ATC News

2022 Year in Review

December 29, 2022

Protecting the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) landscape, providing a world-class hiking experience, and promoting a sense of belonging to the Trail are the key priorities of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. We’re proud to say we’ve made great progress in each of these areas in 2022. As we reflect on the past year and look ahead to 2023, we wish to share some of these accomplishments and our gratitude with our supporters, who have made it all possible.  

Our supporters are the lifeblood of the Appalachian Trail. Here are just a few of the amazing things we were able to accomplish in 2022: 

Protected Endangered Forestland

Grafton Forest

Photo by Harry Harry White, Courtesy of Northeast Wilderness Trust

Nestled among the western Maine mountains is the Grafton Forest—an area of high conservation importance. With essential funding provided by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, members of the Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership successfully protected Grafton Forest from development. This action closed a gap in a vital conservation corridor that preserves natural resources and wildlife habitats. 

Monitored Imperiled Wildlife 

Two ATC staff members hold butterfly nets in a meadow

Photo by Horizonline Pictures

Among the vulnerable species that call the A.T. landscape home is the filigreed, pumpkin-colored northern metalmark butterfly, and ensuring its survival is important to preserving biodiversity along the Trail. ATC staff monitored the butterfly’s population and made habitat improvements to further support it. This included planting native nectar sources and removing invasive species.

Evaluated Scenic Views for Preservation 

Aerial view of a bridge crossing a river

Photo by Horizonline Pictures

Identifying, assessing, and cataloging the spectacular views along the Trail helps ensure hikers can enjoy them in the future. A team of five trained evaluators documented the components and qualities of scenic views in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. This work will determine which vistas must be protected so they remain amazing for decades to come. 

Expanded Skills Training for Volunteers 

Two volunteers saw a large downed tree

Photo by Horizonline Pictures

Volunteers can hesitate to get involved if they think they lack the requisite skills. To overcome this barrier to volunteering for Trail work, the Conservancy rolled out a new approach to skills training. A technical trail specialist conducted 30 hands-on workshops with some 200 participants. Attendees reported an increased level of expertise and knowledge of Trail maintenance principles. 

Opened a New Trail Gateway 

Damascus Trail Center

Photo by Kristi McFarlin

The town of Damascus, Virginia, has long served as a waystation for hikers and Trail enthusiasts. This year, thanks to a collaboration between the Conservancy and the town, a new, purpose-built trail center opened in “Trail Town, USA.” The Center’s mission is to empower and educate visitors to explore the great outdoors responsibly. 


Thank you for all you helped us accomplish in 2022 — including the projects featured here. We hope you will join us on our journey to protect, manage, and advocate for this one-of-a-kind Trail, in 2023 and beyond!

We need your help to preserve the Trail for future generations. Please give today at