September 10, 2021
Trailway News: From Recreation to Conservation
We start the weekend with a note of caution: the ATC has received multiple reports of COVID-19 infections along the Appalachian Trail in Maine, including a significant increase in the area around Monson and the 100-Mile Wilderness. We continue to encourage all A.T. visitors to practice extreme caution — even if already fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — in order to minimize the risk of contracting this highly infectious virus or potentially spreading it to others. Some of these precautions include:
- Receive one of the available COVID-19 vaccines, which will significantly reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus, or of becoming seriously ill in the case of a breakthrough infection. Find a location to receive the vaccine by visiting vaccines.gov.
- Wear a mask indoors and whenever social distancing is not possible.
- Do not use A.T. shelters unless required. Instead, use a personal shelter such as a tent or hammock. Prolonged exposure in semi-enclosed settings like A.T. shelters, where crowding can occur, could increase your chances of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
- If you choose to stay in a hostel or hotel, select a private room and wear a mask when around others.
- 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.
- If you experience symptoms of COVID-19, or have been in direct contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, quarantine away from others immediately and contact a health professional to get tested and discuss next steps (find a testing site at https://www.hhs.gov/coronavirus/community-based-testing-sites/index.html). If you suspect you contracted COVID-19 while on the A.T., please report it using the form at appalachiantrail.org/report-covid-19.
For more information on COVID-19 safety on the A.T., visit appalachiantrail.org/covid-19.
Hike safely and take care of each other!
Photo by Declan “Photon” Fox
The Pathway from Recreation to Conservation
Through our actions on the Appalachian Trail and beyond, we can help conserve a precious natural resource and inspire others to do the same.
Q&A with Our New Regional Directors
The ATC is excited to have not one, but two new Regional Directors join the team this month: Rachel Lettre, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director, and Drew Ball, Southern Regional Director!
Photo by Annie Zimmerman, Communications Coordinator, PATC
Our Team is Growing!
We are looking for a talented individual to join the ATC as the AmeriCorps VISTA A.T. Community Coordinator! This role provides communication and network support for 50 designated A.T. Communities, helps develop toolkits and resources for local business and community partners, and more.
Happenings Along the Trail
National Public Lands Day is September 25
Established in 1994, National Public Lands Day is an opportunity to celebrate and give back to public lands! So find a hike or volunteer opportunity near you, and continue to help protect and preserve national treasures like the A.T.
Photo by Horizonline Pictures
Preservation Through Art: Along the French Broad
Join Preserving A Picturesque America (PAPA) for its inaugural art sale and exhibition (September 16 – October 27, 2021) in Asheville, NC. Many artists have contributed works of art depicting scenes along the French Broad River from the original 1870s publication “Picturesque America.” Proceeds from the art sale will benefit the ATC in addition to other nonprofits.
“Lovers Leap” oil on Canvas by Chris Bell