By Michelle Presley, ATC Communications Manager

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

April 18, 2024

Maintaining and protecting the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) requires a collective effort. The ATC works year-round, often behind the scenes, with land managers, Trail Clubs, and individuals to conserve the Trail and its surrounding landscape. For those who love the A.T., Earth Day is an ideal time to join the effort to help ensure that the Trail remains accessible, healthy, and vibrant for generations to come. 

A weathered Appalachian Trail blaze post marks the footpath through the Mt. Rogers High Country in southwestern Virginia.

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

1. Find a Volunteer Opportunity

Volunteer with ATC or your local Trail Club to help maintain and repair sections of the Appalachian Trail. Earth Day is a great time to get involved in Trail maintenance activities. Take the first step by signing up for Volunteer Opportunities emails so you can find out about opportunities near you. 

2. Donate to the ATC

Support the ATC’s conservation efforts by making a donation on Earth Day or becoming a member to provide ongoing support for the Trail. 

3. Advocate for Trail Funding

Contact your local representatives and advocate for increased funding for the maintenance and protection of the Appalachian Trail and other public lands. Learn more about how to advocate for the A.T.

4. Use Your Platform for Good

Be sure to follow us on social media and sign up for our weekly newsletter, Trailway News, to stay informed and help us spread the word! The ATC regularly shares content about how to protect and enjoy the Trail. Use your social media platforms to raise awareness about the importance of caring for the A.T. and its surrounding landscape. 

5. Host a Film Screening

Organize a screening of the ATC’s short films about the Appalachian Trail and our conservation efforts, followed by a discussion on how to get involved.


Are you planning to spend some time on the A.T.? Here are two additional ways you can make a positive impact while you’re out on the Trail. 

6. Recreate Responsibly

Lead by example on the A.T. to educate others about Leave No Trace principles. Use the ATC’s Incident Report form to report any instances of vandalism and other concerns you see on the Trail. 

7. Participate in Citizen Science

Get involved in citizen science projects related to monitoring wildlife, tracking invasive species, or collecting environmental data along the Appalachian Trail.