October 1, 2021

Trailway News: Boots Below, Wings Above

During this time of the year, there are more than leaves floating above the Appalachian Trail. Many migratory bird species, like hawks, eagles and warblers, follow the A.T. to their wintertime homes using the Trail corridor as a refuge. During your autumn A.T. adventures — perhaps to see the fall foliage — be sure to look to the skies for migratory birds passing overhead.


A.T. Shelters: Are They Necessary?

A network of more than 250 primitive lean-tos, the A.T. shelter system provides places for hikers that want to get out of the rain, snow and other weather elements. But how does the existing shelter system compare to Benton MacKaye’s original vision and do they fit in today’s hiking experience? Find out in The Trek’s recent article featuring our Director of Visitor Use Management, Morgan Sommerville.


Photo courtesy of the A.T. Museum

Benton MacKaye “Sky Parlor”

Exhibit Opening Soon

Join the A.T. Museum on October 16, 2021, from 1-4 p.m. EST for a special in-person exhibit opening of “Celebrating A Century of the A.T. Vision: Benton MacKaye & Sky Parlor.” This exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of Benton’s publication “An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning” and includes books, artifacts, and furniture.


Photo by H. Dean Clark of Jim “SiSu” Fetig 

Harpers Ferry Visitor Center Volunteer Opportunities

Do you love meeting new people and sharing knowledge about the A.T. with them? Join the ATC team as a volunteer in our Harpers Ferry Visitor Center in West Virginia! These volunteers greet and inform visitors about recreating responsibly on the A.T., help them find and plan local hikes, and inspire them to become A.T. stewards.

Volunteer oday

Photo by Horizonline Pictures

Join Our Amazing Team!

The ATC is currently hiring full-time and seasonal staff to aid our mission to protect, manage, and advocate for the Trail.

  • Landscape Partnership Manager (full-time) – Working to strengthen and advance all functions of the Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership (ATLP), the Landscape Partnership Manager helps cultivate relationships with new and existing coalition partners, develop internal and external communications, and advance strategic initiatives. The deadline to apply is October 30, 2021.
  • 2022 Georgia & Smokies Ridgerunners (seasonal) – An outdoor role that helps educate visitors, hikers, and nearby Trail communities on the importance of minimizing impact to the A.T. and surrounding landscape. The deadline to apply is October 26, 2021. 

Apply Now

Photo by Zachary Sokol

2021 Wild East Action Fund Grants

Since 2018, the Wild East Action Fund has awarded over 60 grants to protect over 60,000 acres and leverage over 50 million dollars in investment in organizations and their projects to connect the wild, scenic, and cultural wonders of the landscape. These grants help support land protection or organizational capacity projects that increase the pace and scale of conservation in our vibrant landscapes.

Conservation partners from nonprofit organizations, tribal entities, and non-federal public agencies serving the A.T. landscape are invited to apply for funding from the 2021 Wild East Action Fund Grant Program by October 29, 2021.


Happenings Along the Trail


Second Native Garden Installed at Damascus Trail Center

The Damascus Trail Center partnered with the Washington County Master Gardeners and Virginia Master Naturalists to design and plant the Center’s second native garden. This garden features Virginia Sweetspire, Amsonia, Coreopsis, Asclepias, and Columbine, which will create nectar for hummingbirds, seeds for birds and host plants for butterflies. The Center is scheduled to open in 2022. 



Restoring Ourselves, Restoring Our Lands Workshop

Designed by educators for educators, Restoring Ourselves, Restoring Our Lands (ROROL) is a free, virtual workshop that empowers educators and applies a justice & equity lens to Place-Based Service Learning, demonstrates how educators can meet curriculum standards, and enhances student awareness about the complex history of public lands.

Register Here


Finding Less Traveled Trails This Fall

Fall is one of the busiest times of the year for trails and parks. Washington Post Travel Reporter Andrea Sachs shares her findings from hiking on the A.T. and a lesser-known trail in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, the Tuscarora Trail. Note: This article requires a Washington Post subscription to access. 


Community Spotlight

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

Happy Trails!

Please donate today to ensure the A.T. we all love benefits us today, tomorrow, and for generations to come.