Karel Sabbe Smashes Appalachian Trail Record By 4 Days

The Appalachian Trail (AT) speed record now stands at 41 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes. Karel Sabbe crossed the trailhead at Mt. Katahdin on August 28, 2018, completing the 2,189-mile AT faster than anyone before him. The previous record of 45 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes, set by Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy in 2017, still stands as the self-supported AT record. And this isn’t...

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Appalachian Trail hikers asked to not climb Katahdin on Labor Day weekend

Appalachian Trail hikers planning to end their long trek atop Katahdin on Labor Day weekend 2018 are being asked to change their plans by summiting early or delaying their hike until Tuesday. This request is being made by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in partnership with Baxter State Park so AT hikers don’t disturb a longstanding annual ceremony conducted by the...

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Federal appeals court delivers blow to Mountain Valley Pipeline

In what environmentalists called a major victory, a federal appeals court struck down two key decisions allowing a natural gas pipeline to slice through the Jefferson National Forest. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the Sierra Club and other conservation groups that challenged approvals by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management for a...

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Appalachian National Scenic Trail Reroute through the Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceis pleased to announce the release of the Environmental Assessment for the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Reroute through the Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge. The Service plans to move a portion of the Trail from where it crosses the Wallkill River via Oil City Road in Orange County, New York, and relocate the Trail within the...

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Overlooked No More: Emma Gatewood, First Woman to Conquer the Appalachian Trail Alone

What the public knew about Emma Gatewood was already remarkable. She was the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail by herself in one season. She was 67 years old, a mother of 11, a grandmother and even a great-grandmother when she accomplished the feat in 1955. And she personified the concept of low-tech, ultralight hiking, spurning a tent and sleeping bag,...

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8 Things to Know Before You Hike the Appalachian Trail

Stretching more than 2,190 miles across 14 different states, the Appalachian Trail may be the best long-distance hiking route in the entire world. Each year, 3 million people trek at least a portion of the trail, with just a fraction of those walking its entire length. Those “thru-hikers” learn a lot during early days of their journey, and most will tell you...

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Forest Service apologizes for damage to Appalachian Trail during patrols of pipeline protests

The U.S. Forest Service apologized for damaging the Appalachian Trail with all-terrain vehicles during its patrols of a pipeline protest. In a news release, the agency admitted that its law enforcement officers used the ATVs from April 11 to April 30 on a short stretch of the scenic footpath that follows the ridgeline of Peters Mountain in the Jefferson National Forest...

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What does it take to hike the entire Appalachian Trail?

Itching for adventure and seeking a break from their D.C. jobs, Elise Mann and Will Stowe figured it was time to go for a walk. In 2015, that’s exactly what the couple did, hiking roughly 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine through woods and mountains, snow and rain on the Appalachian Trail. It took 146 days, four pairs of hiking boots each and more nonperishable food than...

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Anti-gay bias lead to deadly shooting on Appalachian Trail in 1988

Maybe they should have looked more closely at the name of the place where they parked… Dead Woman Hollow Road. But bad omens were not on their minds. All they knew on that warm spring afternoon, May 12, 1988, was that they were young, in love, and eager to be alone in the wilderness, hiking the Appalachian Trail. They were also both women, a fact that would later...

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Maine trio completes Appalachian Trail’s remote 100-Mile Wilderness in winter

At the end of February, three Maine men set out on snowshoes to hike the 100-Mile Wilderness, the most remote section of the Appalachian Trail stretching about 100 miles from Monson to Baxter State Park. They completed the arduous journey, over mountains and across half-frozen streams, in nine days, a feat very few hikers accomplish in the winter. For February, the...

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Parts of national forest closed for Mountain Valley Pipeline construction

The U.S. Forest Service says it is closing parts of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Virginia and West Virginia as construction begins on the Mountain Valley Pipeline. The department issued an emergency closure order affecting land in Giles County and Montgomery County in Virginia, and Monroe County in West Virginia. According to a release from the...

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2018 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Inductees Announced

The eighth class of Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame honorees will be inducted on Friday, May 4, 2018 during the annual Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, PA. The 2018 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame class honorees are William Kemsley, Jr. of Taos, New Mexico; the late Elizabeth Levers of New York, New York; the late George...

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GSMNP prepares for thru-hiking season after record year

After another record year in 2017, backcountry managers with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are asking visitors to consider ways to enjoy the park while minimizing their impact. With overall park visitation and Appalachian Trail hiking both growing, the number of people entering the park has grown significantly. “2017 in terms of thru-hikers, we saw the...

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail through hail and high water

Five miles into his 2,200-mile hike, Tom Abel was welcomed to the Appalachian Trail by pelting quarter-inch pellets of hail. The 15-minute storm of stinging ice missiles would not be all that Mother Nature had in store for the 68-year old during his six-month journey from the summit of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine, to the summit of Springer Mountain in...

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The Fight Against a Pipeline Along the Appalachian Trail

  A lawsuit hasn’t been enough to stop construction on the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a proposed 300-mile natural gas pipeline that would cross the Appalachian Trail and some of the region’s largest national forests on its way, from starting as soon as this month. The Sierra Club, Appalachian Voices, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, West Virginia Rivers...

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Appalachian Trail to be accessible throughout government shutdown

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) will remain accessible to the public across the approximately 700 miles managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and over 800 miles managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS). A.T. visitors will be able to access and hike on the Trail itself, but no visitor services, maintenance or other management activities will be conducted, and emergency...

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Planning a Thru-Hike? Here’s Some Insta-spiration

  If you’re among the thousands who will attempt to conquer a long-distance hiking trail in its entirety within the 2018 hiking season, then you’re probably already busy training, saving, planning, and steeling yourself for some serious communing with nature. In the United States, the term “thru-hiking” is most commonly associated with the Appalachian Trail...

