring
Camping within 0.5 mi of Little Rock Pond is
limited to the following designated sites:
Little Rock Pond Shelter, Little Rock Pond
Tenting Area, and Lula Tye shelter.
Camping is prohibited in the vicinity of
Clarendon Gorge. From VT 140 to DanbyLandgrove
Rd., dispersed camping is
allowed at least 200 ft from water and 100
ft from any trail.Camping Fee = Fee at Little Rock
Pond shelter and
tenting area by
GMC.
N 2 nights Y Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 243
GMC
VT Danby-Landgrove Rd. to VT
11/30
Fires restricted to shelters
and designated campsites
in provided fireplace/ring
Camping restricted to shelters, designated
campsites, or 200 ft from water and 100
from any trail if not at these sites.
N 2 nights N Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 255
GMC
VT VT 11/30 to Stratton-Arlington
(Kelley Stand) Rd.
Fires restricted to
designated sites in
fireplace/ring only. Fires
prohibited on Stratton
Mountain and at Stratton
Pond.
No camping or fires on Stratton Mtn. No tenting at Stratton Pond Shelter but you may tent on platforms at the nearby North Shore Tenting Area. Camping elsewhere is
permitted if you are more than 0.5 mi from Stratton Pond, 200 ft from water and 100 ft from any trail, or at designated shelters and campsites. Camping Fee = Fee at Stratton Pond Shelter and North Shore Tenting Area by GMC
N 2 nights Y Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2016, p. 193

Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 265

GMC
VT Stratton-Arlington (Kelley
Stand) Rd to VT 9
Fires restricted to shelters
and designated campsites
in provided fireplace/ring
No camping between Maple Hill and Porcupine Lookout (public water supply). Camping elsewhere is permitted at
designated shelters and campsites, or 200 ft from water and 100 ft from any trail.No camping along Hell Hollow Brook
N 2 nights N Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 277
GMC
VT VT 9 to Mass. 2 (North
Adams)
Fires restricted to shelters
and designated campsites
in provided fireplace/ring
Camping permitted only at designated sites. No camping or swimming at Sucker Pond (public water supply). N 2 nights N Appalachian Trail Guide to New
Hampshire-Vermont 2012, p. 291
GMC
Massachusetts
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
MA Massachusetts Fires at designated sites (fireplace/ring) only Camping permitted only at designated sites N 2 nights N Appalachian Trail Guide to Massachusetts-Connecticut 2014 pg. 20

http://amcberkshire.org/at-hiking

AMC
Berkshire
MA NPS-APPA lands, Trailwide, outside of established National Parks, National Forests, and state parks, forests and
gamelands
On NPS lands, campfires are prohibited except at the locations specified by the state and in the applicable local
management plan.
On NPS lands, camping is allowed at designated sites only, for 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan. N 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan N Check ATC-Area Guidebooks, Thru-hikers’ Handbook, local agency rules, ATC regional offices, ATC HQ

A.T. Compendium

NPS
APPA
Connecticut
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
CT Connecticut No campfires allowed. Camping permitted only at shelters and designated sites N N/A N Appalachian Trail Guide to Massachusetts-Connecticut 2014 pg. 20

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2016, p. 166

AMC
Conn.
CT NPS-APPA lands, Trailwide, outside of established National Parks, National Forests, and state parks, forests and
gamelands
On NPS lands, campfires are prohibited except at the locations specified by the state and in the applicable local
management plan.
On NPS lands, camping is allowed at designated sites only, for 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan. N 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan N Check ATC-Area Guidebooks, Thru-hikers’ Handbook, local agency rules, ATC regional offices, ATC HQ

A.T. Compendium

NPS
APPA
New York
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
NY NY/NJ line to NY 17/Harriman State Park
(APPA NPS Lands in Orange and Rockland counties)
Fires are allowed only at designated locations. Dispersed camping is allowed. N 2 nights. N A.T. Compendium of Orders NYNJTC
NY Harriman State Park/Bear Mountain State Park Fires are allowed only at designated locations. Camping permitted only at shelters and designated sites N 2 nights. N  

