Backcountry conditions change constantly. It is your responsibility to be prepared for the unexpected.

Report any adverse or dangerous Trail conditions you encounter by sending a detailed email to [email protected].

Click Here for A.T. Closures Due to COVID-19

Click each update below for more information.

Great Smoky Mtns. NP – Shelter Closure Due to Bear Activity – Cosby Knob Shelter

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
-
Bear Activity

(4/8/2021) The Cosby Knob Shelter (mile 231.1) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is CLOSED due to bear activity and will remain closed until further notice. A bear destroyed a tent and obtained a hiker’s food at this shelter.  Bears are active and hungry; take great care storing food.

Learn how to keep yourself and your food safe from bears on the Appalachian Trail on our Bear Safety page.

Great Smoky Mtns. NP – Bear Caution – Spence Field Shelter

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
-
Bear Activity

(4/27/2021) A bear caution was put in place yesterday for the Spence Field Shelter (mile 183.7) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Bears are active and hungry; take great care storing food.

Learn how to keep yourself and your food safe from bears on the Appalachian Trail on our Bear Safety page.

Great Smoky Mtns. NP – Bear Caution – Russell Field Shelter

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
-

(4/29/2021) A bear caution was put in place today for the Russell Field Shelter (mile 180.8) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Bears are active and hungry; take great care storing food.

Learn how to keep yourself and your food safe from bears on the Appalachian Trail on our Bear Safety page.

North Carolina – Bear Activity – Deep Gap/Groundhog Creek Shelter

North Carolina
-
Bear Activity

(4/7/2021) There have been multiple reports of bear stealing food in the area of Deep Gap and Groundhog Creek Shelter (mile 248.7). Bear canisters are highly recommended for storage of food and other smellable items. For more information on keeping yourself, your food, and bears safe on the A.T., visit our page on Bears.

COVID-19 Guidance to A.T. Hikers

A.T. Trailwide Updates
-

Hikers are still advised to hike locally and avoid hikes that require resupply. Guidance on keeping yourself and others safe and reducing the spread of COVID-19 on the A.T. and in A.T. Communities can be found at appalachiantrail.org/COVID-19.

Central Virginia – Bear Activity – Lamberts Meadow Shelter

Central Virginia
-

(4/29/2021) There have been multiple sightings of bears near the Lambert Meadows Shelter this spring, which is typical for this area. Although there have been no reports of bears getting hiker food or aggressive/food conditioned bear behavior in recent years, always keep a clean camp and keep food stored in the bear lockers provided at the site when you are not eating.

Central VA/WV – Peters Mountain Re-Opened

central-virginia
|
wv
|
-

(Updated 4/22/2021)
The A.T. on Peters Mountain has re-opened.

The 15.3-mile section of the Appalachian Trail in central Virginia/West Virginia that had been closed since mid-February due to severe damage to multiple transmission towers by an ice storm has reopened. Over the last several weeks, Appalachian Electric Power coordinated with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Outdoor Club at Virginia Tech as they repaired the damage and re-established the route of the A.T.  The area that is reopening is between VA 641/Clendennin Road and Pine Swamp Branch Shelter (NOBO mile 641.4-656.7).

When passing through the area, please stay on the marked Trail corridor. There is a layer of “hydroseeding” (blue/green in color), which will help replenish the impacted area by establishing pollinators, decreasing erosion and warding off invasive species.

For more information about the closure, site restoration and reopening, visit https://appalachiantrail.org/peters-mt-reopens. For more information about the history of this closure, see below.

(Updated 4/16/2021)
Crews from Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) and the Outdoor Club at Virginia Tech were escorted this week to the American Electric Power (AEP)  tower reconstruction site on Peters Mountain on the Central Virginia/West Virginia border that was severely damaged by an ice storm in February. AEP crews have been working to make repairs to the damage and coordinating with ATC to re-establish the route of the A.T. in anticipation of reopening the 15.3 miles of the Appalachian Trail  from VA641/Clendennin Road (NOBO Mile 641.4) to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter (NOBO Mile 656.7) that have been closed. AEP expects one or two more days of helicopter operations will be necessary before this section can be reopened. We ask hikers to continue to respect the closure as the situation still presents a serious safety risk. We thank everyone for their patience and we hope to be able to announce a re-opening within a couple of weeks.

