By CJ Thompson

A.T. Community Spotlight: Clayton-Rabun County, Georgia

July 17, 2024

This June marked the two-year anniversary of Clayton – Rabun County’s designation as the 51st Appalachian Trail Community™. Now, as we reflect on these past two years, we can see the significant impact this designation has had on our community and understand more deeply what it means to be a “Trail Town.”

By Morgan Sommerville, ATC Director of Visitor Use Management

Essential Tips for Senior Hikers: Hiking the Appalachian Trail in Retirement

June 27, 2024

As the Director of Visitor Use Management at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and someone who is approaching retirement, I am pleased to see an increasing number of retirees taking on the challenge of thru-hiking the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.).


Trailblazing Dads: Hiking the Appalachian Trail and Bonding Through Adventure

June 12, 2024

The Appalachian Trail has been a source of inspiration, challenge, and deep familial connections for countless hikers over the years. For many, it is not just a path through the wilderness but a journey that shapes their lives and relationships.

By Darn Tough Vermont

What the Appalachian Trail Means to Darn Tough

May 28, 2024

Darn Tough Vermont’s mission is to make the world’s best socks. With several Appalachian Trail thru-hikers on staff, Darn Tough employees share their thoughts on what the Appalachian Trail means to them.

By Bob Scott

The First A.T. Community

May 23, 2024

Bob Scott served as the mayor of Franklin, North Carolina when it was designated as the first A.T. Community. Now, he tells the story of how the town embraced hikers to become the welcoming first town stop of many northbound thru-hikers.

Seasonal Update

Important Start-of-Season Opening Dates for 2024 A.T. Hikers

May 16, 2024

Spring has ushered in the hiking season along all but the northern reaches of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Many roads and other services that provide important Trail access close seasonally, with specific re-opening dates dependent on region and weather.

Learn More
ATC Events in Damascus

What You Need to Know About Appalachian Trail Days

May 9, 2024

Appalachian Trail Days, an annual festival celebrating all things A.T., is coming up May 17-19, 2024, in Damascus, Virginia. Curious about Trail Days or planning your trip? We’ve gathered the information about our programming and other can’t miss Trail Days happenings to help you make the most of your time at Appalachian Trail Days.

Amicalola Falls Basecamp Data

2024 Northbound A.T. Hiker Stats & Facts

May 2, 2024

Basecamp is open every year at Amicalola Falls State Park to help northbound hikers Start Smart on their journeys, and this year, we’ve compiled some data from thru-hikers beginning their hikes for those dreaming about or planning their own journeys.

By Sophia Pasquariello, ATC Social Media Intern

Early Successional Habitats on the A.T.

April 23, 2024

Learn more about early successional habitat and the ATC’s work to manage the A.T. landscape for the health of the species that call it home and so that the Trail experience remains as powerful in the future as it is today.

Care for the Trail

5 Ways to Take Action for the Appalachian Trail This Earth Day

April 18, 2024

Five impactful actions you can take from wherever you live for the Appalachian Trail on Earth Day and beyond. 

Protect the A.T.

Decoding the Appalachian Trail: Leave No Trace Edition

April 11, 2024

Having a solid understanding of Leave No Trace is essential for any visitor to the A.T., from day hikers to thru-hikers! This edition of the Decoding the Appalachian Trail series provides a breakdown of some common terms associated with Leave No Trace.


Q&A with Appalachian National Scenic Trail Superintendent Ed Clark

April 2, 2024

As the fifth superintendent/park manager of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Ed shares his enthusiasm, vision, and personal connections to the A.T.

Plan Your Thru-Hike

Ask A.T. Thru-Hikers: Pros and Cons of a Flip-Flop Hike

March 21, 2024

Are you getting ready for a thru-hike dreaming about a future adventure? Flip-flop hikes offer multiple advantages over “traditional” northbound or southbound thru-hikes. We asked flip-floppers to share their experiences with some of the benefits and drawbacks of flip-flop hikes to pass on their wisdom with those who may be thinking about planning their own flip-flop hikes.

Plan Ahead and Prepare

The 2024 Solar Eclipse: Know Before You Go

March 7, 2024

On April 8, 2024, parts of the southern, central, and eastern U.S. will see a total solar eclipse. This special event offers us a chance to experience our outdoor world in an out-of-this-world way. 

By Caitlin Miller, ATC Information Services Manager

Finding Your Way on the Appalachian Trail

February 29, 2024

The Appalachian Trail is generally well-marked and well-traveled. However, most of the Trail is still in remote backcountry and hikers should maintain awareness of their surroundings to avoid getting lost.

By Matthew Podolsky

Birding on the Appalachian Trail

February 22, 2024

Documentary filmmaker, podcast producer, and bird enthusiast Matthew Podolsky shares his experience birding on the Appalachian Trail during his thru-hike in 2022.

Prepare for Your Hike Like a Pro

Six Things Ridgerunners wish A.T. Hikers Knew

February 15, 2024

Each year, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy hires Ridgerunners to walk sections of the Appalachian Trail in an effort to help hikers have a positive experience and reduce harmful impacts on the Trail. As many people are preparing to start their northbound thru-hike attempts, we asked the Ridgerunners in Georgia and the Great Smoky Mountains what they wish hikers knew before starting out. Not just for aspiring thru-hikers, the wisdom shared by Ridgerunners here can help everyone have a great visit to the A.T.

By Issy Wilson

Finding Inspiration on the Appalachian Trail

February 1, 2024

Visual artist, Issy “Poncho” Wilson shares how the Appalachian Trail and her experience as an A.T. thru-hiker continues to inspire her art.

A.T. History

Where the A.T. Began

January 24, 2024

Discover how an estate in northwestern New Jersey with ties to the settlement house movement became the birthplace for the Appalachian Trail.

Reach Your Goals on the A.T.

3 Appalachian Trail New Year’s Resolutions

January 11, 2024

Whether you’re resolving to make new friends and connect with others, try out a new hobby, or spend more time in nature, the A.T. is a free outdoor recreation resource that is accessible from most major east coast cities. The A.T. can be a great place to reach your goals!

From Our CEO

Reflections at the Start of 2024

January 5, 2024

As the ATC embarks on its 99th year of service to the Appalachian Trail in 2024, our CEO Sandi Marra shares her observations, gratitude, and enthusiasm.

Highlights from the State-by-State Photo Contest

2023 State-By-State Photo Contest Favorites

January 4, 2024

In 2023, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy put out the call for photos from each of the 14 states through which the Appalachian Trail passes. The A.T. is over 2,100 miles long, connecting the rolling green mountains of Georgia to the rocky ranges of Maine. This post highlights some of our favorites from each state, and includes additional categories like action photos, night photos, and more!

Learn More

Why I Support the ATC

December 26, 2023

In this season of giving, explore reasons why people like you choose to support the work of the ATC, this year and every year.

ATC News

2023 Highlights

December 20, 2023

Throughout 2023, the ATC’s work took many forms along the A.T. Here are a few highlights of what we accomplished thanks to your support and partnership.

Emerging Leaders' Summit 2023

Custodians of a More Inclusive Outdoor Legacy

December 11, 2023

The ATC’s annual Emerging Leaders’ Summit brings together young adults to cultivate a shared commitment to making the A.T., public lands, and the outdoors a welcoming place for all and inspire a diverse new generation of public lands stewards.

Cooperative Trail Management in Action

The Making of an A.T. Shelter

November 30, 2023

The project to replace two popular shelters in Connecticut offers a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into creating an iconic A.T. structure.

Plan and Prepare

Prepare for Your 2024 Appalachian Trail Hikes

November 28, 2023

Planning an A.T. adventure in 2024? Check out our tips and tricks to help start your journey on the right foot.

Read More

Share Your Radical Generosity for the A.T. this Giving TRAILsday!

November 21, 2023

Starting Tuesday, November 21, through midnight on Giving TRAILsday—Tuesday, November 28—all online donations to the ATC will be matched.

Read More

ATC Staff Picks: Favorite Nonfiction Books on Hiking and Trails

November 6, 2023

In recognition of Nonfiction November, ATC staff members recommend their favorite nonfiction books about hiking, trails, and experiencing the outdoors.

And Why They're Not So Spooky

Bats of the Appalachian Trail

October 31, 2023

Bats are often associated with spooky imagery and Halloween, but did you know that bats are not blind, bloodthirsty, or scary? The truth is that bats play a vital role in Appalachian Trail ecosystems. Learn more about common bat species and some of the challenges they face.


