Donate $5, Get the Walk the Distance A.T. Map
June 10, 2021
From June 15-30, donate $5 to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and unlock the Appalachian Trail on Walk the Distance
HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (June 10, 2021) – Walk the Distance, in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), is launching the 2021 Walk the Distance of the Appalachian Trail promotion to raise funds for the ATC’s education and conservation programs. For a $5 donation to the ATC between June 15-30, app users can join thousands of other walkers by downloading Walk the Distance from the App Store or Google Play.
Walk the Distance counts your daily steps tracked through your smartphone and shows walkers where they would currently be on a northbound hike of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). With the goal of covering the entire 2,190+ miles of the Trail, walkers can stay motivated by viewing, and sometimes competing with, other walkers who appear along the app’s trail map. As users achieve certain step milestones along the virtual footpath, they will unlock checkpoints featuring incredible photos and fascinating trivia about some of the Trail’s most iconic landmarks, including mountain views, A.T. shelters, Trail projects and volunteer maintaining clubs, and historic locations.
The 2021 promotion follows a successful fundraiser in September 2020, which raised more than $10,000 for ATC projects. Since then, Walk the Distance has released an Android version of the app, which will expand the audience to include both iPhone and Android users.
“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited to once again partner with Walk the Distance this year,” says Jordan Bowman, Director of Communications for the ATC. “This collaboration not only helps us in our efforts to protect, maintain and celebrate the Appalachian Trail, but also provides a way for people from around the world to virtually explore and experience the beauty of the Trail and glimpse at the work it takes to maintain and protect this national treasure.”
“Nobody claims that walking the Appalachian Trail virtually is as good as the real thing; but Walk the Distance provides an opportunity to experience the Appalachian Trail for those who wouldn’t otherwise be able because of time, money, or physical restrictions,” said Walk the Distance app developer John Zaccone.
A.T. thru-hikers enjoy the app, too. Zaccone says, “The people who love the app the most are often those with an emotional stake in the Appalachian Trail already,” Zaccone explains. “Some users have already thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail or plan to do so in the future. It just makes sense to partner with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. I have personally hiked sections of the A.T. so it is important to me to give back as much as I can to the Conservancy.”
Walk the Distance finalized publication of its Appalachian Trail map in 2019. In just four months, more than 2,000 walkers had downloaded the app, which is roughly the same number of thru-hikers who successfully completed a full hike of the actual A.T. in its first 50 years of existence. Today, the app has more than 10,000 active users on the A.T. map and has a 4.9 rating in the Apple App Store. Walk the Distance works with both iOS and Android phones.
To make a donation to the ATC and secure your copy of the Walk the Distance A.T. map, visit appalachiantrail.org/walkthedistance from June 15-30.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is 2,193.1 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to protect, manage, and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
About Walk the Distance
Through its step-tracking app, Walk The Distance seeks to inspire a happier, healthier world by motivating people to exercise more every day and providing opportunities for people to experience new places they may not otherwise get to experience. In addition to the Appalachian Trail, the entire Pacific Crest Trail will be released this month, and plans are underway for the Continental Divide Trail (the final trail of the “Triple Crown” of hiking). For more information on the Walk The Distance app, please visit walkthedistanceapp.com.
Lead image by Christian Jobst