Responding to COVID-19

A.T. COVID-19 Restrictions

Many federal, state and local parks and forests through which the A.T. passes have shelter, privy, or overnight site or area-wide camping closures in response to the spread of COVID-19. The situation remains fluid and individuals should be aware of what closures are in effect before starting their hike. The ATC asks hikers to respect trail-related closures and observe required or recommended travel restrictions in A.T. states to halt the spread of this highly contagious virus.

To view ATC’s guidance on how and when to visit the Trail and on hiking safely, visit our COVID-19 page.

Shelter and Privy Advisory

Many A.T. shelters and privies are closed due to the difficulty of social distancing and the possibility of COVID-19 being transmitted on surfaces. Whether officially open or closed, hikers are advised to avoid shelters and picnic tables, and bring their own personal shelter and food storage device.

Also note that many privies are currently not being maintained. To avoid overflowing privies and placing extra burdens on volunteers when they return to the field, we recommend avoiding the use privies unless otherwise stipulated by the local Trail maintaining club or land management agency. In all cases, bring a trowel to dig a cathole following Leave No Trace principles. Most A.T. privies are maintained by volunteers on an infrequent schedule. However, the privies at overnight campsites overseen by on-site Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) caretakers (primarily in New Hampshire) are cleaned on a daily basis, leading to a lower risk of spreading COVID-19. Additionally, many of these AMC overnight sites are located in areas where digging a cathole can be ineffective.

Note: Camping is generally allowed around closed shelters unless posted otherwise.

While we will update this page frequently, the status of parks and forests is changing quickly. We encourage everyone to contact land-managing agencies directly to verify the status.

For more comprehensive Trail updates beyond COVID-19-related closures, see our Trail Updates page.

Current Closures (Updated 2.19.2021

Trail-Wide

Travel Restrictions:

All states from Maryland  through Maine have travel restrictions in place that require most out-of-state visitors to meet testing requirements and/or quarantine. In some cases, visitors may be able to shorten the quarantine by meeting testing criteria. See individual state information below for more information.

 

Business Closures

The status of businesses and the services they offer during the COVID-19 pandemic is quite fluid. A list of known changes can be found at A.T. Thru-Hikers’ Companion  Updates page; businesses may also submit changes there. We also advise all hikers to directly contact businesses for their schedules and services to confirm the latest information.

Agency Closures

 

All A.T. Shelters and Privies Closed on National Park Service Land

Effective immediately, the National Park Service is closing all overnight shelters (56 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office in the states of VA (11 shelters, 12 privies), MD (1 shelter, 2 privies), PA (8 shelters, 6 privies), NJ (1 shelter, 1 privy), NY (5 shelters, 5 privies), CT (7 shelters, 16 privies), MA (1 shelter, 4 privies), and ME (22 shelters, 29 privies). Click here for more information.

Georgia

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of Georgia

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

 

Chattahoochee National Forest

All A.T. shelters and privies in Georgia are closed until further notice. For more information click here.

 

North Carolina

 

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of North Carolina

 

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

Pisgah and Nantahala Nationals Forest Closures

All A.T. shelters and privies on U.S. Forest Service lands in North Carolina are closed. For more information click here.

“Fontana Hilton” Shelter and other TVA facilities remains closed

The Fontana Hilton Shelter and Visitor Center remain closed. Please click here for more information.

 

 

Tennessee

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of Tennessee

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

Cherokee National Forest Closures

All A.T. shelters and privies are closed until further notice. Please see  alerts and notices here.

 

Virginia

 

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of Virginia

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

All A.T. Shelters and Privies in Southwest, Central and Northern Virginia are CLOSED due to the following closures:

 

George Washington-Jefferson National Forest Shelters and Privies CLOSED

Shelters and privies remain closed due to COVID-19.

Shelter and Privy Closure on Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office (APPA) Lands

(Updated 2/17/2021) The National Park Service has closed all overnight shelters (56 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office including the following shelters in Virginia: Johns Spring, Catawba Mtn, Campbell, Calf Mtn, Tom Floyd Wayside, Jim and Molly Denton, Whiskey Hollow, Rod Hollow, Sam Moore, and David Lesser Memorial.

Follow this link for further details.