“Leaf” No Trace This Fall

October 5, 2023

Fall leaves on the Appalachian Trail are a great reason to plan a visit. Be sure to know before you go and practice Leave No Trace principles on your fall trips.

Appalachian Trail Hikers Share What They've Learned

Your Lessons from the Trail

September 28, 2023

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) can be a great teacher. Anyone who has visited the Trail, whether for a day, a weekend, or a monthslong thru-hike, has likely come away with a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. This back-to-school season, we’re sharing the lessons learned by A.T. hikers.

Natural Beauties

Late Summer Blooms on the A.T.

September 13, 2023

The last weeks of summer—as the days shorten and temperatures fall—are a great time to look for wildflowers along the A.T. There are a variety of late bloomers to appreciate.

Share What You've Learned from Time on the Trail

Share Your Lessons from the Appalachian Trail

September 12, 2023

If you visited the Appalachian Trail for a day, a weekend, or on a monthslong hike, we want to hear what lessons you learned from your time on the Trail. Whether those lessons are harrowing near misses that can help others avoid danger or more lighthearted lessons about slowing down and appreciating the beauty around you, we hope you’ll consider sharing what you’ve learned from the Trail with us.

Seasonal Update

Important End-of-Year Closure Dates for 2023 A.T. Hikers

September 12, 2023

The end of the warm weather hiking season will be here soon along many parts of the A.T., and that means roads and services will soon close until next year.

Learn More
Plan and Prepare

Fall Wildfire Season is Here. You Can Help Make it Uneventful.

September 7, 2023

Help protect the A.T. landscape, the wildlife that calls the Trail home, and other hikers by taking extra precautions with campfires and camp stoves.

By Jeffrey Donahoe

In the Eye of the Beholder

August 30, 2023

Although beauty may be inherently subjective, an ATC program — the Visual Resource Inventory project — seeks to make it as quantifiable as possible. Evaluating scenic views along the Appalachian Trail today will help ensure the Trail retains its beauty for generations to come.

By Maria "Wheezy Pee" Wishart

Hiking with a Dog on the Appalachian Trail

August 24, 2023

Are you thinking about hiking with your dog on the Appalachian Trail? Whether you’re planning a day hike, overnight, section hike or thru-hike, there are some things to do and consider before you and your dog step foot (or paw) on the Trail.  

By Michelle Presley, ATC Digital Communications Manager

Capturing the Beauty: Responsible Photography on the Appalachian Trail

August 18, 2023

Responsible photography on the Appalachian Trail is not just about snapping beautiful shots – it’s about preserving the Trail’s fragile ecosystems and respecting the experience of others. This post includes some tips for capturing beautiful and responsible photos on the A.T.

Leave No Trace

Unintended Consequences: Five Activities to Avoid on the Appalachian Trail

August 10, 2023

Most Appalachian Trail visitors are well aware of the harm caused by blatant littering, graffiti, and vandalism, there are subtle activities that may seem harmless but collectively impact the visitor experience and the delicate ecosystems found along many parts of the A.T. Vandalism doesn’t just refer to writing on or painting the walls of structures like shelters. Explore some of these lesser-known activities that can leave a lasting mark.

On the Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act

Why the Great American Outdoors Act Matters to the A.T. 

August 4, 2023

Learn more about why the Great American Outdoors Act matters for the Appalachian Trail and what you can do to ensure this critical funding endures.

A Q&A with young adults pursuing careers in conservation

New Perspectives on the Appalachian Trail

June 29, 2023

The Appalachian Trail is a multigenerational project. Over its 102-year history, the Trail has been maintained and cared for by at least six different generations. Here, two young professionals share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns about the A.T. and its future.

Shedding Light on the Secret Heroes of the Appalachian Trail

Pollinators After Dark

June 23, 2023

When we think of pollinators, our minds often conjure images of bees, butterflies, and birds flitting about during the daytime. However, there is a hidden world of lesser-known pollinators that emerges as twilight descends upon the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).

A.T. Communities News

Uniting Rural Communities along the Appalachian Trail

June 16, 2023

The A.T. Community network grew to 56 in June 2023, with five new towns designated in Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts. Learn more about how both the communities and the Appalachian Trail benefit from this program.

ATC Staff and Partners Visit with Shinetsu Trail Club

Transnational Trail Collaboration: Shinetsu Trail Club Visit

June 9, 2023

In May, 2023, two representatives of the Shinetsu Trail Club set out from Japan to pay a visit to the southern portion of the A.T. Members of ATC’s staff, Konnarock Traul Crew, the Georgia A.T. Club, Carolina Mountain Club, and Roanoke A.T. Club came together with the Shinetsu Trail Club to share the mutual love of trails.

By ATC Staff

3 Ways the Appalachian Trail Improves Mental Health

June 2, 2023

Spending time on the Appalachian Trail comes with science-backed benefits to mental health! Learn more about some of the benefits A.T. visitors can expect to gain from time on the Trail.

Celebrate Trails on June 3, 2023

Celebrate National Trails Day

May 31, 2023

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy joins the American Hiking Society in celebrating National Trails Day on June 3, 2023! National Trails Day is a celebration and a day of service for trails and the people who love them. Explore ways to show some love for the A.T. on National Trails Day.

By Mills Kelly

Why the Length of the Appalachian Trail Is Always Changing

May 11, 2023

Ever since it was first declared “completed” in 1937, the Appalachian Trail has never stopped changing. Discover some of the reasons why.

The ATC works with partners to preserve the red spruce forests in the Southern Appalachians

Saving Islands in the Sky

April 28, 2023

An iconic tree of the Southern Appalachians, the red spruce, is the focus of a longterm effort to preserve one of the most endangered habitats in North America — and a distinct A.T. experience.

Read More
By ATC Staff

Luxury Items Worth the Weight on the Appalachian Trail

March 31, 2023

6 backpacking luxury items that are worth the weight on the Appalachian Trail according to long distance hikers.

By ATC Staff

Decoding the Appalachian Trail: Volume 1

March 24, 2023

Talk the talk so you can walk the walk. We’re decoding some of the common words, phrases, and symbols associated with the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) so you can feel more comfortable and confident on your adventures.

By ATC Staff

March Snackness: ATC Staff Shares Their Favorite Trail Foods

March 10, 2023

Fuel for your adventures on the Appalachian Trail with some of our staff’s favorite trail foods. Which Trail recipes would be in your perfect March Snackness bracket?

By Jennifer Pharr Davis

Natural Born Hikers

March 3, 2023

Women of different ages, backgrounds, and hiking experience take to the Appalachian Trail and find strength, solace, and harmony.


Post-Civil War Harpers Ferry and African American History

February 24, 2023

As you follow the Appalachian Trail through Harpers Ferry, you will pass by multiple pivotal landmarks in African American history.

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By Leanna Joyner, ATC Senior Director of Partnerships and Trail Operations

The Community of Formerly Enslaved People at Brown Mountain Creek

February 17, 2023

Located on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia, Brown Mountain Creek shows us a history of both slavery and freedom for African Americans after the Civil War.

By Alivia Acosta, ATC Volunteer Development Coordinator

Rails to the Trail: Expanding Access to Outdoor Recreation

February 16, 2023

Creating better access to outdoor spaces like the Appalachian Trail is essential for building the next generation of A.T. visitors, stewards, and advocates.

Read More
By Audrey Peterman

Naturally Inspired: The Great Outdoors Experience is for Everyone

February 10, 2023

Naturally Inspired tells the story of Audrey Peterman, who is helping America’s public lands like the Appalachian Trail become more inclusive of everyone.

By Simon Heinberg, ATC Philanthropy Manager

Inspiring a New Generation of Trail Maintainers

January 27, 2023

How a crew of young Trail Maintainers from around the country helped relocate the Appalachian Trail near Palmerton, Pennsylvania, and preserve the hiking experience.

By ATC Staff

Things to Know About the Appalachian Trail in 2023

January 20, 2023

We’re highlighting some of the most important things to know about the A.T. in 2023, as well as ways you can best prepare for your adventures, attend fun events, and give back to the Trail.

By Dakota Jackson, ATC Director of Visitor Engagement

Tips for Trail Running on the Appalachian Trail

January 13, 2023

Whether you’re completely new to trail running or a seasoned road runner interested in trying out the trails, these tips will help you experience the A.T. in a whole new way.

