June 25, 2021
Trailway News: Summertime Adventures
It’s summertime! On the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), summer means warmer temperatures, blooming wildflowers and the lush green tunnel of the A.T. footpath. It also means severe weather, bugs and heat-related illnesses. As we count down the days and hours to our next hike, here are a few tips to make your next A.T. adventure safe and successful:
- Stay hydrated – Make sure to bring enough water to replace the fluid you lose or check ahead of time to make sure the water source you plan to refill at is not dry.
- Bring more than the essentials – For a safe and enjoyable trip, pack for the elements! During the summer, it can get hot and buggy, so sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, and a sun hat might be essential items to protect you from the sun and from critters, like ticks.
- Check the weather – Severe weather can ruin a hike, but it can also pose a risk to your safety with the potential for lightning, flash floods and mudslides. Before you head out, check the forecast and be flexible with your journey.
To learn more about how to avoid or prepare for hazards you might come across while on the A.T., click below!
Photo by Janene Sullivan
Reflecting and Reimagining the Visitor Experience
Each year, millions flock to the A.T. to reflect, connect and restore themselves in the great outdoors. But, as use of the footpath increases, it translates to greater impact on the Trail and its resources. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has taken the last year to reimagine and restructure its visitor use and services programs.
For the View: Assessing the Scenic Value
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and so are the roughly 1,400 views along the A.T. From panoramic landscapes to the forest canopy to the blooms of a rhododendron tunnel, views are a valuable part of the experience many come to the A.T. to discover.
In an effort to protect these views, the National Park Service (NPS) Visual Resource Inventory (VRI) takes a combination of ATC staff, partners and volunteers to evaluate scenic and visual resources within the Trail itself and looking outward at the surrounding landscape. These assessments are crucial to the protection of the A.T. experience.
What’s Cooking in Boiling Springs?
Iconic for many, “The Cottage” on the shore of Children’s Lake has been an integral part of the A.T. experience for visitors and hikers in the designated A.T. Community© of Boiling Springs, PA.
To serve visitors and engage the local community better, the ATC is working with the National Park Service and South Middleton Township to enhance the A.T. visitor experience in Boiling Springs as well as create long-lasting ties with the town and local partners.
Photo by Laura Johnston
Trail Apprentice Program Application Period Opening Soon
The Partnership for the National Trails System (PNTS) announced its second virtual Trail Apprentice Program for young leaders ages 18-28! The Trail Apprentice Program provides scholarships to young leaders interested in a variety of careers, including natural resource management, conservation, environmental studies, and more.
Those selected for the program will have the opportunity to attend the 2021 National Trails Virtual Fall Workshop November 1-4, 2021 for free and participate in career exploration, networking and education opportunities throughout the National Trails community.
Applications open July 1, 2021. The deadline to apply is August 15, 2021, so don’t delay as space is limited!
Hike the A.T. with the Walk the Distance App
Only one week left to unlock the A.T. on the Walk the Distance app when you donate $5 or more to the ATC! Your donation helps us on our mission to protect, manage and advocate for the Trail. Visit appalachiantrail.org/walk-june to donate and get your code today!