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 & Restrictions (Updated 4.12.2021)

Trail-Wide

Travel Restrictions:

New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine have travel guidelines that require or recommend out-of-state visitors to quarantine and/or meet testing requirements, with exemptions for those who have been vaccinated more than 14 days ago.  However, many states are still discouraging non-essential travel. See individual state information below for additional details.

 

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 Guidance

Travel increases your chance of spreading and getting COVID-19. The CDC recommends that you do not travel at this time. Delay travel and stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. 

If you must travel, take these steps to protect yourself and others from COVID-19: 

  • If you are eligible, get fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Wait 2 weeks after getting your second vaccine dose to travel—it takes time for your body to build protection after any vaccination. 
  • Get tested with a viral test 1-3 days before you travel. Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel in case you are asked for them. Do NOT travel if you test positive. 
  • Get tested again with a viral test 3-5 days after your trip and stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. 
  • Check travel restrictions before you go. 
  • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. 
  • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors. 
  • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol). 
  • Bring extra supplies, such as masks and hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. 

Do NOT travel if you were exposed to COVID-19you are sick or you test positive for COVID-19. Learn when it is safe for you to travel. Don’t travel with someone who is sick. 

All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding a flight to the United States. See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information. 

The state recommends testing after travel or upon arrival in Maryland. Read the MDH Health Directive. 

For additional travel resources and guidance, visit the CDC travel advisory site. 

For the latest information on  Maryland’s travel guidance, visit covidlink.maryland.gov/content/faqs/#index.

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

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

 

COVID Info for Travelers

(Updated 3/29/2021)
As of March 1, 2021 the Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for Mitigation Relating To Travel is no longer in effect. Travelers should still practice appropriate public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 such as masking, physical distancing, and hand hygiene.

COVID Alert PA Mobile App

COVID Alert PA is a free and voluntary mobile app developed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health in partnership with NearForm, University of Pennsylvania, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory using Apple and Google’s Exposure Notification System.

The app’s features include an interactive COVID-19 symptom check-in, alerts for potential exposures to the virus, updates on the latest public health data about COVID-19 in PA and public health guidance for what to do if you have a potential exposure to COVID-19. The app is designed to ensure privacy of the user. It does not use GPS, location services or any movement or geographical information. It will never collect, transmit or store personal information. It is completely anonymous.

 

After you download COVID Alert PA to your smartphone, you can opt-in to receive alerts if you have had a potential exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

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

Travel Guidance

(Updated 4/7/2021; current 4/5/2021)

New Jersey continues to strongly discourage all non-essential interstate travel at this time.

 

Unvaccinated travelers and residents returning 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.

You no longer need to quarantine or get tested before/after domestic travel if you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months.

 

The self-quarantine is voluntary, but compliance is expected. Unvaccinated 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.

 

Unvaccinated 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. Unvaccinated individuals should leave the place of quarantine only to seek medical care/treatment or to obtain food and other essential items.

 

New Jersey asks that unvaccinated travelers subject to the travel advisory complete a voluntary online survey to provide information about where you are traveling from and your destination.

 

For more information about the travel guidelines, visit the State of New Jersey Travel Guidance  page.

 

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

Delaware Water Gap N

nj.gov/travel.ational 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

Travel Requirements

(Updated 4/6/2021)
Asymptomatic travelers entering New York from another U.S. state or territory are no longer required to test or quarantine as of April 1, 2021. Quarantine, consistent with the CDC recommendations for international travel, is still recommended for domestic travelers who are not fully vaccinated or have not recovered from laboratory confirmed COVID-19 during the previous 3 months. Symptomatic travelers must immediately self-isolate and contact the local health department or their healthcare providers to determine if they should seek COVID-19 testing.

All travelers entering New York from a state that is not a contiguous state who have been outside of New York for more than 24 hours must complete the Traveler Health Form. Contiguous states to New York are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont.

Irrespective of quarantine, all travelers must:

  • Monitor symptoms daily from day of arrival in New York through day 14;
  • Continue strict adherence to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including hand hygiene and the use of face coverings, through Day 14 (even if fully vaccinated); and
  • Must immediately self-isolate if any symptoms develop and contact the local public health authority or their healthcare provider to report this change in clinical status and determine if they should seek testing.

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 Guidelines

(Updated 4/11/2021)
Prior to traveling outside of your local community, consider that travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.

Travelers should review CDC’s travel guidance when planning travel outside of their local community. Know your travel risk. Do not travel if you are sick, are considered infectious after testing positive for COVID-19, or should be quarantining after exposure to a person with COVID-19. Review guidelines for vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.
For more information, visit www.portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Travel.