ATC News

2022 Year in Review

December 29, 2022

In our 2022 year in review, we celebrate this year’s progress and look ahead to the future. Thank you for supporting the Appalachian Trail!

By Jennifer Koons

A Shared Experience

December 9, 2022

The Appalachian Trail unites and inspires a diverse group of women through the sights and sounds of nature.


Hidden in the Details: Protecting the Metalmark Butterfly

December 2, 2022

An effort to revive the rare northern metalmark butterfly will benefit a wide range of other native species along the Appalachian Trail.

Read More
By Kim O’Connell

Warriors in the Woods

November 11, 2022

U.S. veterans recount how their experiences on the Appalachian Trail have helped them decompress, reconnect with nature, and reacclimate to civilian life.

Read More
By Caitlin Miller, ATC Information Services Manager

Sweet Dreams: Choosing a Sleeping Bag for the Appalachian Trail 

November 4, 2022

Choosing the best sleeping bag for you is essential to having a safe and comfortable overnight trip on the Appalachian Trail, especially when temperatures drop.

ATC Events

Emerging Leaders’ Summit: Cultivating Connections and Community

October 1, 2022

The 2022 Summit strengthened connections between young leaders and sparked momentum for conservation youth movements.

By Amanda Wheelock

Celebrating the National Trails System Act

September 30, 2022

Passage of the National Trails System Act, wrote Benton MacKaye, was “unrivaled by any other single feat in the development of American outdoor recreation.”

Read More
By Kim O’Connell

The Invisible Beauty of Trail Design

September 23, 2022

Teams of Appalachian Trail volunteers and ATC staff work behind the scenes on effective trail design — not just to preserve beauty, but also to create it.

By Caitlin Miller, ATC Information Services Manager

Be Prepared for Changing A.T. Seasons

September 16, 2022

Temperatures have already started cooling down along the northern end of the Appalachian Trail, so here are a few tips to stay safe (and warm) as we head into fall hiking season.

Read More
By Kim O’Connell

A Deeper Connection

August 25, 2022

Embracing and encouraging a sense of belonging about the A.T., and turning that feeling into action, is the work of the A.T. Landscape Partnership.


Something to be Savored

August 12, 2022

After completing a decade-long section hike of the entire Appalachian Trail (A.T.), Michele and Dan Coleman discuss the joy (and challenges) of hiking with children, the community of hikers and Trail-lovers they met along the way, and how spreading their adventure over time taught them to savor every moment.

Read More

Suite of Life

July 29, 2022

Ash tree protection is integral to a healthy Appalachian Trail ecosystem.

Read More
By Caitlin Miller, ATC Information Services Manager

From White to Yellow Blazes: Monitoring the A.T. Corridor Boundary

July 15, 2022

Maintaining a protected boundary around the A.T. corridor is essential for preserving the Trail’s hiking experience.

Read More
Plan and Prepare

Four Quick Tips for Summer A.T. Hikes

June 17, 2022

Warm summer days are a great time to plan a hike on the A.T., but it’s important to prepare for unique challenges before you hit the Trail.

By Michael Garrigan

The Rewilding of Max Patch

June 17, 2022

Striking a balance between sustaining biodiversity and ensuring an exceptional Trail experience.

Read More
By ATC Staff

Five Common Invasive Species Along the A.T. (and How You Can Help)

June 10, 2022

A wide variety of invasive species have taken root on the Appalachian Trail, but that doesn’t mean we have to sit back and let them do their dirty work.

Read More
by Michael Garrigan

Creases and Contours

June 3, 2022

How paper maps teach us the language of place.

Read More
Plan and Prepare

Getting Ready for A.T. Group Hikes

May 26, 2022

Tips to help you and your group have a safe and low-impact outing on the Appalachian Trail.

Read More
Trail Days 2022

A Look Back at Trail Days 2022

May 19, 2022

Whether we were able to meet you in person or you followed the festivities from afar, thank you for helping us celebrate the 2022 Appalachian Trail Days Festival in Damascus, Virginia!

Read More
Plan and Prepare

Southbound A.T. Thru-Hikes: A Primer

April 28, 2022

While the vast majority of Appalachian Trail (A.T.) thru-hikers choose to hike from Georgia to Maine, a small-but-hardy group of hikers chooses to start at the northern terminus of the Trail.

Read More
A Vital Migration Range

What Soars Above Kittatinny Ridge

January 23, 2019

The 125 miles of the Appalachian Trail that follow Pennsylvania’s Kittatinny Ridge see an incredible amount of hawk and eagle migrations.

Read More
By Marina Richie

Appalachian Balds Are For The Birds

January 14, 2019

The iconic bald mountains along the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina and Tennessee are significant to the future of migratory and resident birds.

Give Back to the Trail

7 Reasons to Volunteer for the A.T.

April 22, 2022

Here are the top reasons A.T. volunteers keep coming back to work on the Trail year after year, and why they think you’ll love it just as much as they do.

Read More
By Caitlin Miller, ATC Information Services Manager

11 Easy Ways to Improve Your Leave No Trace Footprint

April 8, 2022

A collection of simple and seemingly small ways you can practice Leave No Trace and help protect the A.T. experience.

Read More
by Sarah Jones Decker

Coming into Focus: George Masa’s Legacy

April 8, 2022

Known by many as the “Ansel Adams of the Smokies,” George Masa’s photography of sweeping Appalachian landscapes was instrumental in the formation of the Appalachian Trail and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Read More

Flip-Flops: An Alternative A.T. Thru-Hike

April 1, 2022

A.T. flip-flop thu-hikes offer multiple advantages over “traditional” northbound or southbound thru-hikes, including milder weather, more flexible time frames for completion, and starting  journeys on more moderate terrain.

Read More
By Caitlin Miller, ATC Information Services Manager

A.T. Ridgerunners: A Voice for the Trail

April 14, 2023

If you’ve hiked on the Appalachian Trail, you might have crossed paths with a ridgerunner — a Trail-tested individual who lives and works on (and for) the Trail.

Read More
By Caitlin Miller, ATC Information Services Manager

It’s a Dirty Job: Partnering for Privy Construction

March 11, 2022

The replacement of Moose Mountain Privy in 2021 provides a study in cooperative Appalachian Trail management.

Love Stories from the Trail

A.T. the Heart

March 11, 2022

Dive into four Appalachian Trail stories that show that everyone’s connection to the Trail has its own powerful back story.

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By David Field

Loving the Trail

March 11, 2022

David Field shares how experiencing the A.T., especially as a volunteer Trail worker, can lead to loving the Trail.

Read More

Trail Family

March 3, 2022

David Brill shares how his Trail family merged and melded together throughout the experience of an Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 1979.

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Trail Preparation

Your A.T. Adventure Awaits

February 25, 2022

Through this hiker preparation series, we hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the many ways you can help protect the A.T. experience and how you can have a safe, enjoyable visit to the Trail.

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The Great Outdoors

The Right Foundation

February 24, 2022

Derrick Z. Jackson and Michelle Holmes share how the outdoors are at the center of family, friendship, volunteering, and life well lived.

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Priority #1: Safety on the A.T.

February 18, 2022

Before heading out on your next A.T. hike, make sure you have the equipment and knowledge you need to stay healthy and safe.

Read More

A Salve for the Heart and Soul

February 18, 2022

Spending time in nature provides a path to health, restoration and flourishing love.

Read More
By Sandi Marra, President & CEO of the ATC

A Love Letter to the Trail

February 11, 2022

ATC President & CEO Sandra Marra discusses how the relationship with her husband, Chris, was nurtured on and by the Appalachian Trail.

Read More
Plan and Prepare

Campsite Selection: The Secret to Happy Campers

February 10, 2022

Preparing your camping and sleeping setup is super important for maximizing your enjoyment and safety, and for reducing your impacts to the Appalachian Trail.

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Plan Ahead and Prepare

Don’t Feed the Bears

February 4, 2022

Storing your food properly on the Appalachian Trail will help keep you, your supplies, and wildlife along the Trail safe.

Read More
By Matt Drury, Associate Director of Science and Stewardship

An Act of Love

January 28, 2022

Love for a place, such as Max Patch on the Appalachian Trail, can have many origins. It can also manifest in the care we return to those cherished places.