Harriman State Park

Bear Mountain State Park

NYNJTC
NY Hudson River to NY/CT border
(APPA NPS lands in Putnam and Dutchess Counties)
Fires restricted to shelters and designated campsites in provided fireplace/ring Camping permitted only at shelters and designated sites N 2 nights N A.T. Compendium of Orders NYNJTC
New Jersey
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
NJ New Jersey No campfires allowed Camping is limited to shelters and official campsites in New Jersey. “Camping in areas other than those designated by signs is prohibited in New Jersey.” For Delaware Water Gap, see below. No camping from 0.5 mi south of Blue Mtn Lakes Rd to 1.0 mi north of Lake Success (Crater Lake). N N/A N Appalachian Trail Guide to New York-New Jersey 2011, p. 18 and 198.

Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers’ Companion 2021 p. 151.

NYNJTC
NJ Delaware Water Gap NRA Stoves only; no campfires, grills or charcoal fires. “No ground fires, nor charcoal fires of any kind permitted. Only gas
stoves allowed!”
No camping within 1/2 mile of roadway, 100 ft of water, 200 ft of another party, or from 1/2 mi south of Blue Mtn Lake Road to 1 mile north of Crater Lake. “THROUGH HIKERS ONLY may camp a minimum of 50 feet and a maximum of 100 feet from trail and must be 1/2 mile from any road.” “Max group size 10”

Camping Fee = At Mohican Outdoor Center, fee for camping charged.

N 1 night per campsite. 10 person limit. Y 570 426-2452 “Keep pets on leash.”

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2016 p. 147.

(Quotations are from signs posted at DEWA, shown in photos taken April 2012 by RangerTWB)

NYNJTC
NJ NPS-APPA lands, Trailwide, outside of established National Parks, National Forests, and state parks, forests and
gamelands
On NPS lands, campfires are prohibited except at the locations specified by the state and in the applicable local
management plan.
On NPS lands, camping is allowed at designated sites only, for 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan. N 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan N Check ATC-Area Guidebooks, Thru-hikers’ Handbook, local agency rules, ATC regional offices, ATC HQ

A.T. Compendium

NPS
APPA
Pennsylvania
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
PA Delaware Water Gap NRA Stoves only; no campfires, grills or charcoal fires. “No ground fires, nor charcoal fires of any kind permitted. Only gas
stoves allowed!”
No camping within 1/2 mile of roadway, 100 ft of water, 200 ft of another party, or from 1/2 mi south of Blue Mtn Lake Road to 1 mile north of Crater Lake. “THROUGH HIKERS ONLY may camp a minimum of 50 feet and a maximum of 100 feet from trail and must be 1/2 mile from any road.” “Max group size 10”

Camping Fee = At Mohican Outdoor Center, fee for camping charged.

N 1 night per campsite. 10 person limit. Y 570 426-2452 “Keep pets on leash.”

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2021  p. 151.

(Quotations are from signs posted at DEWA, shown in photos taken April 2012 by RangerTWB)

WTC
PA Windsor Furnace No campfires except at shelter in fireplace/ring No camping in Hamburg Watershed except at Windsor Furnace Shelter N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2016, p. 139 BMECC
PA Miscellaneous Congregation Areas No campfires No camping or fires permitted at Pulpit Rock (mi 1221), the Pinnacle (mi. 1223), and Gold Spring N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2016, p. 139 BMECC
PA Pennsylvania Game Lands (PGC #168, #217, #106, #110, #80, #211, #170, and near #305) Yes, except during periods of high fire danger. “Fires must be contained and attended to at all times.” The PA Game Commission (PGC) defines thru-hikers as “walking the Appalachian Trail from point of beginning to an exit, which is not the place of beginning.” Only thru-hikers may camp on PGC lands, and these hikers must camp within 200 ft of
A.T., at least 500 ft from a stream or spring
N 1 night limit N Page 58 of Pennsylvania LMPG. Reference: 36 CFR 2.10

www.appalachiantrail.org/
docs/local-management-planningguide/
2010%20Pennsylvania%20Local
%20Management%20Planning
%20Guide.pdf.

