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 each update below for more information.
South Pomfret – Post Office and Teago General Store Closed
(8/3/2020) The Teago General Store is closed for renovations and does not expect to be reopen for business before February 2021. The South Pomfret post office housed in the general store is also closed. The South Pomfret post office, currently operating out of the Woodstock office on Main Street in Woodstock, is planning to come back once the store reopens next spring.
Iron Mountain Shelter – Bear Activity
(7/10/2020) Recent bear activity has been reported at Iron Mountain Shelter (mile 444.5). Hikers are advised by the local trail maintainers to avoid this shelter.
Always cook and eat away from shelters and store food and smellables properly. A bear canister is recommended as the most effective way to protect your food and keep you and bears safe. For more information and to report bear incidents, visit appalachiantrail.org/bears.
Trimpi Shelter – Bear Activity
June 2020: Overnight bear activity reported in the vicinity of Trimpi Shelter (mile 524.3).
Visit appalachiantrail.org/bears for tips on keeping yourself and your food safe from bears.
Fingerboard Shelter – Frequent Bear Activity
Due to improper food storage by campers, the Fingerboard Shelter has a history of black bears approaching hikers in search of food. To reduce the risk of attracting black bears, campers should never leave food, coolers, or backpacks unattended, especially when sleeping. Food preparation and cooking should be undertaken away from where people sleep. When finished, all food should be secured in bear canisters or hung on cables provided and waste carried out. Bears have a very good sense of smell, so food and other items with a strong scent, like toothpaste and deodorant, should not be stored in tents. Should a bear approach you, make loud noises and slowly back away. Do not run. Never get between cubs and an adult bear.
All bear encounters should be reported to the Park Police at (845) 786-2781. Also please fill out an A.T. Bear Incident form.
For more information on how to store you food and preventing bear conflicts see the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation page on Reducing Human-Bear Conflicts.
Fontana Village – Partial Re-Opening, Post Office Remains Open
(Updated 8/26/2020) The “Pit-Stop” is open for limited resupply, but the general store remains closed. Lodging and meals are available. No shuttles are being provided at this time.
The Fontana Dam Post Office remains open 11:45 am to 3:45 pm Monday through Friday.
Bear Activity – Bly Gap through Long Branch Shelter
(6/9/2020) There recently have been numerous reports of bears taking hikers food bags of all types, even those hung “PCT-style,” between Bly Gap (78.2) and Long Branch Shelter (102.2).
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy recommends a bear-resistant canister as the best personal food storage method.
Even when an area has no bear canister requirement, no bear cables or boxes, or no warning signs posted, it is still critical for hikers to practice preventative measures and store their food responsibly. Hikers’ personal responsibility is essential to the enduring future of trails, their sustainable management, and the safety of all hikers and wildlife.
Grayson Highlands State Park – Overnight Parking Update
The Backpackers Lot is open for overnight parking, but reservations are required. Visit ReserveAmerica.com to make reservations until midnight the day prior to arrival.
Parking at Massie Gap is limited to approximately 150 vehicles in designated areas only. Parking in the grass along the road shoulder may result in a fine. If parking is full, visitors can explore other areas of the park.
Baxter State Park Updates
(11/5/2020) All Katahdin trails, including the Appalachian Trail/Hunt Trail, were closed for the season 10/16/2020.
Those contemplating a thru-hike starting in Maine in 2021 are encouraged to visit our Southbound Thru-Hike page.
For more information about visiting Baxter State Park, visit www.baxterstatepark.org.
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Updates
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, in response to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and U.S. Public Health Service, is modifying park operations to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The National Park Service (NPS) is working servicewide with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach to increase access on a park-by-park basis.
All A.T. Shelters in Maine are Closed
The state of Maine has closed all overnight shelters on state lands
In keeping with National Park Service policy, camping is not currently allowed at lean-to shelters and other sites along the Appalachian Trail. Click her for more information.
Shelter and privy closure affecting 56 shelters from Virginia through Maine:
The National Park Service has closed all overnight shelters on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office in the Maine (22 shelters, 29 privies). Follow this link for further details.
Baxter State Park has closed A.T. shelters on lands inside the Park
Baxter State Park will be closed to camping (with other access and trail closures, see link in next sentence) until further notice, with a target date of July 1. Click here for more information