September 3, 2021

Trailway News: Season of Preparedness

As we spend more time on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), we learn more about ourselves along the way. And our growth can be seen by the people in our lives. The experiences we have on the A.T. can encourage and inspire others to seek their own moments of peace, solitude, and adventure on the Trail, too.

In this week’s featured article by writer Kim O’Connell, we learn how bringing people together is essential to building engagement with and support for the Trail.



Photo by Robert Spong

After the Storm Passes

Over the last few weeks, several storms have brought wind and rain to the states and communities the A.T. passes through. On the Trail, their impact comes in the form of downed/hazard trees, flash flooding of creeks and rivers, and mud. Trail maintaining clubs and volunteers work hard to keep the Trail safe, but it takes time to evaluate the condition of the Trail and clear it from debris.

Here are some ways you can help keep yourself safe and protect the Trail after the storm:

  • Trees may be weakened or have fallen, potentially creating a safety hazard. Be sure and look up for branches that may fall before setting up camp and use caution when crossing over or under fallen trees.
  • When a river or stream crossing looks flooded or too swift, wait for water levels to drop or backtrack to a safer crossing location.
  • Wet and muddy conditions on the Trail will force you to slow down and pay attention to prevent injury. While it might be tempting to walk around the mud, please stay on the Trail to prevent the widening of the footpath.

Have you seen storm impacts that Trail maintainers need to know about? You can email us at [email protected].

Trail Updates


2021 ATC Membership Meeting

Thank you for joining us for the 2021 Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Membership Meeting! Held virtually, our Membership Meeting brought us together to announce annual Board election results, review the past year, answer questions about the future of the ATC, and so much more.

For those who were unable to join the live session on August 28, 2021, a recording of the meeting can be found here.

Watch Now


Responsible Hikers Always Carry Trail Maps

When preparing for an A.T. hike, find a new book, map, or guide to help you plan your trip! Having a paper resource on hand during a hike can also help you find resources like campsites, water sources, trailheads, and nearby towns. Check out the selection from our partners at Mountaineers Books and find the right publication for your next trip or afternoon read!

Shop Now

Last year, the ATC partnered with Mountaineers Books for the storage and sale of our published books, guides and maps. Proceeds from the sale of our publications still go toward the ATC’s mission to protect, manage, and advocate for the A.T.


Happenings Along the Trail


The Power of the Unity Blaze

ATC staff joined Everybody’s Environment, Carolina Mountain Club and Black Folks Camp Too founder Earl B. Hunter, Jr. on August 27, 2021, for a hike on the A.T. During the hike, we heard about what Black Folks Camp Too is doing to make the outdoors more inclusive, what the Unity Blaze is and how to spark momentum for change.



Gardens are Growing in Damascus

The ATC has partnered with the Town of Damascus, Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists to design four native gardens around the Damascus Trail Center. The garden will feature Virginia native flowers, shrubs, trees, and rain garden to help benefit pollinators. Thank you to the team that helped plant the first garden and a very special thank you to Gail and Dick Olson for donating the plants and materials! We are excited to watch it grow!


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.