Trailway News: Lucky to be on the A.T.
Whether you’re taking some time to explore the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, or are keeping up with the latest Trail news and updates from afar, we feel lucky for the chance to connect with A.T. lovers across the world.
In this week’s Trailway News, we’ve got tips for exploring responsibly this spring, exciting conservation projects from across the A.T. landscape, and opportunities for seasonal work on the Trail.
Plan Ahead and Prepare for Spring On the A.T.
Spring officially begins on March 20, and can be a great time to explore the A.T. Evenings get brighter, the weather gets warmer, birds begin nesting, and wildflowers bloom. Despite its beauty, spring also brings challenges like unpredictable weather, mud (remember to walk through, not around!), more pests like ticks and mosquitos, and increased visitation.
Plan ahead and prepare for spring hikes with the ATC’s visitor resources. Not only will being prepared help you have a more enjoyable hike, it is also an important step in keeping the Trail healthy and accessible for seasons and generations to come.
Wild East Action Fund Grants Make Conservation Projects Possible
The ATC, on behalf of the Appalachian Trail Landscape Partnership, is excited to announce the recipients of the 2022-2023 Wild East Action Fund grants. In total, ten conservation projects received funding. Some projects will protect essential drinking water sources, critical climate-resilient habitats, and invaluable scenic views within the A.T. landscape. Others will strengthen our partners’ abilities to enhance land protection and conservation efforts across the landscape.
Read more about the ATC’s work funding conservation projects across the A.T. landscape and see each funded project.
The North Carolina Photo Contest Closes on March 19!
Our State-by-State Photo Contest highlights the beauty of each state the A.T. passes through. Remember to submit your photos for North Carolina by March 19 for a chance to win!
Looking forward to submitting photos for another state? Review the dates for each state’s submission window.
Trail crew leaders are needed each year to lead crews that complete routine Trail maintenance, relocation projects, and more. We’re seeking a Crew Leader for the Smokies Wilderness Elite A.T. Crew (S.W.E.A.T.) and a Crew Coordinator for the Rocky Top Crew.
Getting There: What Every A.T. Visitor Should Know About Parking
Researching where to park and how to access the A.T. is an important part of the first principle of Leave No Trace: Plan Ahead and Prepare. Trailhead safety is key!
- Never leave valuables in your vehicle at Trailhead parking lots.
- Consider parking in town and getting a shuttle to or from the Trail, especially if you will be on the Trail for longer than a day. Always ask permission to park in private lots and at businesses.
- Park fully within Trailhead parking lots and avoid parking along the road. Have a backup hike in mind in case the Trailhead parking lot is full when you arrive. Bonus points if you carpool to your hike — this helps reduce parking lot congestion and your carbon footprint.
- Contact the local Trail Maintaining Club or police for recent reports of vandalism in the area. Check our Trail Updates page for locations where vandalism has recently been reported to the ATC.
There are also some places along the Trail that are accessible via public transportation. For a list of those locations, and for more information about parking and accessing the A.T., visit our Transportation Options page.
Check prescribed burns before hiking. Prescribed burns are currently scheduled for several areas that may impact the A.T. Be sure to check the ATC’s Trail Updates page for the latest information on prescribed burns along the A.T.
Upcoming revegetation activity near Palmerton, Pennsylvania, will require brief A.T. section closures. As part of the Palmerton Zinc Pile Superfund Site remedial action (the revegetation of Blue Mountain), airplanes will be applying native seed and soil amendments onto areas of Blue Mountain south of Palmerton between March 20 and April 7, 2023. Application will occur on sections of the A.T. between Lehigh Gap and Little Gap (NOBO miles 1,260.6 – 1,266.0).
In Other News…
Catch Zs on the A.T. – Triple Crown hiker Shilletha “Dragonsky” Curtis shares her best tips for sleeping well outdoors with CNN.
Give time, get happiness 😊 – The longest-running study on happiness finds that maintaining social ties is one of the best ways to be happy. Volunteering provides double happiness potential by giving volunteers a purposeful mission and a chance to connect with others. Find your happiness volunteering for the Trail.
Want to be featured in our community spotlight? Follow us on Instagram at @appalachiantrail and use #atcspotlight in your post!
Thank you for your continued support and the love you express for the Trail!