Read More
Back to the Basics

Tips for Applying Leave No Trace to Hiking Adventures

January 28, 2022

Page updated November 17, 2023

In the first hiker prep series post, we focused on the first principle of Leave No Trace: Plan Ahead and Prepare. In this post, we’ll look at how the other six Leave No Trace principles help protect the Trail and preserve the A.T. hiking experience for everyone.

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Know Before You Go

Preparing for your A.T. adventures

January 21, 2022

Whether you are planning for an overnight trip or all 2,000+ miles of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), we’ve put together a series of tips and guides to help you plan and prepare for your next visit to the Trail.

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By Charissa Hipp, ATC Harpers Ferry Visitor Center Supervisor

Hiking with Pigtails

January 14, 2022

After discovering the A.T. later in life, ATC’s Charissa Hipp helped her daughter “Pigtails” develop a love for nature and stewardship from an early age.

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by Janine Wilkin

On the Rocks

January 7, 2022

An ode to the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania.

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ATC Staff

Looking Back, Looking Forward

December 30, 2021

We review some of our accomplishments in 2021 and what lies ahead for A.T. conservation in 2022 and beyond.

By Dennis Shaffer, Director of Landscape Conservation

An Eye on the Horizon: A Reflection

December 22, 2021

After a 35-year career in outdoor conservation, retiring ATC Director of Landscape Conservation Dennis Shaffer looks back at what has been accomplished so far, and the work ahead for protecting the A.T. landscape.

By Dan Hale, ATC Natural Resource and Land Stewardship Manager – Northeast

Species Movement on the A.T. Landscape

December 16, 2021

The Appalachian Trail is more than a hiking path for humans — it is a superhighway for an amazing variety of species moving both locally and globally across the continent.

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By Laura Belleville

Getting to Work

December 10, 2021

The second century of the Appalachian Trail requires all of us – a collective community working together to ensure that the Trail’s many benefits are available for generations.

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Kacie L. Simmons, AmeriCorps NCCC–North Central Region

The Mountain and the “Monties”

November 24, 2021

AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps member Kacie L. Simmons recounts her experiences while helping maintain the Appalachian Trail boundary in Maine.

By Dakota Jackson, Associate Director of Visitor Services

Moving the A.T. Visitor Experience Forward

November 19, 2021

The goal of the ATC Visitor Services team is to foster the understanding that the A.T. is for everyone, no matter how far you walk along it or the path that led you to it.

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By Ky Ober

Uncle Benton

November 12, 2021

Growing up in New Hampshire, Ky Ober’s family often had a guest during the summer, her great-uncle Benton MacKaye.

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By Brian B. King, ATC Publisher

What Were You Thinking, Benton?

November 5, 2021

Benton MacKaye has been labeled as many things — wilderness advocate, political radical, philosopher, dreamer — but each of these descriptions tells only part of his story on the way to envisioning the Appalachian Trail in 1921.

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by David B. Field

From Benton to Myron

October 29, 2021

The history of the fraught relationship between Benton MacKaye, the “Dreamer” who envisioned the Appalachian Trail, and Myron Avery, the “Driver” who oversaw its construction.

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By Daniel Anthony Howe

The A.T. in Its Second Century

October 22, 2021

As we celebrate 100 years since the Appalachian Trail was proposed, what will it take to conserve the Trail for another century (and beyond)?

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By Larry Anderson

From Trauma to Dream

October 22, 2021

Author Larry Anderson explores Benton MacKaye’s troubled path to the Appalachian Trail.

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Sandra Marra, ATC President & CEO

The Work Ahead

October 15, 2021

This October marks 100 years since Benton MacKaye published his vision for the Appalachian Trail. ATC President & CEO Sandra Marra looks back at what has been accomplished since then, and the path ahead for fully realizing that vision.

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By Michael Garrigan

Ritual of the Trail

September 24, 2021

Writer Michael Garrigan provides a glimpse into his most important ritual: stewarding the Trail so that future generations can “sink into its soil.”

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By Morgan Sommerville, ATC Director of Visitor Use Management

Protecting the A.T. Hiking Experience

September 17, 2021

Ever since the first foot of the Appalachian Trail was cleared, visitor use management has been essential for protecting A.T. resources and guiding hikers toward safe and Trail-friendly practices.

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By Mark Ellison

The Pathway from Recreation to Conservation

September 10, 2021

Through our actions on the Appalachian Trail and beyond, we can help conserve a precious natural resource and inspire others to do the same.

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By Kim O’Connell

Broadening the Base

September 2, 2021

Inclusive efforts are essential to building engagement with and support for the Appalachian Trail.

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By Ethan Goldman, ATC Federal Policy Intern

From the Mountains to The Hill

August 26, 2021

ATC intern Ethan Goldman reflects on how, without the hard work of so many previous Trail maintainers, his work (and the work of many others) would not be possible.

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By Shalin Desai, ATC Vice President of Advancement

From Anxiety to Hope: How the A.T. Changed My Perspective on Climate Change

August 20, 2021

In 1921, when the Trail was first envisioned, it was seen as the solution to the problem of living. Today, the A.T. continues to be a solution, but against a very different issue – climate change.

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by Kate Foral, ATC Federal Policy Intern

Approaches to Public Health on the Appalachian Trail

August 13, 2021

Whether protecting the A.T. through on-the-ground stewardship or with a pen in hand, every person who advocates for, experiences, or maintains the Trail has an important role.

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A Wing and a Prayer

Birdsong That Was There All Along

August 6, 2021

The Appalachian Trail engages our senses completely, from the iconic vistas we see to the taste of blueberries straight off the shrub. But what about sound? Beth Ann Fennelly, the Poet Laureate of Mississippi, shares her poem – A Wing and a Prayer.

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By Mark Ellison

What Draws Us to the Trail

August 6, 2021

What drives us to take a walk in the woods? What can that simple walk open up to us?

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By Kim O’Connell

From Advocacy to Action

July 30, 2021

Writer Kim O’Connell explores the pathway from advocacy to action — why a community of people speaking out on behalf of the Trail is essential for the long-term conservation of the A.T.

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By Marina Richie

Step Away – Step In

July 30, 2021

Writer Marina Richie explores the nature of beauty on the Appalachian Trail.

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By Diana Christopulos

How Hikers Helped Route the A.T. to McAfee Knob

July 23, 2021

When planners almost bypassed some of the Appalachian Trail’s most iconic views in 1932, a dedicated group of hikers at the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club helped ensure McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs were conserved for future visitor enjoyment and, ultimately, helped protect their natural beauty.

By Kim O'Connell

Trailing Beauty

July 16, 2021

The Appalachian Trail allows us to bypass the intellect and go straight to the heart.

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By Mills Kelly and Donnelle Bonarchuk

The Apostle of Happiness

July 2, 2021

Experience the little-known story of Eiler Larsen, who was driven by the joy found in nature to travel the entire A.T. in the 1930s — and to share that joy with others.

By Alyssa Reck, ATC Social Media Manager

For the View: Assessing the Trail’s Scenic Value

June 25, 2021

The ATC is working with its partners and volunteers to evaluate more than 1,400 views contributing to the Appalachian Trail experience.

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By Laurie Potteiger

See You Down the Trail

June 4, 2021

After 33 years at the ATC, Laurie Potteiger reflects on the changes, challenges and beauty she found while working to conserve the Appalachian Trail experience.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

Where the Appalachian Trail Began

May 26, 2021

At the beginning of a new century, the experiences of Benton MacKaye sparked an idea that would lead to the creation of the Appalachian Trail.

By Janine Wilkin

The Whiskey Hollow Six

May 19, 2021

A two-day backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail helped a group of six women find comfort in nature’s embrace and reexamine the artificial boundaries we often create for ourselves.

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COVID-19 Safety

An Update to Our COVID-19 Guidance

May 11, 2021

Following the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines and new CDC guidelines, the ATC has updated its guidance for long-distance hiking on the A.T.

By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

Building a Climate-Resilient A.T. Landscape

April 23, 2021

By protecting the lands surrounding the Appalachian Trail, we can reinforce its important role as a climate-resilient corridor.

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By Alyssa Reck, ATC Social Media Manager

A.T. Reopens Across Comers Creek

April 16, 2021

The A.T. crossing at Comers Creek Bridge (NOBO mile 519.0) has officially reopened after a damaged footbridge was removed.