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An Appalachian Trail pioneer: first Hongkonger to hike the full length

The moment Tony Or Hang-tat stepped outside his tent, he absolutely understood why hikers hang food and rubbish in bags on high tree branches before retiring for the night. The big black bear looking his way must have weighed 300 pounds. This was in Pennsylvania, 13 weeks into an adventure of a lifetime: hiking the whole of the Appalachian Trail that stretches 2,190...

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Appalachian Trail 101: The Complete Guide For Beginners

So you’ve decided to explore the Appalachian Trail, and you’re struggling to find up-to-date information regarding the trail. Covering everything from general information and how to plan your hike to the best resources and most important regulations, this ultimate handbook about hiking the Appalachian Trail will make it easy for you to find the answers to all your...

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Thru-Hiking for Type-A Personalities

  It has become well accepted scientific fact that hiking can be therapeutic for people. Getting out in nature and getting the blood flowing does wonders for the body, mind, and heart. But thru-hiking—that is, backpacking a long trail like the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail from start to finish—can sometimes seem daunting, something only for the...

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Appalachian Trail Tips for Thru Hikers

According to some estimates as many as 75% of hikers quit the trail. Will you be one of the 25% that successfully completes that hike? It is not an easy trail. Firstly, you should register your hike with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. It is not compulsory, however, all hikers should register. Permits to hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park cost $20 and can...

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An 82-Year-Old Broke the Appalachian Trail Age Record

After hiking for more than seven months, 82-year-old Dale Sanders completed the Appalachian Trail on Thursday, October 26, 2017 officially becoming the oldest person to finish the 2,190-mile trek. Sanders, known on the trail as “Greybeard,” broke a record previously held by Lee Barry, who set the mark in 2004 at age 81. “I feel numb right now. It’s really a euphoric...

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AT Crushed: ‘Stringbean’ Sets Both Speed Records

Joe ‘Stringbean’ McConaughy, a well-known speed hiker, set a new record on the Appalachian Trail today. He hiked the 2,190-mile route in an unofficial fastest known time (FKT) of 45 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes. McConaughy’s hike began the trail on July 17th at 6:31 a.m. EST, in Georgia (South to North). If verified by community-recognized officials who manage FKTs (and it...

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Science, Solitude And The Sacred On The Appalachian Trail

Solitude can be hard to find in the modern world. Cities are, of course, exactly about mixing it up with our fellow humans. That’s the source of their potent innovation. So, while you can find places in the city to be alone, it is much harder to find true solitude. The difference between the two — being alone and being in solitude — is the secret many people find...

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The Appalachian Trail turns 80

There’s something about the Appalachian Trail – or, A.T., as it’s affectionally known by enthusiasts – that draws people to it, from day-hikers, to section-hikers who spend days, weeks, or even months traversing its sections’ ups and downs, to “thru-hikers” who hike the entire trail, from start to finish. “The A.T. is a place that balances me; it grounds me,”...

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Mountain Valley Pipeline: An Unnecessary Threat to the Appalachian Trail

The Mountain Valley Pipeline, spearheaded by EQT Corporation, is proposed to carry fracked natural gas for over 300 miles through the Virginia and West Virginia countryside, crossing over dozens of water sources, through protected areas and breaching the A.T. corridor. The pipeline will run parallel to the Appalachian Trail for over 90 miles and carve ugly gashes in the...

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The Army Veteran Who Became the First to Hike the Entire Appalachian Trail

      Carry as little as possible,” Earl Shaffer said. “But choose that little with care.” Shaffer was a World War II veteran, who, in 1948, became the first person to walk the entire Appalachian Trail. He was so picky about gear that he ditched his own cumbersome tent, sleeping in a poncho for months instead. He was particularly enamored of his Russell...

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Women of the White Blaze

The Women of the White Blaze are yawning as dusk falls around them, their tired bodies begging them to lie down for the night. But something more important than sleep beckons on this night. Their shuttle bus driver mentioned that they might get to see the lightning bugs known as “Blue Ghosts” that tend to move down the mountains like fairies carrying lights down the...

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Just Another Day at Stunning Roan Highlands – A Photo Essay

Ho. Hum. Just another day at Roan Highlands. Now, obviously I’m being facetious. Roan Highlands is probably my favorite place to go in all of Western North Carolina, especially in mid-June when it is catawba rhododendron and flame azalea time. It’s exciting to hike on the iconic Appalachian Trail, the views of Tennessee and North Carolina on either side of...

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The Risk of Lyme Disease on the Appalachian Trail Is Going to Be High This Year

Ticks carrying Lyme disease are rampant in the forests of the northeast, and the Appalachian Trail goes straight through the thick of them. This year (2017), a host of variables is coming together that could increase the likelihood of contracting the disease while hiking the trail, says Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist and senior scientist at the Cary Institute of...

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Dartmouth College Sells Parcel Of Land To Be Added To Appalachian Trail

Dartmouth College and The Trust for Public Land entered into a land deal that promises to protect an old farm estate that offers birding and hiking opportunities just 3 miles from Hanover, New Hampshire’s Main Street. Immediately after purchasing the 175-acre Hudson Farm from Dartmouth, the trust gave it away to the National Park Service so that it could be added...

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Franklin Trail Days welcomes A.T. hikers

Franklin Trail Days is here for 2017 in Macon County, North Carolina with a lineup of activities on tap to rejuvenate tired Appalachian Trail thru-hikers and entertain local trail enthusiasts. • The First Baptist Church of Franklin is offering its annual free hiker breakfast seven days per week through April 9. All-you-can-eat pancakes and bacon are on the menu with van...

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