ATC Promotes Volunteer Support, Landscape Conservation During Annual Hike the Hill Event

February 17, 2023

This week, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) participated in both the 26th Hike the Hill™ and the 2nd National Park Foundation Hill Day in our nation’s capital. Over the course of five days, ATC staff and Board of Directors members met with 24 different U.S. House and Senate offices as a part of these annual “fly in” events. Fly ins are important opportunities to share organizational and community priorities with Congressional offices.

“If we want our elected officials to make decisions to support the things we think are important, we have to tell them what’s important, why they are important, and how a decision in support of or in opposition to these things will impact the Appalachian National Scenic Trail,” said Brendan Mysliwiec, Director of Federal Policy for the ATC.

While in Washington, D.C., ATC representatives spoke with Members of Congress from both parties and Executive Branch officials about a wide range of topics, including:

  • Providing appropriate funding for the A.T., as well as the National Parks and Forests it connects.
  • Supporting rural A.T. Communities™ and the American outdoor recreation economy.
  • Selecting a new park superintendent for the A.T., following the retirement of the previous superintendent.
  • Conserving the A.T. Landscape to maintain a unique recreational experience for more than 3 million annual visitors.

ATC representatives also shared stories and challenges from across the Trail, including the Maine Appalachian Trail Club’s work to build a Trail work base camp in Skowhegan; the reduction of medical services in West Virginia’s eastern panhandle and the corresponding impact on A.T. Communities™; and the advancement of wildlife crossings over major roads in western North Carolina. We are grateful for the support of so many Members of Congress, who understand the hard work of A.T. volunteers, Trail Maintaining Clubs, and government partners.

The ATC is also honored to work alongside our colleagues in the Partnership for the National Trails System, the American Hiking Society, and the National Park Foundation in raising support for national trails and parks. We will continue to work with decision-makers to underline the importance of supporting our public lands networks, bolstering volunteerism, and, as A.T. visionary Benton MacKaye once said, protecting the opportunity for everyone “to walk; to see; [and] to see what you see.”

To learn more about the ATC’s federal policy and advocacy work, visit