Paul C. Wolfe Shelter Closed

The Paul C. Wolfe Shelter, on Blue Ridge Parkway lands, is closed. Backcountry campers are encouraged to maintain social distance. Click here for more information.

 

A. T.  Shelter in the Town Of Glasgow is Closed

Closed until further notice.

Spy Rock Trail Head – CLOSED

In alignment with current federal, state and local guidance for social distancing and to ensure health safety of its employees, visitors and volunteers, the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests will temporarily shut down the Spy Rock trail head effective April 9, 2020. For more information, visit the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests website.

Virginia State Parks Closures

Virginia State Parks visitor centers, indoor facilities, overnight facilities, and group facilities are closed on a case-by-case basis. Click here for more information.

 

Grayson Highlands State Park – Overnight Parking

Backpackers using the overnight parking site must make reservations ahead of time. Please visit the Grayson Highland’s website here for contact information on how to make a reservation.

West Virginia

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of West Virginia

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

Maryland

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of Maryland:

Travel Requirements

(Updated 2/08/2021)

Individuals who  travel to Maryland must either obtain a negative COVID-19 test result or self-quarantine for 10 days. This applies to all states, with the exception of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

Shelter Closure Order Rescinded on Maryland DNR Lands

(7/3/2020) All shelters on Maryland DNR lands (that’s all shelters on the A.T. in Maryland except the Ed Garvey Shelter) have re-opened.

 

Hikers are advised by Maryland DNR  to sanitize themselves after use, or avoid the privies and follow Leave No Trace principles for this activity (dig a cathole 200 feet from water, campsites and the trail)

 

Camping is prohibited outside of these areas along the A.T. in Maryland (dispersed camping in Maryland is not allowed. Campers must camp at designated sites). Click here for more information.

 

Maryland State Parks

A full list of facility openings and closures can be found here.

 

Shelter and Privy Closure on Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office (APPA) Lands

(Updated 2/17/2021) The National Park Service has closed all overnight shelters (56 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office including the following shelters in Maryland: Ed Garvey Shelter.

Follow this link for further details.

 

Pennsylvania

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of Pennsylvania

 

Travel Requirements

Reviewed 2/08/2021

Travelers entering Pennsylvania from other countries and states, as well as Pennsylvanians who are returning home from other countries or states, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth or quarantine for 10 days upon entry into Pennsylvania. If a traveler chooses to get tested upon entering the Commonwealth, or is waiting for test results, the traveler must quarantine for 10 days, or until receipt of a negative test result, whichever comes first.

More information can be found at the State of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Information for Travelers page.

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area – Closed Areas

Many public facilities within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, including some restrooms, are temporarily closed. Find more details here.

Shelter and Privy Closure on Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office (APPA) Lands

(Updated 2/17/2021) The National Park Service has closed all overnight shelters (56 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office including the following shelters in Pennsylvania: Alec Kennedy, Clarks Ferry, Peters
Mtn, William Penn, 501, Windsor Furnace, Eckville, and George W. Outerbridge.

Follow this link for further details.

 

 

A.T. Shelters on Pennsylvania DCNR Lands Closed Until Further Notice

The following overnight A.T. shelters on Pennsylvania DCNR Bureau of Forestry lands are closed until further notice: Deer Lick Shelter, Tumbling Run Shelter, Rocky Mountain Shelter, Quarry Gap Shelter, Birch Run Shelter, Toms Run Shelter, James Fry at Tagg Run, Eagles Nest Shelter,  Leroy Smith Shelter, Kirkridge Shelter*. Click here for more information.

 

 

Hamburg Borough Watershed – Open for Day Use

The Hamburg Reservoir parking lot & public access to the Appalachian Trail are open to the public daily from dawn to dusk. No overnight parking will be permitted until further notice.

 

DCNR, State Parks, and Forests Facility Closures

State Park and Forest Facilities are closed on a case-by-case basic. Public programs, events, and trainings are canceled. Visit the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources website for details on closures and available facilities.

 

New Jersey

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of New Jersey

Quarantine notice for travelers:

Reviewed 2/4/2021

New Jersey strongly discourages all non-essential interstate travel at this time (current 1/28/2021):

Travelers from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging following recommendations from the CDC:

  • If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip.
  • If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time.
  • If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.

