Stay Safe and Healthy
Responding to COVID-19
The latest updates and guidance for hiking on the Appalachian Trail safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The availability of effective COVID-19 vaccines and a lower risk for COVID-19 transmission in outdoor spaces make hiking a lower-risk activity during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are still risks associated with hiking on popular and often-crowded trails like the A.T. Information provided by the National Park Service Public Health Officers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) remind us that precautions are still needed, especially due to COVID-19 variants. We currently recommend the following safety precautions:
- Receiving one of the available COVID-19 vaccines will significantly reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus. Find a location to receive the vaccine by visiting vaccines.gov.
- Continue to carry and wear a mask whenever social distancing cannot be achieved. This applies to any enclosed spaces, such as A.T. shelters, in shuttles/vehicles, and when indoors in towns/hostels for resupply. This also applies to crowded outdoor spaces when six feet of distance cannot be maintained with people who are not in your group. It is recommended to regularly monitor CDC recommendations. Those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks and physically distance as recommended by the CDC. Some regions and businesses might also continue to require masks and physical distancing. Learn more: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html
- While most A.T. shelters are open, we recommend overnight campers use a personal shelter whenever possible to maintain physical distancing. Prolonged exposure in semi-enclosed settings like A.T. shelters, where crowding can occur and unvaccinated individuals may be present, could increase your chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
- Wash your hands frequently with biodegradable soap at least 200 feet from water sources. When soap is not available, use hand sanitizer that contains 60- 95% alcohol.
- Avoid sharing food. Do not eat out of the same food bag, share utensils, or drink from other hikers’ water bottles.
- Avoid large groups when possible, even outdoors, particularly when physical distancing cannot be maintained. This is especially important for those who have not been fully vaccinated.
CURRENT RESTRICTIONS GUIDANCE FAQS
Wellness Guides and COVID Considerations
View and download information on how to reduce your risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, both on the Appalachian Trail and beyond.
Plan and Prepare
Hiker Resource Library
Getting ready for an A.T. adventure? This library of resources will help you stay safe, healthy, and responsible on the Appalachian Trail.
Responding to Covid-19
A.T. COVID-19 Updates & Restrictions
View any closures or restrictions in place on the A.T. due to federal, state, or local COVID-19 prevention regulations.
Plan and Prepare
Camping on the A.T. During the Pandemic
During the COVID-19 pandemic, packing your own personal shelter is one of the most important steps for preventing the spread of the virus on the A.T.
COVID-19 Hiking Tips
Dos and Don’ts: Hiking Safely During COVID-19
Tips for minimizing the spread of COVID-19 while on the Appalachian Trail.
COVID-19 Cases in A.T. Counties
View a map of reported COVID-19 cases in the counties through which the Appalachian Trail passes. This map data is provided by Johns Hopkins University, which updates once daily.