May 7, 2021

Trailway News: Thank You, Moms!

This upcoming Sunday, we celebrate our moms. The amount of love, support, patience, kindness, and inspiration our moms provide is immeasurable. But how many of us can count our moms as our personal Trail angels? Most of us know Trail angels as the people whose generosity and kindness make our hikes better. My mom, who introduced me to hiking when I was very young, made my hike possible.

From an early age, my mom encouraged me to connect with the outdoors. From asking me to “go play in the yard,” to taking me on hikes in the local and state parks in Massachusetts, my mom revealed to me the magic and inspiration of the outdoors. In 2015, when I told my mom I was planning to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), her only question was, “What can I do to help make this possible?”

Little did I know she would show up at a road crossing in Shenandoah National Park. Or at a trailhead in Delaware Water Gap. Or with a cooler full of watermelon and ice cream in the Berkshires and the White Mountains.

My mom nourished my hike — with food, with encouragement, with the sometimes in-person, sometimes far-off support I needed to get from Georgia to Maine. In many ways, the credit for my successful thru-hike in 2015 goes to her.

So, here’s to all moms — and all the others who support us on this long hike called “life” — who are, to many of us who love the A.T., our most beloved Trail angels.

Shalin Desai
ATC Vice President of Advancement

Lead image courtesy of Susan Herndon-Powell


Featured Video

Hammocking on the A.T.

Are you a long-time tent-dweller curious about hammock camping? In our latest video, hang out with ATC Trail Facilities Manager Stephen Eren as he provides an in-depth overview of hammocking best practices, from selecting the right campsite to packing the essential equipment. Thanks to Eagle’s Nest Outfitters for their support in making this video!

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Volunteer Spotlight

Peter Gould, Keith Bradley, and Glenn Willard

Being a volunteer on the A.T. can mean spending hours under the sun clearing brush or removing a blowdown beneath the shade of the famous green tunnel. But some volunteer work occurs miles away from the Trail — and is equally as crucial for ensuring the A.T. is managed and protected. For our Volunteer Spotlight, we are recognizing Peter Gould, Keith Bradley, and Glenn Willard of Squire Patton Boggs law firm, which has supported the ATC for fourteen years with pro bono legal representation, proving to be an immense value to the ATC and the entirety of the A.T.



The Dedication of A.T. Volunteers

Submit Your Design

A.T. Volunteer Brand Concept Challenge

What does volunteering on the A.T. look like to you? Join the A.T. Volunteer Brand Concept Challenge and help us develop imagery about what it means to be a volunteer for the Trail. Submissions will be accepted through May 31, 2021, and five submissions will be selected to receive a certificate of achievement and a stuffed daypack.

Submit Today

In Other News…


“America the Beautiful” Report Released

On May 6, the Biden-Harris Administration released the initial findings of its “America the Beautiful” report, which outlines how the new administration will approach the 30×30 Initiative. The ATC applauds the report’s initial findings, which underscore the important role public lands have in conserving the natural resources on which all life depends.



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.