November 12, 2021

Trailway News: It’s Almost Take A Hike Day!

One of our favorite unofficial holidays is coming up on November 17: National Take A Hike Day! This day is a great reason (or “excuse” should you need one) to pull together gear, lace up your boots and head to the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).

If you are looking for a hike near you, check out our Interactive Map or our Day Hikes page for some suggestions.

What to share your hike with us? Tag your social media post with #atcspotlight!



The Next Century of Landscape Conservation

Over the past several weeks, we’ve explored many facets of Benton MacKaye’s life, his vision for the A.T. and the people involved in building the Trail. Now, as we move into the A.T.’s second century, we look toward the future of the footpath and beyond. Director of Landscape Conservation Dennis Shaffer explains how MacKaye’s vision was greater than the footpath and included conserving a broader landscape.



“Summer Still Light” – Chine-colle’, monoprint lithograph on Japanese paper by Ky Ober

Uncle Benton

Sitting and eating breakfast with the man behind the vision for the A.T. may not be imaginable for most of us. However, for Ky (Marion MacKaye) Ober, Benton MacKaye was not only seated at the table: he was also family.

“My great-uncle Benton spent every summer with us at our home in New Hampshire. When my grandfather was alive, the two brothers spent hours walking and talking together, then each retiring to his work – my grandfather to his poetry, Uncle Benton to his philosophizing, his numerous letters, and his meticulous daily diary.”



Trails Connect

From birdwatching to installing water bars to working to protect the natural resources along the A.T., the individuals in our Trails Connect series share some of the experiences highlighting why they love the Trail.


Aaron Troncoso

Hiker & NextGen Council Member

“In my daily life, my mind is constantly filled with decision-making about which paths to take and thoughts about whether the paths I’ve already taken were the right ones. On the Trail, the opposite is true. While life on the A.T. is physically challenging, I know where I’m going and how far I need to go to get there.” 



Laurie Potteiger

Life-long Supporter of the Trail

“I left the ATC with one goal unmet: finishing an entire hike of the A.T. while an ATC employee. On my vacations, I was able to hike more than 2,100 miles in the span of 33 years. Each hike renewed my love for life, the A.T., and the ATC. I have just 56 exciting miles left to complete the A.T. a second time. The next chapter of my life is unwritten, but the A.T. will be woven into its pages.”


Looking for more Trail inspiration from hikers and volunteers? Read more stories, like Aaron’s and Laurie’s, on our Trails Connect page.



Benton’s Bookshelf

If Benton MacKaye were pursuing the many books produced today about the A.T., what would pique his interest enough to spend time within their pages? To answer that question, we’ve compiled several books that celebrate the Trail’s first century, the accomplishments of hikers and volunteers, and more.



Save the Date!

Giving Tuesday is November 30, 2021! Give back to the Trail by donating to the ATC and our mission to protect, manage and advocate for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

Here’s how you can help:

  • Get a head start and donate now or later!
  • Share information about the campaign with family and friends!
  • Find an opportunity to volunteer on the Trail!



In Other News…


Harpers Ferry Visitor Center Hours

Our A.T. Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, will be closed on November 25 and 26. We apologize for any inconvenience. We look forward to seeing you when we reopen at 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 27!


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.