October 29, 2021

Trailway News: Trek or Treat

Happy Halloween from the ATC! For those of you looking to treat yourself to an Appalachian Trail-themed holiday, we’ve got you covered — we have three jack-o’-lantern stencils ready for carving! Whether you use these stencils or craft your own A.T. designs, be sure to share a picture of your creations (and any other photos from your A.T. adventures) on social media and tag them with #atcspotlight!

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“Sunset in the Smokies” by Jaime Barks

The Trail is My Muse

In early 2021, we launched a new social media series, “The Trail is My Muse,” featuring artists inspired by the A.T. and its surrounding landscapes! We are proud to present a selection of this work, including illustrations, watercolor and acrylic paintings, symphonies, and more.



Be Bear Aware This Fall

Recently, the McAfee Knob area has seen an increase in littering and bear activity. Black bears are naturally wary of humans, but when exposed to our food and trash, it can lead to more human/bear conflicts. To keep A.T. visitors and bears safe, always follow Leave No Trace principles, like storing food and other smellables (toothpaste, mouthwash, etc.) properly, and packing out all trash.

To learn more about how to minimize your risk of bear encounters wherever you plan to hike, or to report a bear encounter on the A.T., visit appalachiantrail.org/bears.

Bear Safety Tips

Hiking in Georgia or Vermont? Check out the Bear Canister Lending Programs in these states to try out the most secure personal method for storing your food in the backcountry.



From Benton to Myron

By David B. Field

In continuation of our 100-year celebration of Benton MacKaye’s vision for the A.T., our latest article examines the fraught relationship between MacKaye, the “Dreamer” who envisioned the Trail, and Myron Avery, the “Driver” who oversaw its construction. 

Chapter twelve of Benton MacKaye’s 1928 book, The New Exploration, is entitled, “Controlling the Metropolitan Invasion.” He viewed uncontrolled expansion of development from urban centers along motorways — analogous to a flow of water from an improperly controlled reservoir — as a threat to the countryside. He envisioned a series of “open areas” along the Appalachian mountain range as a “dam across the metropolitan flood.” Motorways could still pass through, but the preserved open areas would thwart development along those routes. He felt that the developing Appalachian Trail (A.T. or Trail) “marked the main open way across the metropolitan deluge issuing from the ports of the Atlantic seaboard.” It would “form the base…for controlling the metropolitan invasion.”

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This article was first published in the Fall 2021 A.T. Journeys magazine.


Trails Connect

Time on the A.T. provides a unique connection with nature, other visitors, and ourselves. Our Trails Connect series shares the stories of hikers, volunteers, ATC staff, and others who discovered their deeper relationship with the Trail.


Jenny Siegfried

Educator, Artist and A.T. Volunteer

“For me, the A.T. holds the potential of deep discovery in nature, in one’s self, and within an amazing community of hikers and Trail enthusiasts. It represents an infinite range of sights, experiences, and emotions that create a space for everyone to take their own first steps in their own unique ways.”



Mary Higley

Ambassador for the Trail

“Today, I would say that the A.T. is a place where I feel safe and empowered to hike by myself; where I constantly discover the good in people; and where I can slow down enough to appreciate the beauty of the Trail and its surroundings.” 


Interested in more featured stories? Check out our Trails Connect page.



What Came Before

When hiking along the A.T., have you ever stumbled across some ruins like old foundations, stone walls or chimneys? In The Green Tunnel’s new episode “What Came Before,” explore a few communities that existed prior to the Trail, and learn about the people that inhabited them and what was left behind.


The Green Tunnel is a production of R2 Studios™ at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.


Don’t Forget…


Get Your 2022 Appalachian Trail Calendar!

Until November 1, make a special donation of $75 or more and receive the 2022 ATC Calendar! Featuring photography from Trail lovers, this 12″ x 12″ wall calendar will connect you to the A.T. all year long.

Donate Today

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.