July 9, 2021

Trailway News: Hiking Between the Raindrops

The summer storm season is here, and being prepared for inclement weather is an essential part of any Appalachian Trail hike. Weather conditions on the A.T. can change quickly, particularly at higher elevations — make sure to check the weather forecast and Trail Updates before heading out the door. Here are some other considerations:

  • Flash Floods & High Water: When choosing a campsite, look for spots that are not in low-lying areas and avoid fording water crossings if the water is high. When water is high and/or fast across the Trail or at a water crossing, take an alternative route if available or wait for conditions to improve. For information on water crossing safety, visit appalachiantrail.org/water-crossings.
  • Hazard Trees: Before setting up your tent or hammock, check for weakened/dead trees or branches that could fall on your campsite. Use caution when crossing over or under blowdowns as they might not be stable. Volunteers work hard to keep the Trail cleared, but this may take several days to accomplish after severe weather blows through. If you do come across any significant damage or blowdowns on the Trail, please report by sending a detailed email to [email protected].
  • Ridges: Hiking or camping on exposed ridgetops can be dangerous as storms produce high winds and lightning. Camp at lower elevations and move below the tree line if a storm is coming in. For lightning safety tips, visit appalachiantrail.org/lightning.
  • Heat: Hot and humid conditions are a constant on the A.T. in summer (and often other seasons). Drink an abundance of water, consume food and drinks with plenty of electrolytes, and watch for signs of illnesses like heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Learn some tips for preventing heat-related illnesses at appalachiantrail.org/weather-hazards.

Be prepared and hike safely!

More Safety Tips

Lead Image: iStock/Joshua Moore

Photo by Curt Finney, Potomac A.T. Club

A.T. Footbridge Destroyed by Fallen Tree in Pennsylvania

The A.T. footbridge over Antietam Creek near Old Forge Picnic Area in Pennsylvania (NOBO mile 1,074) is closed after a tree fell and destroyed much of the bridge. Hikers are encouraged to take a temporary half-mile detour that uses a portion of Rattlesnake Run Road and the connecting Chickadee Trail, or to ford the creek until bridge repairs can be made. Click here for a map of the detour and future updates.


Senator Hassan Tours A.T. Conservation Area in New Hampshire

On July 2, Senator Maggie Hassan joined representatives from the ATC, Dartmouth Outing Club and the U.S. Forest Service for a tour of a section of the A.T. near Etna. The open area visited is being reverted to a more natural state — from pasture to meadowland, providing habitat for pollinators and other species. In June, Senator Hassan co-led a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging the substantial increase in funding for the Trail, which would be used to improve natural resources, support law enforcement capacity and enhance the recreational experience around Hanover and along the A.T. landscape in New Hampshire.


Photo by Deborah Carter McCoy

Become an A.T. Volunteer During National Forest Week

Next week, July 12-18, is National Forest Week, where we celebrate and commit to conserving America’s forests. There’s no better time to join the force of volunteers that help maintain and protect the Trail and its surrounding forests! A.T. volunteers contribute thousands of hours each year, from Trail maintenance to behind-the-scenes administrative work. Our Volunteer Engagement Platform has opportunities through the ATC, 31 Trail Maintaining Clubs and other partners ranging from Georgia to Maine.


Looking for other ways to celebrate?

Photo by Erik Barstow

Join Us for A.T. Vista 2021

Help us celebrate 100 years of A.T. history during A.T. Vista 2021, which takes place August 7-8. This year will feature online workshops and in-person hikes in multiple A.T. states. Can’t make it? We hope you’ll join the fun by getting outside for a hike on the A.T. or another trail near you!


Don’t Forget…


Register for the Emerging Leaders’ Summit

Individuals between ages 14-35 are invited to register for the three-day virtual Emerging Leaders’ Summit, which takes place August 11-13, 2021! The Summit includes powerful presenters and keynote panels designed to help strengthen connections to nature.


Join the Trail Apprentice Program

The Partnership for the National Trails System has opened registration for their second virtual Trail Apprentice Program for young leaders ages 18-28. The deadline to apply is August 15, 2021, so register today!

Sign Up

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Happy Trails!

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