October 8, 2021

Trailway News: Why I Hike

A few months ago, we asked you a question: “Why do you hike?”

You shared so many great and inspiring stories with us about what hiking on the Appalachian Trail means to you, how it has impacted your lives, and what draws you back to the Trail again and again.

Today, we are excited to share “Why I Hike,” a collection of fourteen stories answering that question, offering a glimpse as to why so many people, year after year, seek out the A.T. Here are just a few excerpts:

“I hike because when you travel across an entire state with everything you could possibly need strapped to your back, the world feels smaller, and I feel stronger.” -Nina Krauss

“The quiet of the forest and the powerful peace of a summit are nice, but the sweet slap hiking delivers to my doubts is the real prize.” -Preston Dixon

“Mountains have a voice: soft, powerful and compelling. The voice comes from on high. A deep inner silence hears it… Hiking is other; it takes you into a world, not of our making.” -Soren West

Read the full stories and others today at appalachiantrail.org/whyihike.


Do you have photos, videos, or stories about your experience on the Appalachian Trail? Share them with us via our media submission form! We feature select stories on our website, newsletters, social media, and more!


Hiker Safety Tips for Hunting Seasons

Did you know that hunting is permitted along approximately 1,250 miles of the Trail? With big game seasons happening on many locations along the A.T., remember these important hiking safety tips:

  • Know Before You Go – Check if there are any active hunting seasons on the section of the A.T. you are planning to hike.
  • Be Seen – Wear a fluorescent or “blaze” orange hat, vest or outerwear to help distinguish you from wild game. Hiking with your pup? Make sure it wears blaze orange, too, and keep it leashed for its safety.
  • Be Heard –  Make sure you are heard before you are seen by whistling, singing, or talking while you hike.
  • Be Cautious at Dawn and Dusk – Hunting activity may increase at dawn and dusk when animals are feeding. Visibility is also poor. Avoid hiking during this time, or wear reflective vests and use a headlamp/flashlight for extra visibility.

For more helpful tips for hunting season safety — both for hikers and hunters — visit appalachiantrail.org/hunting.


Need blaze orange gear for your next hike? Check out our selection at the Ultimate A.T. Store! Your purchase helps fund our mission to protect, manage, and advocate for the Trail.



The Green Tunnel Podcast Explores the History of the A.T.

This week marked the launch of The Green Tunnel Podcast, which takes an in-depth look at the history of the Trail! The first episode appropriately begins with the founding of the A.T., including the lives and ideas of Trail pioneers Benton MacKaye and Myron Avery. Subscribe today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. The Green Tunnel Podcast was developed by Mills Kelly, friend of the ATC and professor of history at George Mason University, and the talented team at R2 Studios.

Listen Now


Photo by Horizonline Pictures

A.T. Visitor Center Updates

The ATC’s Harpers Ferry Visitor Center will be closed on Monday, October 11, 2021. Normal operating hours (Thursday-Monday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. EST) will resume on Thursday, October 14. Please note that the Visitor Center is closed Tuesday-Wednesday and on major holidays.

The Monson A.T. Visitor Center will be closed for the season beginning October 11, 2021. Information for long-distance hikers headed to Baxter State Park is posted on the Center’s door.

Contact Us


Photos by Kelly Garcia

PATC Volunteers Help Prepare the A.T. for Fall

Volunteers with the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) in Maryland completed a recent work trip to remove blowdowns and install water bars.

Work trips like this one help keep the A.T. clear and safe for visitors, minimizes Trail impacts, removes blowdowns, and more. Volunteering is a great way to educate curious visitors on how they can get involved in the protection of the Trail for future generations. Thank you to all volunteers for the incredible work you do! 

Interested in volunteering with the ATC or one of the 31 Trail maintaining clubs? Check out upcoming opportunities at appalachiantrail.org/waystovolunteer.



Nationwide Search Continues

As of the afternoon of October 8, 2021, the ATC has not received any updates regarding Brian Laundrie being on or near the A.T. Those with any leads that could assist in this case should forward them to the FBI at https://fbi.gov/petito, or by calling 1.800.CALL.FBI or 1.303.629.7171. In the event of an emergency, call 911 immediately.


Don’t Forget…


We’re Hiring!

Be part of the ATC team! We are currently accepting applications for the following positions:

  • Landscape Partnership Manager (full-time)
  • 2022 Georgia & Smokies Ridgerunners (seasonal)

To learn more about these positions and details on how to apply, visit our Careers page.



Photo by Addie Suter

2021 National Trails Workshop

Join the Partnership for National Trails System (PNTS) for virtual presentations and interactive sessions focused on Conserving Trail Lands; Collaboration and Engagement; and, Strengthening Organizations and Partnerships during their 2021 National Trails Workshop (November 1-4, 2021). Registration is required to attend. 



Photo courtesy of A.T. Museum

New “Sky Parlor” Exhibit Opening Soon

The public is invited to a special in-person exhibit opening of Benton MacKaye’s “Sky Parlor” on October 16, 2021, from 1-4 p.m. A recreation of Benton’s study and office, the “Sky Parlor” includes a special collection of books, artifacts and furniture.


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.