N/A
PA Darlington Shelter to Alec Kennedy Shelter (crossing Cumberland Valley) No campfires Due to narrow corridor and nearby neighbors, there is no camping between Darlington Shelter south to Alec Kennedy
Shelter except at official Backpacker’s Campsite south of Boiling Springs (Train Noise!)
N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2021, p. 136. CVATC
PA Bureau of Forestry lands (Delaware, Weiser and Michaux State Forests) Open fires prohibited at times of high fire danger, and from March 1 to May 25 and October 1 to December 1. This
prohibition does not apply to small self-contained camp stoves when used in a safe manner. Other times small campfires are permitted only where adequate precautions are taken to prevent the spread of fire into the forest. All other fires are prohibited. Campfires shall be attended at all times.
Camping prohibited within 1 mile of an adjoining state park N 1 night limit at campsites unless a permit is obtained N Appalachian Trail Guide to Pennsylvania 2009, p. 58

www.appalachiantrail.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/2010-Pennsylvania-Local-Management-Planning-Guide-1.pdf

N/A
PA Caledonia State Park Fires only in rings in Park Campgrounds or at grills in picnic areas Camping only at Park campgrounds.

State campsites available

N N/A Y Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2016, p. 129 PATC
PA Pine Grove Furnace State Park In fire ring at Park campground (1/2 mile from trail) or at grills in picnic areas. At Park campground only (March-mid December), 1/2 mile from trail.

State campsites available

N N/A Y Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2016, p. 130

www.dcnr.state.pa.us/
stateparks/findapark/pinegrovefurnace/
#camping

PATC
PA NPS-APPA lands, Trailwide, outside of established National Parks, National Forests, and state parks, forests and
gamelands
On NPS lands, campfires are prohibited except at the locations specified by the state and in the applicable local
management plan.
On NPS lands, camping is allowed at designated sites only, for 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan. N 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan N Check ATC-Area Guidebooks, Thru-hikers’ Handbook, local agency rules, ATC regional offices, ATC HQ

A.T. Compendium

NPS
APPA
Maryland
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
MD Maryland No fires at Annapolis Rocks Campsite. Other shelters and campsites, only in provided fireplace/ring. Camping in Maryland is only allowed at shelters and designated campsites. N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers Companion 2016, p. 117 PATC
MD Pen-Mar Park No campfires No camping or fires at Pen-Mar Park. N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers Companion 2016, p. 120 PATC
MD Gathland State Park No campfires No camping or fires at Gathland State Park N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers Companion 2016, p. 117 PATC
MD C&O National Historical Park N/A No camping except at designated sites (none on A.T. portion) N N/A N N/A PATC
MD NPS-APPA lands, Trailwide, outside of established National Parks, National Forests, and state parks, forests and
gamelands
On NPS lands, campfires are prohibited except at the locations specified by the state and in the applicable local
management plan.
On NPS lands, camping is allowed at designated sites only, for 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan. N 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan N Check ATC-Area Guidebooks, Thru-hikers’ Handbook, local agency rules, ATC regional offices, ATC HQ

A.T. Compendium

NPS
APPA
West Virginia
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
WV Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (Loudoun Heights  to Potomac River) No campfires No camping or fires from the Potomac River to southern park boundary on Loudoun Heights (WV/VA border) N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers Companion 2021, p. 113. PATC
WV NPS-APPA lands, Trailwide, outside of established National Parks, National Forests, and state parks, forests and
gamelands
On NPS lands, campfires are prohibited except at the locations specified by the state and in the applicable local
management plan.
On NPS lands, dispersed camping is allowed unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan. N 2 nights, unless the local Trail club states otherwise in its local management plan N Check ATC-Area Guidebooks, Thru-hikers’ Handbook, local agency rules, ATC regional offices, ATC HQ

