Appalachian Trail

Source: Wikipedia

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is a hiking trail in the eastern United States, extending almost 2,200 miles (3,540 km) between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It passes through 14 states: Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) the A.T. is the longest hiking-only trail in the world. More than three million people hike segments of the trail each year.

The trail was first proposed in 1921 and completed in 1937 after more than a decade of work. Improvements and changes have continued since then. It became the Appalachian National Scenic Trail under the National Trails System Act of 1968.

The trail is maintained by 31 trail clubs and multiple partnerships - including AMC - and is managed by the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, and the nonprofit ATC. Most of the trail traverses forest or wild lands, although some portions cross towns, roads, and farms.

Thru-hikers walk the entire trail in a single season. The number of thru-hikes per year has increased steadily since 2010, with 715 northbound and 133 southbound thru-hikes reported for 2017. The ATC estimates that there are over 3,000 attempts to traverse the entire trail each year, about 25% of which succeed.

An Idea Turns 100: A Photo History of The Appalachian Trail »

Back to top