The advisory is no longer specific to certain states. Because of the rising number of case counts across all states, there is an increased risk of spread of COVID-19 upon return from any travel.

The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected. Travelers arriving from areas with increasing COVID-19 cases may wish to postpone their travel to the region if they are unwilling or unable to follow the quarantine advisory.

Travelers and those residents who are returning from states and territories beyond the immediate region should quarantine at their home, or a hotel or other temporary lodging. Individuals should leave the place of quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items.

Anyone who travels to New Jersey from a state/territory outside the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) is asked to complete a voluntary online survey to provide information about where you are traveling from and your destination.

Access the survey by visiting covid19.nj.gov/njtravel or texting “NJTRAVEL” to 898211.

If you choose to provide this information, it will be shared with local New Jersey Public Health authorities and other third parties when required by law. Local health departments will contact you to remind you to self-quarantine and offer assistance including information about testing locations.

Please note that this advisory does not apply to individuals:

  • Who are returning to New Jersey after traveling outside of the state for less than 24 hours or those traveling to New Jersey for less than 24 hours – Even where travel is less than 24 hours, however, individuals are still discouraged from engaging in non-essential travel to other states to the extent possible.
  • Who are in transit through the state to another destination, provided that the time spent in the state is only the amount of time necessary to complete the transit, make use of travel services, such as a highway rest stop, or make necessary travel connections.

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 3 months and recovered do not need to quarantine or get tested again during that three-month period as long as they do not develop new symptoms. If new symptoms develop after travel, people should follow instructions for what to do if you’re sick.

For more information, visit: www.covid19.nj.gov/travel.

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area – Closed Areas

Many public facilities within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, including some restrooms, are temporarily closed. Find more details here.

 

Shelter and Privy Closure on Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office (APPA) Lands

(Updated 2/17/2021) The National Park Service has closed all overnight shelters (56 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office including the following shelters in New Jersey: Pochuck Mountain Shelter.

Follow this link for further details.

 

New York

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of New York

Quarantine notice for travelers:

(Updated 2/4/2021)

Travelers to New York  have the option to “test out” of the mandatory 10-day quarantine for asymptomatic individuals. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York are exempt from the travel advisory; however covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. The guidance also applies to any person who has traveled to CDC Levels 2 and higher Health Notice country under the COVID risk assessment.

For any traveler to New York State from a noncontiguous state, US territory or CDC level 2 and higher country, the new guidelines for travelers to test-out of the mandatory 10-day quarantine are below:

  • For travelers who were out-of-state for more than 24 hours:
    • Travelers must obtain a test within three days of departure, prior to arrival in New York.
    • The traveler must, upon arrival in New York, quarantine for three days.
    • On day 4 of their quarantine, the traveler must obtain another COVID test. If both tests comes back negative, the traveler may exit quarantine early upon receipt of the second negative diagnostic test.

More information is available at coronavirus.health.ny.gov/covid-19-travel-advisory.

 

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

 

 

Shelter and Privy Closure on Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office (APPA) Lands

(Updated 2/17/2021) The National Park Service has closed all overnight shelters (56 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office including the following shelters in New York: Wildcat, RPH, Morgan Stewart,
Telephone Pioneers, and Wiley.

Follow this link for further details.

 

 

Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain State Park Closures

Some shelters, roads, and facilities in Harriman State Park and Bear Mountain are closed. For details, please visit the Bear Mountain State Park site and Harriman State Park site respectively.

 

 

Connecticut

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of Connecticut

Travel Restrictions

(Updated 2/4/2021)

Anyone traveling into Connecticut from a state or territory, other than New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island, or from a country other than the United States, is directed to self-quarantine for a 10-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state or country.

Anyone entering from one of the identified states must fill out a travel health form upon arrival.

Travelers can fill out the form online at ct.gov/travelform.