A.T. Compendium

NPS
APPA
Northern Virginia & Shenandoah National Park
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
VA Harpers Ferry National Historical Park (1/2 mile south of Loudoun Heights Trail to Potomac River) No campfires No camping or fires from the Potomac River to Loudoun Heights (WV/VA border) N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers Companion 2016, p. 109 PATC
VA One-half mile south of Keys Gap to the powerline 1.5 miles north of the gap (WV Rt. 9) No campfires allowed No camping N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers Companion 2016, p. 109 PATC
VA Sky Meadows State Park No fires on A.T. No camping on A.T.; fee sites available 1.25 mi. east. N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers Companion 2016, p. 107 PATC
VA G. Richard Thompson WMA From February 15 to April 30 campfires are allowed only between the hours of 4:00 P.M. and midnight. They must not be left unattended Primitive camping is permitted for up to 21 consecutive days when occupants are engaged in authorized activities. No more than 3 camping units are permitted per site.

Camping Fee = New $4 daily access fee for day users ($20 season pass) when you park in DGIF parking areas unless you have current VA fishing, hunting or boating license. Purchase by calling 1-866-721- 6911 during business hours

N 21 or fewer Y www.dgif.virginia
.gov/hunting/
PATC
VA National Zoological Park N/A No camping or fires in National Zoological Park (2.3 miles of A.T.) N N/A N N/A PATC
VA Shenandoah National Park Fires only at park-constructed fireplaces found at A.T. huts and day-use shelters. A backcountry camping permit is required.

Campsites must be at least:

– 10 yards away from a stream or other natural water source.
– 20 yards away from any park trail or unpaved fire road.
– 50 yards away from another camping party or no camping post sign.
– 50 yards away from any standing buildings and ruins including stone foundations, chimneys, and log walls.
– 100 yards away from a hut, cabin, or day-use shelter.
– 1/4-mile away from any paved road, park boundary, or park facility (i.e. campgrounds, picnic grounds, visitor centers, lodges, waysides, or restaurants).

N N/A N www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/backcountry-regulations.htm
Central Virginia
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
VA Blue Ridge Parkway (BLRI) Fires are permitted in the provided grills or fire pits in campgrounds and picnic areas only. No camping at Humpback Rocks. From milepost 0 to 9.6, camp at least 1/4 mile from road, 100 ft from water, and 500 ft from Paul Wolfe shelter N 3 nights in any one location from milepost 0 to 9.6; 14 nights per year park-wide N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg. 36 ODATC
VA Cedar Cliffs No campfires allowed No Camping at Cedar Cliffs. N N/A N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg. 46 ODATC
VA Blue Ridge Parkway (BLRI) Fires are permitted in the provided grills or fire pits in campgrounds and picnic areas only. No Camping on BLRI land, 1/2 mile north from Reids Gap to USFS Boundary on on west side of Parkway. N N/A N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg. 50

www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=54

ODATC
VA Blue Ridge Parkway (BLRI) Fires are permitted in the provided grills or fire pits in campgrounds and picnic areas only. No Camping on BLRI land, 1/2 mile south from Reids Gap to USFS Boundary on Meadow Mtn. N N/A N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg. 50

www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=54

TATC
VA Blue Ridge Parkway (BLRI) Fires are permitted in the provided grills or fire pits in campgrounds and picnic areas only. No Camping on BLRI land, Love Gap Fire Road from Parkway to USFS boundary near Maupin Shelter N N/A N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg. 50