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By Alyson Browett

A Climate-Resilient A.T. Depends on Effective Federal Policy

April 9, 2021

Engaging in the creation of federal policy to protect the lands we love is one of the most effective tools to help mitigate the impacts of climate change on the Appalachian Trail.

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By Laurie Potteiger, ATC Information Services Manager

Masks: 2021’s Essential Hiking Gear

March 26, 2021

An essential piece of equipment should be included with your hiking gear until the COVID-19 pandemic is under control: a mask.

Climate Action: Learn More

Climate Action and the A.T. Landscape: A Primer

March 19, 2021

As the largest contiguous green space on the East Coast, the connected forests of the A.T. landscape play an important role in mitigating the impacts of climate change through carbon sequestration and storage.

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By Anne Sentz, ATC Philanthropy Manager

We Were There, Too

March 12, 2021

I do not believe it is by accident that I finished my copy of We Were There, Too by Gwenyth L. Loose right around the time our nation inaugurated its very first female Vice President. As I read about three women whose efforts were vital to the success of the Appalachian Trail project, Loose’s writing elicited strong emotion. These stories needed to be told and heard. Feelings of pride, intermingled with sentiments like, “finally,” coursed through me.

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By Dan Hale

The American Chestnut Tree

February 15, 2021

As the Appalachian Trail was first being built, the forests along the Trail were dramatically changing: American chestnut trees, the largest and most abundant trees in the forest, were dying en masse.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

Climate Resiliency and the A.T.

March 5, 2021

Protecting and expanding climate-resilient forests along the Appalachian Trail is vital to ensuring their long-term survival.

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By Shilletha Curtis

Preparing for the Trail

March 4, 2021

Shilletha “Dragonsky” Curtis shares her story to show how the A.T. experience can differ greatly depending on your race and background, to spur conversation on how we can address these problems, and to explain how nature can heal us when challenges cross our paths.

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By Jordan Bowman and Marian Orlousky

The A.T. and Climate Change: Reviewing the Basics

February 26, 2021

As we continue our series on climate change and its effects on the Appalachian Trail, it is important to lay the groundwork for several key topics.

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By Trey Adcock

Native Lands

February 23, 2021

Trey Adcock, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Director of American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the University of North Carolina, explains how land acknowledgment starts by recognizing and respecting that you are on the lands of an Indigenous people.

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By Mills Kelly

The A.T. and Race

February 18, 2021

George Mason University Professor Mills Kelly explains how reckoning with the past opens the door to an equitable future.

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By Shalin Desai, ATC Vice President of Advancement


February 11, 2021

By acknowledging our entire history, we can create more robust and resilient solutions to today’s problems.

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By Maggie Slepian

A Year Like No Other

February 5, 2021

With COVID-19 continuing to grip the country, planning and preparing for the challenges of an A.T. thru-hike in 2021 are essential.

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By Jordan Bowman and Shalin Desai

Preserving the “Oxygen” of the Trail

January 29, 2021

How Benton MacKaye’s call for protecting the “oxygen in the mountain air along the Appalachian skyline” guides our work in combating climate change on the A.T.

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By Sandra Marra, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

I Still Have Hope

January 12, 2021

ATC President & CEO Sandra Marra discusses the work ahead in order to better protect the Appalachian Trail and to build a better world.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

Continuing the A.T. Vision

December 29, 2020

Even after 100 years, Benton MacKaye’s 1921 vision for the Appalachian Trail continues to guide the ATC in its mission.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

An A.T. Realm Beyond Recreation

December 11, 2020

Recreation is only one part of a broader Appalachian Trail conservation effort, which extends well beyond the footpath itself.

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The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Team

Prepping for 2021

November 30, 2020

If you hike the Trail in 2021, proper planning and preparation will help ensure everyone’s A.T. experiences are safe, healthy, responsible, and successful.

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Next Tuesday, Give a Gift to the Trail

November 24, 2020

On #GivingTuesday, your donation will help us ensure the Appalachian Trail and its surrounding landscape are protected forever for all to enjoy.

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ATC Staff

#OptOutside 2020: Give Yourself Some Space

November 20, 2020

We invite you to join us as we once again #OptOutside this year, and to #RecreateResponsibly during this challenging holiday season.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

Not Merely a Trail

November 19, 2020

As Benton MacKaye discussed in his vision for the Appalachian Trail, we must prioritize conserving a realm of landscapes and experiences in addition to the footpath itself.

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Preparing for 2021

A Message to All A.T. Hikers in 2021

November 12, 2020

To ensure hiker safety and health while on the A.T. in 2021, we ask hikers to plan, prepare, and stay informed.

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The Trail’s Voice on Capitol Hill

October 20, 2020

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy must be a strong voice for the A.T. on Capitol Hill to ensure the Trail’s legal protections are secure.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

An Enduring Mission

October 14, 2020

In a year of challenges and opportunities, our commitment to protecting, managing and advocating for the A.T. has not changed.

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Be a Voice for the A.T.

This Election Day, Vote with the Trail in Mind

October 6, 2020

We ask everyone to consider the great outdoors and environmental conservation when casting your vote this November 3.

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By Anne Sentz, ATC Philanthropy Manager

A Prime Example of A.T. Landscape Protection

October 2, 2020

The conservation of Bald Mountain Pond in Maine highlights the collaboration between the ATC and its partners to protect the Appalachian Trail landscape.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

What Makes an A.T. View Great?

September 18, 2020

To better address threats to Appalachian Trail locations, the ATC and the National Park Service are taking inventory of the Trail’s irreplaceable views.

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How to Help

Supporting Those Affected by West Coast Wildfires

September 17, 2020

We can make a difference by supporting each other during this difficult time.

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By Anne Sentz, ATC Landscape Partnership Manager

Partnering for A.T. Landscape Protection

August 13, 2020

A massive amount of collaboration and shared dedication is required to ensure A.T. landscapes are conserved.

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By Dan Hale, ATC New England Natural Resource and Land Stewardship Manager

Montane Spruce-Fir Forests

August 11, 2020

Found in the upper elevations of the Appalachians, Montane Spruce-Fir Forests provide a critical habitat for many rare and federally endangered species.

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By Jake Campbell, ATC Next Generation Advisory Council Member

My Decision to Leave the Trail

July 31, 2020

While Next Generation Advisory Council Member Jake Campbell’s first steps on the Appalachian Trail were a dream come true, he was faced with a difficult decision early on in his 2020 thru-hike.

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Responding to COVID-19

A Reminder to Stay Safe on the A.T.

July 31, 2020

Safety guidelines for A.T. hikers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

The Dedication of A.T. Volunteers

July 28, 2020

Month after month and year after year, thousands of volunteers return to the Appalachian Trail to protect and preserve its legacy.

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ATC Staff

Congress Passes the Great American Outdoors Act

July 23, 2020

Receiving overwhelming bipartisan support, this transformative conservation bill will greatly enhance our ability to conserve the Appalachian Trail.

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By Sandra Marra, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Shifting Perspectives and Realities

July 17, 2020

A commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion is critical for the future protection of the Trail.

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Responding to COVID-19

The A.T. on Katahdin Reopens

July 1, 2020

The northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail has reopened, though there are still several precautions to consider before planning your visit.

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By Amanda Wheelock

The Next Generation of Volunteers

July 1, 2020

The ATC is committed to welcoming, training, and supporting the next generation of Trail volunteers through a variety of programs and opportunities.

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By Dan Hale, ATC New England Natural Resource and Land Stewardship Manager

Protecting Pollinators

June 27, 2020

Managing pollinators and their habitats along the Appalachian Trail benefits the ecosystem and us.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

A System of Protection

June 26, 2020

2020 events have underlined the importance of the Cooperative Management System in achieving the vision of a protected Appalachian Trail for everyone.

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Responding to COVID-19

June 16, 2020 Update on A.T. Closures and Conditions

June 16, 2020

An update for Appalachian Trail hikers as more states relax stay-at-home restrictions and more sections of the Trail reopen.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

A.T. Volunteers: Experts in Conservation

June 13, 2020

From trail maintenance to carpentry and natural resource conservation, volunteers employ a range of skills to protect the Appalachian Trail.

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By Shilletha Curtis

Not Just Another Hiker

June 12, 2020

Shilletha Curtis describes how her experiences outdoors and interactions with A.T. groups online highlight the need for change.