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 Advisory
(Reviewed 4/6/2021)
As of Monday, March 22, all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, are advised to quarantine for 10 days upon their arrival.  Travelers in the following categories are exempt from this quarantine advisory: 

  • Travelers who have received a negative COVID-19 result on a test administered not more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in Massachusetts.  Travelers may also test out of the quarantine advisory after arrival in Massachusetts, as long as they quarantine until receiving a negative test result. 
  • Anyone who is entering Massachusetts for fewer than 24 hours 
  • Anyone who is returning to Massachusetts after being out of the State for fewer than 24 hours 
  • Workers who enter Massachusetts to perform critical infrastructure functions (as specified by the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) during required commuting to or from work and while at work. 
  • Travelers who are fully vaccinated (i.e. who have received two doses of either the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines OR who have received a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 14 days or more ago) and who do not have symptoms. 

All travelers are encouraged to consult and follow the CDC’s guidelines and requirements for travel. 

 

For more information, visit www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-travel-advisory.

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

Travel Guidelines
(Updated  4/10/2021)

As part of Vermont’s phased reopening plan, there is new travel guidance, effective April 9, 2021.

CDC recommends delaying travel until you are fully vaccinated, because travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.

Masks are required in public spaces in Vermont.

TESTING AND QUARANTINE

Unvaccinated people must have a COVID-19 test within 3 days before arriving in Vermont.

  • The test you get must be for a current infection (like a PCR test), except it cannot be an antigen test (also known as a rapid test).
  • If the test is negative, no quarantine is needed. If the test is positive, do not come to Vermont.
  • Please bring proof of your negative test result with you.

Vaccinated people do not need to get tested or quarantine.

People who had COVID-19 within the last 3 months and have recovered do not need to test or quarantine unless they develop new symptoms.

Rules for visitors from other countries are different. Learn more.

For guidelines on gathering and overnight stays as well as  additional information, read the COVID-19 Visitors to Vermont page.

 

 

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

 

 

New Hampshire

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of New Hampshire

Travel Guidance for Out-of-State Visitors

(Updated 3/29/2021)
Domestic travel within the U.S. outside of New England no longer requires quarantine upon return to NH, although people are recommended to still follow CDC’s travel guidance, including wearing a well-fitted face mask while traveling, practicing social distancing, getting tested 3-5 days after travel (with a molecular or PCR-based test), and limiting public interactions after travel (even if not required to quarantine).

Travelers/visitors to AND residents of New Hampshire need to self-quarantine .pdf Icon for 10 days after the last date of any international travel (except for essential travel to/from Canada*), or travel on a cruise ship.

Click here for additional details and the latest information.

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

 

Maine

COVID-19 Guidelines For The State Of Maine

Travel Restrictions

(Updated 4/7/2021, current 4/5/2021)

Generally, visitors to or from other states must get a recent negative COVID-19 test or maintain compliance with a 10-day quarantine (PDF) upon arrival in Maine. As of March 5, 2021, exemptions from testing or quarantine are available for:

  • Residents of New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island or Massachusetts
  • Individuals that have had COVID-19 in the previous 90 days, or are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

This policy applies to Maine residents who travel to non-exempt states as well as non-exempt states’ residents who travel to Maine. It also applies for day trips (e.g., a trip from Maine to New York for medical appointments or shopping) and seasonal home owners.

 

People who are not residents of Maine will be asked to sign a “Certificate of Compliance” if they seek lodging in Maine.

 

This certificate indicates either that they have received a recent negative COVID-19 test result, that they will quarantine in Maine for 10 days (or the full duration of their stay if fewer than 10 days), or that they have already completed their quarantine in Maine, or that they are exempt due to being fully vaccinated or having had COVID-19.

 

This compliance form must be provided to check-in at all Maine lodging, including but not limited to campgrounds, seasonal rentals, overnight camps, and other commercial lodging, such as Airbnb. Visitors may be asked to furnish proof of the negative COVID-19 test result or vaccination upon request.

 

Under the Moving Maine Forward plan, Maine will shift its COVID-19 travel policy by May 1, 2021 to automatically exempt all states, unless a state is otherwise determined by the Maine CDC as being high risk. If one or more states see a spike in cases of highly contagious COVID-19 variants, Maine will apply its test or quarantine requirement to travelers to and from that state. The Maine CDC will publicly announce any such states when they are identified.

 

For more information, visit the State of Maine’s COVID-19 Travel Information page.

 

Agency Closures For A.T. Lands

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

(Updated 4/11/2021) 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 4/11/2021)
Visit www.maine.gov/dacf/covid19/parks/  for the latest information, including requirements for a Certificate of Compliance.

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