www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=54

TATC
VA Cold Mountain (Cole Mountain) No campfires allowed in open area No camping in open area between signs (0.8 mi) N N/A N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg. 82 NBATC
VA Pedlar Reservoir (Lynchburg Reservoir) No campfires allowed around Reservoir. No camping, swimming, or bathing on land around Reservoir. N N/A N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pgs. 92, 98 NBATC
VA Blue Ridge Parkway, Punchbowl Crossing to Black Horse Gap No campfires allowed No camping on BLRI land. This includes at Punchbowl Crossing (0.2 mi), Petites Gap (0.3 mi),Thunder Ridge Overlook area (0.7 mi), Cove Mtn summit (0.2 mi) and most of A.T. between Mills Gap and Black Horse Gap (6.4 mi) N N/A N Central VA Guidebook 2014 NBATC
VA George Washington & Jefferson National Forests Campfires are allowed only between the hours of 4:00 P.M. and midnight. They must not be left unattended Dispersed camping allowed. USFS strongly encourages people to follow Leave No Trace and please honor state’s burning regulations (currently not before 4 PM). N 3 N www.fs.usda.gov/goto/at.
Personal communication with GW/JNF 3/6/14
RATC
et. al.
VA James River to Matts Creek No campfires or cookstoves allowed No camping for 1 mile from James River Foot bridge to sign just before Matts Creek. N N/A N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg. 118 NBATC
VA Apple Orchard Mtn No campfires allowed No camping on or near summit of Apple Orchard Mtn. N N/A N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg. 140 NBATC
VA Jennings Creek Road No fires within 300 feet of road No camping or fires within 300 feet of road N N/A N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg 144 NBATC
VA From VA 652 for 27.7 miles A.T.-south to VA 624 No campfires except at designated sites/fire rings No camping except at Lambert’s Meadow and Campbell Shelters and campsites, the Pig Farm Campsite, and Catawba Mountain and Johns Spring Campsites N 2 N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg. 190

Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club

RATC
VA VA 652 south to Daleville No campfires No camping from US 220 to VA 652 (2.1 miles) N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2016, p. 79 RATC
VA McAfee Knob No campfires except at designated sites/firerings No camping or fires except at shelters or designated campsites. N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers Companion 2021, p. 86 RATC
VA Dragons Tooth No campfires allowed No camping at Dragons Tooth N N/A N Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2021, pg. 85

Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club

RATC
VA VA 641 to US 460 No campfires allowed No Camping. N Celanese easement N Central VA Guidebook 2014 pg. 254 OCVT
VA NPS-acquired corridor lands across valleys between national forest boundaries On NPS lands, campfires are prohibited except at locations specified by the state and in the applicable local management plan. On NPS lands, camping is allowed at designated sites only, for 2 nights. N 2 N A.T. Compendium PATH
Southwest Virginia
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
VA NPS-acquired corridor lands across valleys between national forest boundaries On NPS lands, campfires are prohibited except at locations specified by the state and in the applicable local management plan. On NPS lands, camping is allowed at designated sites only, for 2 nights. N 2 N A.T. Compendium PATH
VA Partnership Shelter Fires prohibited except at shelter In fireplace/ring No camping within 1/4 mile of Partnership Shelter N N/A N USFS W.J. Cober

Southwest VA Guidebook 2015 pg. 100

PATH
VA Grayson Highlands State Park No campfires allowed No tent camping in Grayson Highlands State Park except at campground. This includes area around Wise shelter

Camping Fee = $20/night for tent sites in the campground ~ 1mi from Wise, $5 shower fee w/o camping

N N/A Y (276) 579-7092

http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/
grayson-highlands#cabins_camping

GHSP M.L. Holland

MRATC
VA Elk Garden and Deep Gap and Thomas Knob No fires at Thomas Knob Shelter No camping as indicated by signs at road crossing or on trail. N N/A N Southwest VA Guidebook 2015 pg. 124 MRATC
VA Damascus N/A No camping in town park, including at reconstructed shelter N N/A N N/A MRATC
VA Jefferson National Forest Dispersed camping is allowed. N N www.fs.usda.gov/goto/at M
Tennessee
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
TN Cherokee National Forest N/A  Dispersed camping is allowed. Camping is not allowed within 100 feet of water, trails, trailhead parking lots and developed recreation areas. N 3 N http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/
cherokee/recarea/?recid=34868

