Broadening the Scope of A.T. Protection

Landscape Conservation

…A realm and not merely a trail marks the full aim of our efforts.
Benton MacKaye, the Appalachian Trail’s visionary

The Appalachian Trail Landscape

A meditative sunsetalong the Trail on Max Patch. Photo by Steven Yocom

Photo by Steven Yocom

Recognized as a globally significant region, the Appalachian Trail Landscape contains a wide variety of species and critical natural resources, including a vast canopy of resilient forests and a network of streams and rivers. This natural network provides more than 119 million people with critical resources like clean water. More than 38 million people make up the diverse communities and cultures across this urbanized and populous Landscape. No natural region in the U.S. is as integrated into the economies and livelihoods of communities as this region.

The Appalachian Trail Landscape has long served as an important wilderness recreation resource, a refuge from development that preserves ecological diversity, and a primary north-south migration corridor for native wildlife in the region. With elevations ranging from 124 feet to over 6,500 feet above sea level, the trail sits upon one of the world’s most topographically and biologically diverse landscapes. This Landscape also provides critical climate change refugia for the future adaptation needs of plants and animals. Experts agree that the Appalachian Trail Landscape must be conserved and connected to maintain its resilience and biodiversity while protecting species’ current and future opportunities to move across eastern North America.

The Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the National Park Service co-convene the Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership, or ATLP, which includes top conservationists who are committed to a bold vision of greater A.T. conservation in the face of 21st-century threats. The mission of the ATLP is to connect the wild, scenic and cultural wonders of the Appalachian Trail and its surrounding landscape. All entities working on land conservation along and aside the Appalachian Trail are invited to participate in ATLP efforts.

Learn More about ATLP

The Wild East Action Fund

This funding program provides grants to qualified organizations working to conserve and connect the wild, scenic, and cultural wonders of the Appalachian Trail and its landscape, also known as the Wild East.



A.T. Community™ Program

There are 56 communities along the Appalachian Trail’s corridor that have been recognized in the A.T. Community™ program. These towns and cities are assets for everyone who uses the A.T., providing food, supplies, recreation, history, volunteer opportunities and so much more. Find special events and promotions, plan your own A.T. adventures — whether for an afternoon or for multiple days — and explore everything these communities have to offer.



Building an Enduring Appalachian Climate Corridor

In 2021 and 2022, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Center for Large Landscape Conservation, members of the Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership, and dozens of other climate and conservation experts convened to explore ways to enhance the climate resiliency of the A.T. landscape. Their recommendations are included in a comprehensive report



PA Act 24 / ATC Mini-Grant

Act 24 was passed to encourage municipalities to protect the Trail Corridor through stronger planning and zoning regulations. In this way, the Trail Corridor will be integrated further into the community landscape across Pennsylvania. ATC established a mini-grant to help fund these activities. Click the link below for more information.

Learn More about PA ACT 24