October 7, 2022

Trailway News: Care for the Bears

This week is a favorite of ours at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC): it’s Katmai National Park’s Fat Bear Week. “Why,” you may ask, “does the ATC love an event taking place nowhere near the Appalachian Trail (A.T.)?”

That’s a great question, Dan, and the answer is simple: we want all of the bears on the A.T. to be fat and happy, too — but not because they ate poorly-stored human food.

So for Fat Bear Week, pledge to help the A.T.’s bears get fat and old by using a bear canister on your hikes, and using provided bear-resistant storage devices (boxes, cables, etc.) when available at shelters and campsites. The bears will thank you!



Take a Virtual Tour of the Damascus Trail Center

You don’t have to live in Damascus, Virginia, (aka “Trail Town USA”) to get a taste of the newest visitor center on the Trail! This virtual tour of the Damascus Trail Center (DTC) highlights the exhibits on display and the Center’s role as a conservation and recreation hub in the southwest Virginia region.


Learn more about the DTC and plan your in-person visit at appalachiantrail.org/dtc.


Photo by Pat “Hudson” Young

Important End-of-Year Closure Dates for 2022 A.T. Hikers

The end of the warm weather hiking season has arrived along parts of the A.T., and that means many roads and services will soon close until next year. Make sure you aren’t caught unprepared — check out our latest blog post breaking down some of the major closures to be aware of before setting out on your fall and winter adventures.



Max Patch with White Blaze Post

Photo by Joe Martin

Join Discussions on Future Plans for Max Patch

The U.S. Forest Service, in coordination with the ATC and the Carolina Mountain Club, will be hosting two sessions to discuss the future of Max Patch, including the possible extension of the current Forest Service Closure Order. The first session is an in-person open house at Spring Creek Community Center in Hot Springs, North Carolina, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. The second will be a virtual informational presentation from 7:00-8:30 pm on Tuesday, October 18, 2022.



Watch Our 2022 ATC Membership Meeting

Thanks to everyone who joined us for the live stream of our 2022 Membership Meeting on October 1! For those who weren’t able to make it, visit appalachiantrail.org/2022meeting to view the recording of the meeting and see the results of our Board of Directors election.



Trail Updates


Due to unexpected circumstances, Riga and Brassie Brook Shelters (NOBO miles 1,507.1 and 1,508.3) will not be replaced this fall as scheduled. Both shelters are deconstructed and closed until further notice. We anticipate the new shelters will be built and open in June 2023. The tent pads, campsites, and privies all remain open for use.


In Other News…

Listen to the History of A.T. Backpacking Gear – If there is one thing A.T. hikers love to talk about, it’s backpacking gear! Our friends at The Green Tunnel Podcast start season two with a look at how A.T. gear has changed over the decades. Bonus: this episode features ATC’s own gear guru, Director of Visitor Use Management Morgan Sommerville!

MarthaStewart.com lists the A.T. as a Fall Foliage Destination – We won’t argue: the Trail is beautiful in autumn (and all the other seasons, too).

Looks Like Mice Hike the A.T., Too – Last seen twenty years ago, Allegheny woodrats were rediscovered this summer in the rocky forests of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. The rediscovery is an important reminder of why we must protect biodiversity along the Trail.

Reserve Your 2023 Appalachian Trail Calendar Today – Enjoy a daily reminder of the A.T. — make a donation of $75 or more by November 1 to receive this calendar in addition to ATC membership benefits.


Community Spotlight

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

Happy Trails!

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