Cherokee National Forest Dispersed Camping Guidelines
TEHCC
TN Great Smoky Mountains National Park At designated sites in fireplace/ring only A permit must be obtained at http://smokiespermits.nps.gov/ or in person at the park’s Backcountry Office (at
the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg) or over the phone; with permits issued by fax, mail or email. Hikers staying
overnight in the backcountry are required to have a printed copy of the permit. Tent camping is not allowed at shelters except for thru-hikers who find shelter full. Pets are not permitted on park trails. Maximum party size is 8 for camping. NPS defines the thru hikers as “starting 50 miles outside the park and continuing on 50 miles on the other side of the park” (in effect, more than 170 miles) in the GSMNP. Hammocks may not be used except at campsites. Birch Spring Campsite only by calling (865) 436-1231 Available for A.T. shelters (865) 436- 1231, 38-days in advance of anticipated arrival; on-line reservations required. Camping Fee = $4 fee per night; $20 for thru-hikers.
Y 1 night per shelter, 3 nights per campsite Y (865) 436-1297

www.nps.gov/grsm/
planyourvisit/backcountry-
camping.htm

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2016 pg. 29

TN-NC Guide 2016 pg. 27

SMHC
North Carolina
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee?
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
NC Pisgah National Forest Keep campfires small, confined, and  never unattended. Do not bring in outside wood. Be sure to completely and safely extinguish flames and coals before departure. Dispersed camping allowed under following conditions:

– Hike ¼ mile from trailhead.
– 100 ft from the trail itself.
– 100 ft from a water source.
– ¼ mile away from any developed rec area.

N 3 N www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/nfsnc/recreation/camping-cabins/recarea/?recid=48514&actid=34 CMC
NC Great Smoky Mtns NP At designated sites in fireplace/ring only A permit must be obtained at http://smokiespermits.nps.gov/ or in person at the park’s Backcountry Office (at
the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg) or over the phone; with permits issued by fax, mail or email. Hikers staying
overnight in the backcountry are required to have a printed copy of the permit. Tent camping is not allowed at shelters except for thru-hikers who find shelter full. Pets are not permitted on park trails. Maximum party size is 8 for camping. NPS defines the thru hikers as “starting 50 miles outside the park and continuing on 50 miles on the other side of the park” (in effect, more than 170 miles) in the GSMNP. Hammocks may not be used except at campsites. Birch Spring Campsite only by calling (865) 436-1231Available for A.T. shelters (865) 436- 1231, 38-days in advance of anticipated arrival; on-line reservations required. Camping Fee = $4 fee per night; $20 for thru-hikers.
Y 1 night per shelter, 3 nights per campsite Y (865) 436-1297

www.nps.gov/grsm/
planyourvisit/backcountry-
camping.htm

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion 2016 pg. 29

TN-NC Guide 2016 pg. 27

SMHC
NC NC National Forests N/A N/A N 3 N N/A CMC
Georgia
State Area Campfires Camping Camp/Shelter
reserv rqrd?
Y/N
# nights camp limit Camping
fee
Y/N
For add’l info/Info sources Club
GA Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest No campfires from Slaughter Gap to Neel’s Gap; otherwise observe Leave No Trace practices Dispersed Camping is allowed.

Bear canisters must be used between Jarrard Gap and Neel’s Gap Mar. 1 thru June 1. Observe Leave No Trace practices.

N 3 N www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/
conf/recarea/?recid=62815
GATC

Hikers are required to stay at designated campsites or shelter sites in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and North Carolina, the Triple Crown/McAfee Knob area of central Virginia, and many areas from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia northward.  In areas of heavy use, camping regulations may be designed to concentrate impacts in designated areas to avoid large swaths of the A.T. being devoid of vegetation and areas losing their natural, pristine quality.

Camping regulations vary widely because the Appalachian Trail corridor consists of a patchwork ribbon of many different types of lands managed by more than 75 different agencies. Areas are managed for purposes as diverse as federally designated wilderness, multi-use forests, game lands for hunting, wildlife refuges, watersheds and farmland.