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By Shalin Desai, ATC Vice President of Advancement

What is the Cost of a “Priceless” View?

June 9, 2020

The view from McAfee Knob is priceless, but what does it cost to build, maintain and protect an irreplaceable part of the Appalachian Trail Experience for future generations?

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By Sandra Marra, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

A Commitment to Justice

June 1, 2020

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has taken inventory of the social landscape within the Appalachian Trail community and across the United States, and we believe that by making meaningful changes, the A.T. can be a space that is inclusive, open and safe for all.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

The Scope of A.T. Volunteerism

May 29, 2020

For almost 100 years, volunteerism has been the bedrock of the Appalachian Trail and the ATC.

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By Dan Hale, ATC New England Natural Resource and Land Stewardship Manager

Vernal Pools: Temporary Habitats for A.T. Wildlife

May 18, 2020

A temporary world exists for chirping frogs and slippery salamanders in the form of a vernal pool.

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Responding to COVID-19

An Update for 2020 A.T. Hikers

May 11, 2020

The ATC is working quickly to determine the safest way and time for hikers to return to the Trail.

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By David McDowell Schafer

I Was Hired to Be a Ridgerunner

May 8, 2020

Ridgerunner David McDowell Schafer explains how his role has shifted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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By Sandra Marra, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Our Next Steps for Re-Engaging with the Trail

May 1, 2020

The ATC has convened a task force to develop guidance on how A.T. visitors can re-engage safely with the Trail and help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

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By David McDowell Schafer

Appalachian Trail Wildflowers

April 29, 2020

Spring is here and warmer days are finally upon us, meaning ephemeral spring wildflowers will be sprouting out of the ground to show their gorgeous array of colors.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

Advocating for a Protected Trail

April 16, 2020

The Appalachian Trail itself only exists and remains protected because of thousands of dedicated advocates.

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Responding to COVID-19

2020 Thru-Hikers: Picking Up Where You Left Off

March 31, 2020

Due to the safety concerns and closures caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the ATC has revised its policy for recognizing the 2020 class of A.T. thru-hikers.

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By Sandra Marra, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Please stay off the Appalachian Trail

March 23, 2020

The Appalachian Trail, given its ever-increasing popularity over the past weeks, is no longer a viable space to practice social distancing.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

Protecting the Trail’s Continuous Journey

March 5, 2020

Creating a continuous footpath from Maine to Georgia was not a one-time event. In order to preserve the Trail’s full 2,000-mile journey, continual maintenance and guardianship are essential to ensure the A.T. always remains open.

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By Sandra Marra, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Preserving the Trail’s Network of Protectors

February 24, 2020

An upcoming Supreme Court decision could change how the Trail has been managed for over 50 years.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

Bear Mountain: A Legacy of Footpath Protection

February 12, 2020

Almost 100 years ago, something extraordinary was happening in the mountains of eastern New York that continues to inspire and inform the ATC’s work today.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

Restoring the Atlantic Salmon’s Path to Henderson Brook

December 18, 2019

Deep in Maine’s 100 Mile Wilderness, ATC and its partners are working to restore access to an important water source for native salmon and trout.

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By Julie Judkins, ATC Director of Education and Outreach, & Sasha DeCaro

Massachusetts Youth Receive Training at Trail Stewardship Summit

December 12, 2019

In mid-October 2019, students, educators and service leaders gathered for the MY Trail Summit, learning valuable skills for protecting the Appalachian Trail and America’s public lands.

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By Anne Sentz, ATC Landscape Partnership Manager

Preserving Maine’s Iconic A.T. Views

December 4, 2019

A decades-old conservation project will protect beautiful and environmentally important Maine lands adjacent to five miles of the A.T.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

A New Path for the A.T. in Palmerton

November 27, 2019

As life returns to the hills above Palmerton, Pennsylvania, the ATC is working to enhance the A.T. experience for future Trail users.

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By Jordan Bowman, ATC Director of Communications

Uniting to Preserve the South Mountain Range

November 20, 2019

The South Mountain Partnership is determined to preserve this unique landscape home to 60 miles of the A.T.

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By Tyler Nordgren

The Sky Begins at Your Feet

November 15, 2019

Our ideas of conservation have expanded to include more than the rock at our feet, with the night sky above also needing our protection.

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by Anne Sentz, ATC Landscape Partnership Manager

Cherry Valley Land Protection Safeguards Five Miles of the Trail

November 13, 2019

The protection of Cherry Valley is a success story not only because of its conservation values, but because it is a real-life example of public-private partnerships that benefit those who live and play in the region.

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by Kathryn Herndon-Powell, ATC Education and Outreach Coordinator

The Preservation of Spy Rock

November 6, 2019

When an increase in visitation threatened one of the Appalachian Trail’s hidden treasures in Virginia, ATC and its partners took action to preserve rare plant species and the fragile surrounding environment.

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by Julie Judkins, ATC Director of Education and Outreach

Women Workdays Provide Opportunities for New Volunteers

October 31, 2019

Wild East Women aims to lift a broader stewardship focus for women connected to the Appalachian Trail.

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by Tom Derr

Fair Energy Development and Recreation Economies

October 29, 2019

Why fair and transparent energy development is essential for the success of communities and businesses reliant on outdoor recreation.

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by Jordan Bowman, ATC Communications Manager

Hogan Hollow Purchase Helps Preserve McAfee Knob Views

October 23, 2019

The purchase of this 243-acre stretch of land will help preserve the irreplaceable views from the Appalachian Trail on McAfee Knob.

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by Jordan Bowman, ATC Communications Manager

Trail Reroute Provides Hands-On Training

October 16, 2019

A half-mile A.T. relocation project gave the next generation of Trail stewards the chance to learn firsthand what it takes to maintain and preserve the A.T.

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by Jordan Bowman, ATC Communications Manager

E3 Summit Provides Experience to the Next Generation

October 9, 2019

Designed to provide the next generation of conservationists with hands-on experience and skills, the E3 summit focused on everything from trail-building workshops to night sky preservation.

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by Jordan Bowman, ATC Communication Manager

Saving the Roan Highland Red Spruce Forests

October 2, 2019

The red spruce forests in the Roan Highlands have become an inseparable part of the Appalachian Trail experience, but action must be taken to ensure they are a healthy, lasting part of the Roan ecosystem.

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by Tom Derr

Cooperative Management is Key on the A.T.

October 1, 2019

The A.T. survives today due to the dedicated work of three separate, but interlocking, categories of cooperating Trail champions.

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by Laurie Potteiger, Information Services Manager

Lightning Safety

September 3, 2019

Lightning is one of the most spectacular and powerful phenomena in nature, with power to kill or maim people, explode trees, and start wildfires. However, many of us tend to be too cavalier, not thinking about the force and destruction it can unleash. Perhaps we view it like a rainbow or comet—something far away, majestic and beautiful, that will never touch us.

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By Brendan Mysliwiec, ATC Director of Federal Policy and Legislation

The Cowpasture Decision

August 30, 2019

This important decision could determine how energy infrastructure is sited over the Appalachian Trail and how the Trail Corridor is managed.

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by Charlie Robbins, NextGen Forest Ambassador

Becoming a NextGen Forest Ambassador

August 26, 2019

Charlie Robbins, an adventurous NextGen Forest Ambassador, writes about his experience at the Next Generation Forest Ambassador Youth Summit earlier this year.

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Learn More

14 Reasons to Start Your Northbound Thru-Hike at Amicalola Falls State Park

February 15, 2019

Discover some key reasons why you might want to start your Appalachian Trail thru-hike under the iconic stone arch that marks the beginning of the 8.8-mile Approach Trail, which travels to the southern terminus of the A.T. on Springer Mountain.

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by ATC Staff

A Year Stronger: Appalachian Trail Successes in 2018

December 31, 2018

2018 was a big year for the Appalachian Trail, filled with multiple milestones and the long-awaited completion of several ongoing projects.

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The Search for Bicknell's Thrush

A Song at Dawn

January 21, 2019

Nick Lund of Maine Audubon shares his face-to-face encounter with one of the rarest (and most elusive!) birds in the country.

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By Alyson Browett

This Tiny Beetle is Killing the Appalachian Trail’s Ash Trees

November 15, 2018

The emerald ash borer is decimating the ash tree population along the Appalachian Trail. If it isn’t stopped, it will change our forests forever.