An Affected Traveler is exempt from the self-quarantine requirement if the Affected Traveler

(1) has had a test for COVID-19 in the seventy-two (72) hours prior to arrival in Connecticut or at any time following arrival in Connecticut,
(2) the result of such COVID-19 test is negative, and
(3) he or she has provided written proof of such negative test result to the Commissioner of Public Health via email to: [email protected] or via facsimile to: (860) 326-0529. All test results submitted to DPH are confidential.  All COVID-19 tests, other than COVID-19 antibody tests, are acceptable for this testing option. If a test was obtained in the seventy-two (72) hours prior to arrival in Connecticut, or following arrival in Connecticut, and such Affected Traveler has not yet received his or her test results, such traveler shall remain in self-quarantine in Connecticut until a negative test result is submitted to the Commissioner. If the test result is positive and the traveler is asymptomatic, he or she shall self-isolate for ten (10) days from the date of the test; if symptomatic, he or she should seek medical assistance. Travelers who test positive for COVID-19 prior to traveling to Connecticut should delay such travel and consult with a medical professional.

All Affected Travelers are required to complete the Travel Health Form.

At the present time, an Affected Traveler who has been vaccinated against COVID-19 is still subject to the self-quarantine requirement and must also submit a Travel Health Form, unless they are otherwise exempt.

Visit  portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Travel for more information.

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

 

Connecticut State Parks and Forests Closures

All A.T. Shelters are currently closed until further notice (per this National Park Service closure order). All Privies are closed. Campsites on National Park Service lands are open.

 

Shelter and Privy Closure on Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office (APPA) Lands

(Updated 2/17/2021) The National Park Service has closed all overnight shelters (56 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office including the following shelters in Connecticut: Ten Mile River, Mt. Algo, Stewart
Hollow Brook, Pine Swamp Brook, Limestone Spring, Riga, and Brassie Brook.

Follow this link for further details.

Bulls Bridge Side Trail, Scenic Area and Associated Parking – CLOSED

 

The blue blazed side trail off Bulls Bridge Road in Kent, CT, and all NPS land between the A.T. and the Housatonic River from Bulls Bridge Road to the Ten Mile River is closed until further notice due to resource damage. Parking on Bulls Bridge Road, Schaghticoke Road, and Route 7 in Kent is prohibited. The A.T. (white blazes) will remain open.

For more more details, see the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Facebook page post about the closure.

 

Massachusetts

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of Massachusetts

 

Travel Restrictions

(Updated 2/4/2021)

All visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to:

  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival
  • Quarantine for 10 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. If not obtained before entry to Massachusetts, a test may be obtained after arrival. However, all such arriving travelers must immediately begin the 10-day quarantine until a negative test result has been received.

Failure to comply may result in a fine.

At this time, vaccinated individuals must continue to comply with the Governor’s Travel Order and related testing and quarantine requirements.

Travelers from COVID-19 lower-risk states are not required to fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and do not need to quarantine. For more information, including a list of lower-risk states that may be exempt, visit www.mass.gov/info-details/travel-information-related-to-covid-19.

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

Appalachian Trail Shelters, Campsites and Privies on Massachusetts Forest and Park lands are temporarily closed. No Overnight Camping Permitted on the A.T. in Massachusetts

 

Hikers should postpone or cancel any overnight hiking plans for all 90 miles of A.T. in Massachusetts until further notice. Click here for the latest status of COVID-19 related closures for the state of Massachusetts as it affects the A.T.

Shelter and Privy Closure on Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office (APPA) Lands

(Updated 2/17/2021) The National Park Service has closed all overnight shelters (56 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office including the following shelter in Massachusetts: Upper Goose Pond Cabin.

Follow this link for further details.

 

Vermont

 

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of Vermont

 

Quarantine Requirement

(Updated 2/19/2021)

The Vermont Department of Health strongly advises against non-essential travel, even within Vermont. Do not travel to Vermont if you are sick.

If you are visiting Vermont you must quarantine for 14 days, once you arrive.  If you have not had any symptoms of COVID-19, you have the option to get a PCR test on or after day 7 of quarantine and end your quarantine with a negative test result. You must continue to monitor yourself for symptoms for the full 14 days. Staying in and completing quarantine is extremely important to help keep people from spreading the virus when they may not know they have it.

Some travelers have the option to quarantine in their home state before coming to Vermont – read more about that option in the Quarantining at Home section.

Effective February 23, if you have been fully vaccinated and it has been 14 days since you got your final vaccine dose, you do not need to quarantine to travel or return to Vermont.

Even if you have recovered from COVID-19 or have gotten a positive antibody test, you must quarantine when you travel or return to Vermont under the current travel guidelines.

