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Day Hiking

Are you ready to enjoy the Appalachian Trail, but you're not ready (or willing) to thru-hike? There's still a place for you on the Trail! Here's what you need to know.

Appalachian Trail Day Hikers

what to expect

​It's easy to enjoy the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) for just a day. There are hundreds of places to access the ​Trail, and in most of these areas there are no fees or permits for day hiking. 

  • Anytime you step out on to the A.T. — whether it’s a day hike or a thru-hike — you should be prepared with the hiking essentials: appropriate clothing, footwear, food and equipment.
  • Download our Family Hike Planning Guide for a comprehensive resource.​
  • Get started by picking from our list of Appalachian Trail day hikes.​
  • Want to step up your game? Take the 14 State Challenge and step foot in each of the 14 states the A.T. traverses for a novel way to experience the diversity and enormity of the ​Trail.
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​appalachian ​trail ​community

There are over 40 communities along the Appalachian Trail's corridor that have been recognized in The Appalachian Trail Community™ program. These towns and cities are considered assets by all that use the A.T., and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail.

As a visitor on the Trail, you can enjoy special events and promotions in these designated areas. When planning your hike, look to designated A.T. Communities for services such as shuttles, lodging, resupply and a warm welcome​!


14 state challenge

If you have the A.T. on your bucket list, but don’t have the time (or perhaps desire) to haul a pack up and down remote mountains trails, no problem!

The 14 State Challenge allows you to visit some of the A.T.’s most iconic places in bite-sized pieces. You don’t need to spend a chunk of change on the latest lightweight gear or quit your job. You can knock it out in a single road trip or spread it out over a lifetime. It can even be done on family vacations or during business trips!