May 6, 2022

Trailway News: Trail Days is almost here!

In less than a week, the ATC will join the Town of Damascus, Virginia, to celebrate the 35th annual Appalachian Trail Days Festival! This one-of-a-kind event brings together hikers, communities, volunteers, and supporters from around the country to celebrate the opportunities and benefits provided by t

he Appalachian Trail (A.T.). We invite all attendees to stop by our table at the Damascus Trail Center (opening later this year), where we will be hosting multiple events, workshops, and raffles for great backpacking gear! See our full schedule at

In anticipation of the big event, we’re starting the celebration early: from now until May 16, we’re giving away a free ATC sticker!

Just fill out the form on this page, and be sure to share how you show appreciation for the Trail.


Proper Food Storage Protects Bears (and other wildlife, too)

The ATC has received multiple reports of bear activity from Beech Gap (NOBO mile 90.3) to Carter Gap Shelter (NOBO mile 93.5). While black bears typically keep their distance, bears habituated to human food can lead to negative human-bear encounters along the Trail. We encourage Trail visitors to use caution, make sure to pack out what you pack in and help keep bears wild by properly storing your food — a bear canister is the best food storage method — to keep you, your food, and the bears safe.

You can also help by reporting any bear encounters to the ATC using our Bear Encounter Report form and staying informed of recent bear activity listed on our Trail Updates page.

Food Storage Tips

Stay Low During Mud Season

After the snow and ice melt, there is a lot of mud to go around in New England. Mud season can last until the end of May throughout the Northeast, with high-elevation trails taking longer to dry out and become more durable after being saturated with water during the spring thaw. Learn more about ways to prevent Trail erosion and other negative impacts on sensitive ecosystems during mud season on the A.T.


Interested in learning more? Watch a recent AccuWeather interview with ATC’s Vice President of Regional and Trail Operations Hawk Metheny and other experts on best practices for mud season.

In Other News…

Explore Careers at the ATC – Find your next internship, part-time or full-time position at the ATC! Go to for all available opportunities.

Nominations Open until June 11 for ATC’s Board of Directors – We are looking for candidates who can add diversity of thought to the current Board, and can demonstrate a passion for the A.T. and the mission of the ATC. If you or someone you know is interested in serving on the ATC Board, click here for more information.

Inside Maine Podcast – Check out an excellent interview between Senate National Parks Subcommittee Chairman Senator Angus King and Maine Appalachian Trail Club (MATC) President Tom Gorrill on the work done to protect, manage, and advocate for the A.T.

National Wildflower Week – In a dazzling array of colors, wildflowers are in bloom along the Trail. Learn about some of the wildflowers you might see on your upcoming A.T. hike here.

Community Spotlight

Happy Trails!

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