For more information, visit healthvermont.gov/covid-19/travel-quarantine/visitors-vermont.

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

 

 

New Hampshire

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of New Hampshire

Travel and Quarantine Guidance

(Updated 2/4/2021) The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services continues to recommend against any non-essential personal or business travel.

NH Department of Health and Human Services continues to recommend against any non-essential personal or business travel, and people should avoid gathering with others who are not part of a person’s immediate household, even during the holidays.

There is no travel-quarantine requirement for those traveling to New Hampshire from surrounding New England States (Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island).

Travel guidance from the Division of Public Health Services:

  • Traveler/visitors to AND residents of NH need to self-quarantine for 10 days following the last date of any travel internationally (including to/from Canada); on a cruise ship; or domestically outside of the New England states of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island for non-essential purposes.
  • If the person is asymptomatic and has a negative PCR test on or after day 7 of quarantining, they may shorten or end their quarantine.
  • This 7-day “test out” of travel quarantine option applies ONLY to travel-related quarantine and NOT quarantine due to other types of exposure.

NOTE: You do NOT need to quarantine for 10 days or get tested for COVID-19 if either of the following apply:

  • You are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and more than 14 days have passed since you received the second dose of your COVID-19 vaccine.
  • You have previously tested positive for active COVID-19 infection (by PCR or antigen testing) in the last 90 days (if you had a previous infection that was more than 90 days ago, you must still follow all quarantine requirements)

Click here for additional details and the latest information.

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

 

All AMC White Mountain Huts and Hiker Shuttle Closed for 2020

 

All Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) High Mountain Huts and AMC’s White Mountain Hiker Shuttle will be closed for the remainder of 2020. For more details and information about existing reservations, click here.

Maine

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of Maine

Travel Restrictions

(Confirmed 2/4/2021)

  • The State of Maine will allow adults who obtain and receive a negative COVID-19 test from a specimen taken no longer than 72 hours prior to arrival to forgo the 10-day quarantine upon arrival in Maine. Individuals may be tested in Maine, but they must quarantine while awaiting the results.
  • Maine is strongly urging visitors to “Know Before You Go,” and be tested and receive results in their home state before traveling to Maine, which will allow them to take appropriate action depending on the result. Websites like Get Tested COVID-19 show local testing options nationwide.
  • The State is exempting residents from the following states from the testing and 10-day quarantine requirement for travel and lodging: Vermont, New Hampshire.
  • People who are not Maine or exempted states must complete a Certificate of Compliance form indicating they have received a negative COVID-19 test result, that they will quarantine in Maine for 10 days, or that they have already completed their quarantine in Maine.
  • This Certificate of Compliance must be provided to check-in at Baxter State Park, all Maine lodging, campgrounds, seasonal rentals, and other commercial lodging, such as Airbnb. Visitors may be asked to furnish proof of the negative test result upon request.

For more information, visit Keep Maine Healthy.

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

Baxter State Park

Baxter State Park is open for winter camping. See the park’s COVID-19 information here

Vehicle fees for non-Maine residents will be required in the park. For more information and to make online camping or parking reservations, click here.

 

Those contemplating a thru-hike starting in Maine are encouraged to visit our Southbound Thru-Hike page.

 

Shelter and Privy Closure on Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office (APPA) Lands

(Updated 2/17/2021) The National Park Service has closed all overnight shelters (56 total) and privies (75 total) on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office including the following shelters in Maine: Frye Notch, Hall Mtn, Bemis Mtn,
Piazza Rock, Poplar Ridge, Spaulding Mtn, West Carry Pond, Pierce Pond, Pleasant
Pond, Bald Mtn, Moxie Bald, Horseshoe Canyon, Leeman Brook, Wilson Valley,
Chairback Gap, Carl A. Newhall, Logan Brook, East Branch (Pleasant River), Cooper
Brook Falls, Potaywadjo Spring, Nahmakanta Stream, and Wadleigh Stream.

Follow this link for further details.

 

The state of Maine – Overnight Shelters on State Lands.

(Updated 1/16/2021)
Camping at these sites is for residents of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, without need of a 10-day quarantine or testing. All other visitors must continue to follow the 10-day quarantine requirement or negative COVID-19 testing. For more information, please visit www.maine.gov/dacf/covid19/parks/.

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