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by Michela Williams

Appalachian Trail Pioneers: Marcia Fairweather

October 30, 2018

Marcia Fairweather broke new ground in 2008 when she completed the first known section-hike of the Appalachian Trail by an African American.

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by Lynsey “Stubbs” Abrams

Post Trail Depression: What it’s Like, How it Happens & How to Get Over It

October 18, 2018

After a long hike on the Appalachian Trail, returning to the “real world” can leave some hikers feeling blue. Thru-hiker Lynsey “Stubbs” Abrams discusses “post trail depression” and ways to help avoid it.

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by Alyson Browett

Planning a Family Hike: Reconnecting Your Loved Ones with the Outdoors

September 21, 2018

Helpful tips for helping family members of all ages experience and appreciate their next outdoor adventure.

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by Brian King, ATC Publisher

The Last 2 Miles

August 14, 2018

81 years ago on August 14, 1937, the final link of the Appalachian Trail was completed, creating an interconnected path stretching from Georgia to Maine.

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By Brian King

“The Long Cruise” of Earl Shaffer

August 4, 2023

August 5 marks the anniversary of the first recorded Appalachian Trail thru-hike by Earl V. Shaffer, affectionately known as “The Crazy One.”

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by Alyson Browett

A.T. Communities: Gateways to Economic and Stewardship Success

August 3, 2018

How the A.T. Community™ program helps protect the Appalachian Trail and builds the outdoor recreation economy in Trail towns.

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by Jim Fetig, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club

A.T. Hiker Hacks: Simple & Cheap Ways to Enhance Your Next Backcountry Adventure

July 20, 2018

There are many common hacks worth knowing that can make life on the trail lighter, easier, safer and less costly.

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by Alyson Browett

A Voice For The Land: Building the A.T. Landscape Partnership

June 12, 2018

Learn how the ATC and its partners are working to protect not only the A.T. footpath, but also the irreplaceable landscapes and ecosystems surrounding the Trail.

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by Katie Oliver, ATC Trail Crew Leader

Always Worth It: How I Fell in Love with Life on a Trail Crew

May 9, 2018

ATC Trail Crew Leader Katie Oliver recalls why she returns every year to work on an ATC Trail Crew — no matter how bad the weather is.

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by Alyson Browett

Flip Flop Hiking: Helping Conserve the Trail and Sustain Communities

April 21, 2018

More and more, hikers are choosing to begin their hikes at various locations along the A.T.’s corridor, hiking north or south, and then “flip-flopping” back to their starting location and hiking the opposite direction to finish the Trail.

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by Anne Baker, ATC Landscape Partnership Manager

Moving Forward: LWCF and a Thriving Appalachian Landscape

April 11, 2018

As we move forward in our efforts to protect the Appalachian Trail, the importance of tools like the Land & Water Conservation Fund only become more apparent.

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By Brian King, ATC Publisher

The Appalachian Trail Bill of 1978

March 18, 2018

The Appalachian Trail Bill of 1978 marks a pivotal moment in the history of the A.T. and the ATC.

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by Brian Threlkeld

100 Mile Wild: A Winter Trek Through Maine’s 100 Mile Wilderness

February 22, 2018

Brian Threlkeld and his team are taking on an extreme A.T. challenge: traversing the 100 Mile Wilderness in the middle of a Maine winter.

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by ATC Staff

The Path to Love: Three Love Stories from the Appalachian Trail

February 14, 2018

Three true stories from Appalachian Trail Conservancy staff about the love they found on the A.T.

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by Alyson Browett

On the Right Foot: ATC to Offer “Start Well” Hiking Classes for Northbound Thru-Hikers

February 13, 2018

The ATC will be holding daily hour-long classes to ensure northbound thru-hikers are prepared for successful and sustainable A.T. journeys.

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By Roland “Tony” Richardson

A Hike Through History

February 13, 2017

In October 2016, a group of seven African-American outdoor enthusiasts embarked on a four-day backpacking trip on the A.T. to retrace the journeys of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad through the Appalachian Mountains.

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by Ashley Kelton

This Land is Our Land: A Reflection

December 15, 2017

High school senior Ashley “Asha” Kelton describes her experience at the Massachusetts Youth Trail Summit and how it solidified her appreciation for America’s public lands.

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by Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Hit the Trail for #OptOutside 2017

November 24, 2017

This Black Friday, Nov. 24, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy ATC is proud to #OptOutside alongside REI and many other companies and organizations.​

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by Bryan Alper

Trail Work: My Pilgrimage

July 11, 2017

Reflecting on three summers spent on the S.W.E.A.T. crew, Bryan explains why volunteering for a Trail maintaining crew is his ideal way to give back to the A.T.

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by Samantha Rokos, Public Relations Intern

Catch You on the Flip Side: The Thru-Hike Experience As Told by 2016 Flip Floppers

April 20, 2017

This is a time of the year where we at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) celebrate what makes flip flop thru-hiking a great alternative to traditional northbound/southbound (NOBO/SOBO) thru-hikes. The ATC began heavily promoting flip flop thru-hikes three years ago in response to the increase of NOBO thru-hikers beginning on Springer Mountain in Georgia to help reduce the impacts that large crowds of thru-hikers have on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Since then, the number of flip flop thru-hikers have grown, leading to the popularity of different flip flop routes.

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by Jim Fetig

More Than Fire: The effects of the Southeast wildfires on the Appalachian Trail community

March 3, 2017

To get a full picture of how the 2016 wildfires fires affected the Appalachian Trail, author Jim Fetig made a whirlwind trip in December throughout the Southeast to assess the damage, both physically and economically, to the Trail and its surrounding communities.

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by Roland “Tony” Richardson, Member of ATC’s Next Generation Advisory Council

A Hike Through History: Following the Path of the Underground Railroad

February 13, 2017

In October 2016, a group of seven African-American outdoor enthusiasts embarked on a four-day backpacking trip on the A.T. to retrace the journeys of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad through the Appalachian Mountains.

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by Kim Rosenbaum

The Monson Visitor Center Life: A Reflection from ATC’s Northernmost Outpost

January 5, 2017

Kim Rosenbaum reflects on her role as a representative for the Monson, Maine Appalachian Trail Visitor Center.

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by Jordan Bowman

2016 Sees Rise in Ethical Hiking Practices Among Appalachian Trail Hikers

August 11, 2016

After analyzing visitor numbers collected at Appalachian Trail Conservancy Headquarters from January to July 2016, we have observed several positive trends within the A.T. community.

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by Ron Tipton, ATC Executive Director/CEO

December 2 Update on the A.T. and the Southern Fires

December 2, 2016

Dec. 2, 2016 – Over the last few weeks, fires have raged across the southern Appalachian Mountains and the Appalachian Trail from Georgia up to central Virginia, and many major fires are still burning. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the many people dealing with the loss of life, homes, businesses and other property. We also want to thank the brave firefighters from all over the country who have joined the fight to protect the region and the Trail from further damage.

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by Jordan Bowman

Why the ATC is Opting Outside on Black Friday

October 24, 2016

Tell your family to “Take a hike” — #OptOutside this Black Friday instead of getting caught up in the holiday shopping chaos.

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by Amanda Wheelock

Our Future Leaders in Conservation: Ten Weeks with the Conservation Leadership Corps

September 20, 2016

The inaugural Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) helped prepare a group of young, driven individuals for future careers as environmental stewards. To help us understand the program’s impact, the CLC crew has shared the most memorable moments from their summer on the Appalachian Trail.

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by Jordan Bowman

Senate Bill Aims to Combat Lyme Disease

June 24, 2016

The U.S. Senate will soon consider legislation that takes a vital step toward reducing occurrences of tick-borne illnesses and providing better treatment for those afflicted.

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by Alivia Acosta, Next Generation Advisory Council Member

The Next Gen Finally Meets Face-to-Face

June 1, 2016

The Trail is the heart of the community and the volunteers are the soul. This past weekend I had the honor of meeting people who embody what being the soul of the A.T. entails.

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by James “Sisu” Fetig

Physical Preparation for the Older Hiker

April 27, 2016

We boomers are aging whether or not we like to admit it, and older hikers face special challenges from which youth, or our lack thereof, no longer protects us.

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by Leanna Joyner

And they’re off

March 30, 2016

Trees have put on their buds at lower elevations in the Southern Appalachians, and, just as hopeful, many hikers are setting out on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) with their compasses set northward.

