Trailway News: A Few More Steps for 2023

Trailway News header for Dec. 16 edition

We’re wrapping up the year with an exciting announcement! The numbers are in and the official A.T. length for next year is 2,198.4 miles, adding 4.1 miles to the world’s most famous hiking footpath. The total length of the A.T. typically changes slightly each year due to footpath relocations and more precise measurement techniques.

Moving image announces 2023 A.T. mileage: officially 2,198.4 miles long!

You can learn more about 2023 mileage, thru-hiking tips, and more in this issue of Trailway News — the final one of 2022! From everyone at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Read More About 2023 Mileage

ATC members holding up a sticker and member certificate outside ATC headquarters

ATC Memberships Make Great Gifts 🎁

Did you know you can give an ATC membership as a gift? Gift memberships are perfect for people who love meaningful gifts and are passionate about protecting the Trail!

Gift memberships also come with all of the regular benefits of ATC memberships, including an oversized A.T. strip map, a subscription to our member magazine A.T. Journeys, discounts at the Ultimate A.T. Store®, and invitations to volunteer opportunities and other special events.

Give the Gift of Membership

Hiker poses by the A.T. Approach Trail sign

Starting Your A.T. Thru-Hike Early?

We know some of you may be suffering from “Springer Fever” and are getting ready to set out on your 2023 thru-hike. To help you be as prepared as possible and minimize your impacts to the Trail, we’ve compiled the need-to-know information and resources to help you Start Smart. You can read more about the best start location, weather conditions to prepare for, and more with our northbound thru-hiker tips and tricks. Happy Trails!

P.S. Once 2023 A.T. hangtags are available in mid to late January, hikers can get their tags at the following locations:

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to register your thru-hike at!

Volunteers saw downed tree with the text, you are the trail, overlaid on image

Your Support Today Makes Future Trail Work Possible

The Trail would not be what it is today without you. Your support made it possible to achieve amazing things in 2022, including maintenance projects that increase hiker safety and prevent erosion; native habitat restoration work to support threatened species; new hiker education initiatives; the opening of Damascus Trail Center; and so much more. Thank you for helping make all of these a reality!

As we look into the new year, the Trail needs you now more than ever. By donating to the Trail today, you make future progress possible and leave a lasting legacy for future generations.

Trail Updates


ATC Holiday Hours: The Harpers Ferry Visitor Center will be closed from December 22, 2022, through January 2, 2023. All other ATC offices and visitor centers will be closed from December 24 through January 2. We hope you all have a great holiday season!



A camping area near Cow Camp Gap Shelter (NOBO mile 812.9) is temporarily closed due to hazard trees in the area. A sign on the side trail indicates the closed area. Other camping areas closer to the shelter and the shelter itself remain open.


A major winter storm is expected to impact much of the A.T. through Friday, December 16. The Trail is expected to see heavy ice and snowfall, freezing temperatures, and high winds from Georgia to Virginia. Be aware of hazard trees and limbs that might have been created by wintry conditions.


Approximately 20 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Roanoke from US Route 460 to VA 43 remain closed due to a major landslide and downed trees. As a result, the A.T. is not accessible between Salt Pond Road and Bearwallow Gap/VA 43 (NOBO miles 738.1 to 751.9).

View All Trail Updates

In Other News…

Take a ride on the Roller Coaster – Our friends at The Green Tunnel Podcast tell the tale of one of the most infamous sections on the entire A.T. by asking Trail maintainer extraordinaire Chris “Trailboss” Brunton how the Roller Coaster came to be. Learn more about the colorful origin of the Roller Coaster and how it got its name from the man who helped build it. Knowing its history might just help you better “enjoy the ride.”

Why we might get some spring in our step earlier in the future – A recent study compared the dates when spring leaves begin to emerge along the A.T. and found that, on average, spring is coming earlier now than it was several years ago. Earlier “green-up” can have cascading effects on the landscape and the species that call it home.

Watch a good pup go AWOL – Netflix has announced that it will release Dog Gone — a movie about a dog named “Gonker” who goes missing on the A.T. — on January 13. Brush up on our tips to keep your pups safe and comfy on the Trail while you prepare to cry uncontrollably watch Dog Gone.

Community Spotlight

ATC Spotlight Dec. 16

Want to be featured in our community spotlight? Follow us on Instagram at @appalachiantrail and use #atcspotlight in your post!

Happy Holidays & Happy Trails!

Thank you for your continued support and the love you express for the Trail!