May 28, 2021

Trailway News: Get Outside, Give Back

Many of us will soon be adventuring to places like the Appalachian Trail to take advantage of the longer days and beautiful weather — and maybe to be serenaded by a few billion cicadas.

Whether you’re a new visitor to the A.T. or are dusting off your boots for your hundredth upcoming hike, here are some tips for recreating responsibly:

  • Choose less crowded hikes: Weekends on the A.T. can be busy depending on your destination, even more so on holiday weekends. Choose less popular sections of the Trail when possible, and have a backup plan if parking lots or trailheads are packed. This will not only make for a better hiking experience — it will also help reduce concentrated impacts on the Trail!
  • Plan ahead: Whether it’s a day hike or a multiday backpacking adventure, always bring the essentials to make sure you have a safe, enjoyable trip. Check out our Hiker Resource Library to help you get started on the right foot.
  • Leave No Trace: Leave the A.T. (and all of our public lands) in the same or better condition than you found it by following Leave No Trace Principles, including respecting wildlife, packing out trash, choosing resilient campsites and staying on the footpath. For more information, visit

And, importantly, let’s take time on Memorial Day to remember the heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Hike safe and happy trails!

P.S. Did you know that National Trails Day is just a week away (June 5)? While every day is Trails Day for the ATC, each year we join the American Hiking Society in celebrating the trails and green spaces that give millions a chance to restore themselves physically, mentally and emotionally. Give back to these spaces by finding a volunteer opportunity today!

Become a Volunteer

Can’t find a volunteer opportunity near you? Check back weekly as we continue to add new ways to volunteer on our website, including in-person events and training modules to help you prepare for being an A.T. volunteer!

Lead photo by Jim Cotey

Featured Article

Where the Appalachian Trail Began

Long before Benton MacKaye wrote his landmark 1921 article, “An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning” — the article that sparked the imagination of thousands and led to the construction of the A.T. — the idea for the Trail came to him in the most appropriate way possible: during a hike on Vermont’s Stratton Mountain. Discover the origins of MacKaye’s vision for the A.T. and how his words continue to influence the work of the ATC and its partners.


Trail Update

A.T. Opens on Katahdin

This morning (May 28), Baxter State Park officially reopened the A.T. on Katahdin! Many trails in the park, including the Hunt Trail (which the A.T. follows to Baxter Peak on Katahdin), are closed during the winter and early spring months in order to protect the fragile environment on top of Maine’s tallest mountain.


Trail Update

Massachusetts COVID-19 Camping Restrictions Lifted

Tomorrow, May 29, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is scheduled to lift all COVID-19 restrictions currently in place for camping on state lands along the A.T. — all camping and shelter use was previously prohibited on the A.T. in Massachusetts on DCR lands. The Upper Goose Pond Cabin, which is located on Appalachian National Scenic Trail (APPA) lands, will remain closed, though tent camping is still allowed at this site. For more information, visit our Massachusetts Trail Updates page.


Photo by Andrew Veal

Discover A.T. History

From Dream to Reality: History of the Appalachian Trail

There are many key dates and figures in the early years of the A.T., such as Benton MacKaye’s 1921 vision and the Trail being fully connected in 1937. In Thomas R. Johnson’s book, From Dream to Reality: History of the Appalachian Trail, readers dive into a culmination of more than five years of research, personal interviews with dozens of key figures, and more than 180 contemporary photographs and maps, bringing together the history of the original building of the A.T., early relocations and more.

Johnson passed away during a December 2020 hike in Shenandoah National Park. From Dream to Reality has been published posthumously by the ATC and can be purchased from our partners at Mountaineers Books.


Get Involved

A Summit for Future Trail Leaders

The ATC is proud to announce its upcoming Emerging Leaders Summit, which will take place virtually on August 11-13! The Summit will strengthen connections between young leaders and their networks, spark momentum for youth movements at the intersection of nature and climate justice, and provide a space for artistic creation and performance utilizing the outdoors and the A.T. as a muse. The summit is designed for young people aged 14-35, but all are welcome to register and attend.


Looking for ways to get more involved with the Summit? We are also looking to fill multiple Summit Ambassador roles to assist with participant outreach and moderating the event. Visit for more information (note: link opens a PDF file).

In Other News…


Photo by Josh Tullock

“Rescuing the Planet” Live Event

Join us on June 10, 2021, at 7 p.m. EDT for a special program with author Tony Hiss and conservationist John Griffin. During this live discussion, we’ll explore how conserving lands like the A.T. play an important role in the future of our planet!



Photo by Lorianna Weathers

Bennington A.T. Community™ Designation

The Town of Bennington, Vermont, invites you to celebrate its designation as the newest A.T. Community™ on Thursday, June 3, 2021, at 6 p.m. EDT. This virtual ceremony will feature U.S. Representative Peter Welch as the keynote speaker.



Photo by Alyssa Reck

Join Our Team

We’re expanding our team! The ATC is currently accepting applications for several job openings and internships, including Director of Visitor Services, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and more. For position descriptions and how to apply, visit

Apply Today

Community Spotlight

Want to be featured in our community spotlight? Follow us on Instagram at @appalachiantrail and use #atcspotlight in your post!

Happy Trails!

Please donate today to ensure the A.T. we all love benefits us today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.