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by Andrew Downs, ATC regional director

Self-reliance and the Appalachian Trail experience

February 24, 2016

I turned 22 during my thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). After charging past an army of day-hikers struggling up Mount Lafayette in New Hampshire, I reunited with “Lazy Mike,” “Renegade,” and “Papa Squat” on the summit and celebrated by polishing off a fifth of Jack Daniels.

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by Aaron Weitzner, ATC summer public relations intern

The life of an intern

November 18, 2015

The ATC’s summer public relations intern, Aaron Weitzner, chatted with other current and former interns about their experience with the organization. Here’s a snapshot of their conversation!

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by Kathryn Herndon and Leanna Joyner, ATC conservation staff

Seven sturdy takeaways from time on the Appalachian Trail

October 28, 2015

A walking classroom is the setting of a Leave No Trace Trainer course, designed to immerse participants in the teachable moments found along the world’s most famous long-distance Trail.

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by Laura Belleville, ATC's director of Conservation

Taking a look at the big picture

September 3, 2015

Let’s face it, we could all benefit from taking a hard look at how we behave on the Appalachian Trail.

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by Olivia Pridemore, ATC's summer intern

Our annual Gala: More than appearances

September 3, 2015

What is it that makes an awards Gala truly valuable for a nonprofit organization like the ATC?

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by Olivia Pridemore, ATC's summer intern

Celebrating 90 together

September 2, 2015

As many of you know, we are currently celebrating 90 years of protecting and managing the Appalachian Trail. But 2015 has ushered in an additional 90th occasion. June 19 marked the 90th birthday of one of our dedicated members, Randall Brooks. In his 90 years, Randall has led an eventful and adventurous life, in which his experiences have fostered a deep passion for protecting the place that has become a sanctuary to him, the Appalachian Trail.

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by Peter Farrell, guest blogger

Hey mister

December 18, 2020

What follows is the winning submission from our May essay contest. Although we asked for a written description of a memorable time ON the Trail, we enjoyed the unique perspective of this inspirational essay written by Peter Farrell. Check it out.

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by Maxwell Roeske, ATC spring intern

Intern aspirations

September 2, 2015

Kelly set the bar high for ATC interns by becoming a monthly donor, writes Max, our spring intern.

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by Anne Baker

Meals so good you won’t want to share with your hiking partner

September 2, 2015

Food. We’d like to bet that besides gear, it’s what hikers think the most about while they’re out on the trail. But if you’re tired of getting your calories from those chicken teriyaki Mountain House meals or a Snickers bar dipped in peanut butter, we don’t blame you. Here’s a few tried-and-true backcountry recipes from our staff.

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by Ellen Gass, guest blogger

A (not-so) ‘Wild’ gal

September 2, 2015

Let me start by saying that I loved “Wild.” I loved the book. I loved the movie. I loved the way they captured many of the struggles and fears that hikers, especially solo female hikers, have while backpacking. And, it gave me a sincere appreciation for the fact that my toenails fell off on their own without having to rip them off.

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by Anne Baker, ATC's marketing assistant

Why we’re looking good at 90

September 2, 2015

We’ve come a long way since that day in 1925 when Benton MacKaye and his team sat down to determine how to get the A.T. on the ground from Georgia to Maine.

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by Anne Baker, ATC's marketing assistant

A new (voluntary) step for thru-hikers

September 2, 2015

Thru-hiker fever has officially set in. And with the general preparations like gear shakedowns, meal planning, mail drop logistics and (in some cases) quitting your job to hike thousands of miles, there’s another way the class of 2015 is getting ready for a thru-hike: voluntary registration.

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by Laura Belleville, ATC's director of Conservation

‘Hiking the Hill’ to protect the A.T.

September 2, 2015

This past week, our senior conservation staff have had their hiking boots on, but not for a jaunt along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). Instead, we were in DC for the annual advocacy event “Hike the Hill,” along with many other national scenic and historic trail representatives from across the country, for nearly a week of organized meetings with agency and Congressional representatives.

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by Robert J. Collins, Georgia Appalachian Trail Club

Erasing a trend

September 2, 2015

Modern day petroglyphs? Self-expression art? An expected rite of passage? Vandalism? The definition of graffiti depends on who you ask. Prehistoric men and women felt a need to mark caves with drawings of animals or to scrape signs and shapes on rocks. Were these messages for others traveling through the area, or were they sitting out a thunderstorm in a cave, bored? Today we can still see the overwhelming urge that humans have to leave their mark—even along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).

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by Kathryn Herndon, ATC's education and outreach coordinator

Raising the next generation of Trail stewards

September 2, 2015

It’s estimated that children today spend about half as much time outdoors as they did 20 years ago, instead devoting an average of 5 to 7 hours a day staring at a TV, computer, or other screens. These statistics raise an interesting (and scary!) question: Will the next generation care enough about the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) to protect their national treasure?

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by Amy McCormick, ATC's corporate relations and events officer

Reflections from the show floor

September 2, 2015

I’ve just returned from another exciting <a href=”http://www.outdoorretailer.com/”>Winter Market Outdoor Retailer Show</a> (OR) in Salt Lake City—an awesome outdoor gear trade show that features leading industry professionals and all the new products and apparel. Twice a year, I head out to OR to meet up with all of our partners (and chat with prospective partners) in order to share with everyone how the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is using their support, as well as figure out how we can all do more to protect the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).

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by Anne Baker, ATC's marketing assistant

Have a week to spare? You won’t regret using it for this

September 2, 2015

We get it. Whether it’s school, a full-time job, a family, or those little everyday life occurrences—you’re busy. But if you can spare a week and want to spend some time on the Appalachian Trail, we have a gig for you.

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by Ron Tipton, ATC's executive director/CEO

Redford & Nolte ‘Walk in the Woods’

September 2, 2015

It is not possible to watch the Sundance premiere of Robert Redford’s production of “A Walk in the Woods” without comparing it to its Pacific Crest Trail movie counterpart “Wild.” While Redford and his sidekick Nick Nolte (playing book author Bill Bryson and his long-lost high school buddy Stephen Katz) are far removed from Reese Witherspoon, there are important thematic connections that make “A Walk” very special in its own way.

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by Anne Baker

A mile here, a mile there

September 2, 2015

Hikers, if you can’t get enough of the Appalachian Trail—well, there are now 3.9 more miles of it.

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by Anne Baker, ATC's marketing assistant

Have you seen my solar charger?

September 2, 2015

There’s a debate out there that might generate more heat than the age-old question of “App-uh-ley-chun” versus “App-uh-lach-uhn,” and that’s the issue of technology and the Appalachian Trail. As hikers, how do we use things like mobile devices without diminishing the A.T. experience for ourselves and others?

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by Anne Baker, ATC's marketing assistant

Stop for a drink—on the rocks

September 2, 2015

Sometimes the best discoveries are made while you’re sitting down. Like that time when you were out on the Trail, enjoying your ramen or peanut butter while perched on a rock. You may have watched an ant crawl by, carrying a crumb to its colony; you might have noticed a particular kind of bird for the very first time. The point is observation.

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by Susan Daniels, ATC's Conservation coordinator

Hey Bivouac Bob, we’ll miss you

September 2, 2015

Bob Proudman has been my supervisor, my colleague, and my friend since I came to work for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) nearly 26 years ago.

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by Lyn Widmyer, ATC volunteer

A [brief] escape

September 2, 2015

In 1996, writer Bill Bryson attempted to hike all 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) He failed. But he succeeded big time with his humorous account of the trip. His book, “A Walk in the Woods,” quickly became a best seller and inspired a lot more people to hike the Trail. The upsurge in hikers was called the Bryson Bump.

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by Leanna Joyner, ATC's Trail resources manager

The ultimate post-thru-hike re-entry program

May 31, 2015

Need something to do after your thru-hike? Rocky Top Trail Crew enables hikers to experience the Great Smoky Mountains from a different perspective by working and camping on the Trail during 8-day sessions.

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by Maxwell Roeske, ATC spring intern

A new tradition on the A.T.

May 31, 2015

Who wouldn’t want to soak up as much of the Trail’s beauty as they could? Flip flopping lets you slow down and enjoy more of the little things.

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by Anne Baker, ATC's marketing assistant

Reunions—Trail Days style

May 12, 2015

An ATC employee recounts what it’s like to go to Trail Days in Damascus, VA.

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