(Updated 3/31/2021)
An ice storm on Sunday, February 14 severely damaged multiple transmission towers on two separate lines that cross the A.T. on Peters Mountain, in Giles County, Virginia and Monroe County, West Virginia. The damaged towers create a significant safety risk to visitors and the Trail will remain closed from VA641/Clendennin Road (NOBO Mile 641.4) to Pine Swamp Branch Shelter (NOBO Mile 656.7) until the area can be made safe. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), National Park Service (NPS), and the US Forest Service are working closely with AEP and its contractors to reopen the Trail as soon as possible; however, due to the size of the damaged towers, their close proximity to the Trail and the remote location, a timetable for reopening is currently unavailable.  ATC will work with partners in the area to minimize the effect on long-distance hikers. We will provide additional information as soon as it becomes available. For more information, visit the George Washington-Jefferson National Forest Alerts Page.

Central Virginia – Overhead Hazards

Central Virginia
-

(4/2/2021) Trees along major portions of the Natural Bridge A.T. Club’s section of the A.T. have suffered significant damage due to an ice storm. This section runs from the south at Blackhorse Gap (mile 743.9) north to the Tye River (mile 834.5)

While the trail is mostly clear, there are numerous “widowmakers” still hanging in the trees.  When tenting or at other extended stops, hikers should always take care to check the area for overhead hazards, but even more care should be taken now in the area of the ice damage.

Although a specific area of notable damage has been reported as noted above, overhead hazards may be present anywhere along forested areas of the A.T. and hikers should always look up and around for two tree lengths when tenting or taking breaks.

Shelter and Privy Closures due to COVID-19

A.T. Trailwide Updates
-

(Updated 5/3/2021) Some shelters and privies on the Appalachian Trail remain closed by land-managing agencies following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and local and state authorities to promote social distancing and sanitation standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

More than 70 shelters in Virginia (primarily northern Virginia), Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine remain closed to prevent trail users from congregating in close proximity to one another and encourage proper social distancing recommendations. This includes all 55 shelters located on National Park Service Appalachian Trail (APPA) lands in those states, and on state lands in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Restrictions are in place on shelters in Maine located on state lands.

See our tips for camping on the A.T. during the pandemic.

Be aware that privies may be closed, may not be maintained on a regular schedule, or readily available. Be sure to carry hand sanitizer and a trowel to dig a cat hole more than 200 feet from water sources and camping areas and carry hand sanitizer; learn more tips here. Hikers are encouraged to recreate responsibly, maintain a safe social distance and follow health guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local health authorities.

Note: Camping is generally allowed around closed shelters unless posted otherwise. Dispersed camping is allowed in some areas (primarily portions of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia). For more information on camping along the A.T., visit www.appalachiantrail.org/camping.

See individual state updates for detailed listings of shelter closures.

Maine – Katahdin Closed and other Baxter State Park Updates

Maine
-
(4/7/2021) All Katahdin trails (including the Appalachian Trail/Hunt Trail) have been closed at their trailheads (Katahdin Stream Campground for the A.T./Hunt Trail) to protect alpine resources. Alpine plant communities are particularly vulnerable during the shoulder season freeze-thaw cycles. Rangers will evaluate resource conditions on a regular basis to assess when these trails may open. The earliest date for the A.T. on Katahdin to open in spring is May 15; most years the opening date is between May 15 and June 1; occasionally the opening date is even later.
The Togue and Matagamon gates are closed to all vehicular traffic. Day use access is possible from outside the gates. Please stay on trails during this period while trails remain wet and muddy.
For more information, visit www.baxterstatepark.org.
1 2 3 9