Beginners’ guide to hiking the Appalachian Trail in Georgia

When you hear about people who have hiked the Appalachian Trail, it might conjure up the image of worn and weathered thru-hikers retiring after a long, arduous journey. Although it’s always an honor to meet one of these fearless, determined and dedicated long-distance hikers, you don’t necessarily have to take six months off work in order to enjoy hiking the...

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Roanoke club helping with foot-by-foot survey of Appalachian Trail

With cicadas buzzing above their heads and a splash of a nearby stream providing the metronome to their march, two men document the details of a section of the Appalachian Trail in Craig County, VA in hopes of earning the recognition they say it deserves. They wake up early, prepare for a long day of hiking through the woods and traipse through a different stretch of the...

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Appalachian Trail from Clingmans Dome to Newfound Gap, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Eastern Tennessee and Western North Carolina can get pretty warm and muggy in mid-summer. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not exempt from that. So when I hike in July and August I like to head for the high country… and there’s nowhere higher in the Smokies than Clingmans Dome. In fact, it’s the third highest peak in the East and the highest point...

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Bear-resistant lockers installed along Catawba section of Appalachian Trail

Bears in the Smoky Mountains long ago figured out how to raid food bags hanging from trees. But until this year, the bears in the Blue Ridge didn’t know how. Now, mama bears are teaching the baby bears how to do it. Are the black bears in the areas of McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs in Virginia growing smarter? At the least, they seem cagier and more socialized to...

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Study: How Appalachian Trail Is Affected By Its Own Popularity

A team of scientists is camping on the Appalachian Trail in North Georgia this week, studying how it’s affected by its own popularity. Georgia has one of the busiest stretches of the more than 2,000-mile trail, said Jeff Marion, who studies recreation ecology at the U.S. Geological Survey and Virginia Tech. Since the trail begins in Georgia, there can be a lot of...

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One Of The Fastest Women To Hike The Appalachian Trail Shares How She Did It and What She Learned

A couple of years back, Liz “Snorkel” Thomas walked from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail. At the time, she became the fastest woman to do this without a support team—and she did it completely solo. The 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail cover the highest mountains on the East Coast. She hiked through fields of boulders, forded powerful rivers, and...

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The incredible technology that’s helping this paralyzed woman hike the Appalachian Trail

Most people would have given up years ago. She is not most people. 41-year-old Medina, Ohio, resident Stacey Kozel has undertaken an enormous task: hiking the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail. For most, that would be a mighty feat unto itself, but Kozel has an additional obstacle, to put it lightly: her legs are paralyzed. Kozel was diagnosed with lupus when...

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Appalachian Trail from Yellow Mountain Gap to Little Hump and Big Hump Mountains

You can see them from Roan Highlands. They appear when viewed from Linville Gorge and Grandfather Mountain too. The long, green balds that comprise Little Hump and Big Hump Mountains stick out like limes in a grapefruit basket. And, you can see all those other landmarks from the Hump Mountains. The iconic Appalachian Trail (AT) arrives from the Highlands of Roan to...

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Kephart Among 2016 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Inductees

The sixth class of Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame honorees will be inducted on Friday, June 3, 2016, at the annual Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet at the Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. The 2016 Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame class honorees are Maurice J. Forrester, Jr. of Williamsport, PA; Horace Kephart of Bryson City, NC; Larry Luxenberg, of...

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Appalachian Trail by County: A river, a foot bridge and Happy Feet

Bill and Laurie took the plural form of their last name “Foot” as their trail name when they through hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1987. Known as Happy Feet, the couple says the hike was life-changing and inspired them to give back to the AT. “We became trail maintainers, we served on the board of directors for our local club and we lead hikes and...

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A Guide to Safety on the Appalachian Trail

The wilderness of the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail can pose many risks to its visitors. Getting hopelessly lost or falling ill, wild animals and dangerous weather are all possibilities. But no risk is so ominous as the humble tick. That is, at least, according to Matt Graves of the National Park Service. “You would think it would be things like wildlife, raging rivers...

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How Crowded is the Appalachian Trail Really?

The predictable pattern of a 25% increase each year has remained steady despite Hollywood’s recent attempts to bring more people out into the wild. Only about half of these hopeful thru-hikers will make it to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and one quarter will make it to Katahdin. The impact of the crowds decreases as the masses thin, but the southern 500 miles of the...

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Interactive, on-trail exhibit opens at Bear Mountain park

Ever wonder how trails are built? Yes, built. Don’t feel bad if you’ve never stopped to consider that most trails aren’t simply created by people and animals walking across the same paths over and over. Modern recreational trails are actually designed, built and maintained as joint projects between park managers, trail professionals, and trail volunteers. Adding to their...

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Experts advise precautions after typical annual rash of stomach ailments on Appalachian Trail

Experts on the Appalachian Trail said a handful of hikers in the Southern Appalachian region have come down with a stomach bug, and it’s a little earlier than usual. This is an unfortunate annual tradition on the AT. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy said a handful of hikers in the Smokies have come down with the stomach bug, with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea,...

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Relocated Section of the Appalachian Trail near Pearisburg, VA

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club (RATC), and the United States Forest Service announced the opening of an approximately 1-mile relocated section of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) near Pearisburg, Virginia. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Friday, March 18, 2016 at the A.T. trailhead near historic Pearis Cemetery along VA Route...

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Appalachian Trail to Mt. Kephart and The Jumpoff – A Photo Essay

The Appalachian Trail splits the states of North Carolina and Tennessee through most of the breadth of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Hugging the state line as it traverses the rugged and remote ridges, the AT is a favorite destination for day hikers and thru hikers alike. There is a three and a half mile stretch from Newfound Gap to the summit of Mt. Kephart, and...

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Loving the Wilderness to Death

Now a research biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, stationed at Virginia Tech, Jeff Marion’s specialty is Recreation Ecology, meaning he studies visitor impact to protected natural areas and consults with land managers to make visitation sustainable. By his account, he is one of four such scientists actively conducting research in the U.S., and he has mentored...

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200-year-old AT landmark falls in Michaux forest

A landmark on the Appalachian Trail has crumbled. The stone wall of a barn built around 1800 came down last week, according to Roy Brubaker, district forester of Michaux State Forest. Known, probably incorrectly, as the “Hessian barn” – the three-story wall was a well-known curiosity for hikers on the Maine-to-Georgia trail. The site is located on Michaux Road in...

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Whistle-stopping the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail platform on the Metro-North Rail Line is merely a whistle-stop in Pawling, NY but it is from here that hikers from the metropolitan New York region are able to directly step onto the Appalachian Trail. And while New York has the only whistle-stop on the entire Appalachian Trail, it is testimony to Metro-North’s commitment to hikers that it offers...

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Adventures of a Trail Stooge by Chris Quinn

This journal follows Chris Quinn, aka The Esteemed Stooge, Sir Charles Guilons on his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail in 2013. Starting atop Springer Mountain in Georgia, Sir Stooge makes his way over more than 2,100 miles of earth to summit the beautifully lonesome Mount Katahdin in Maine. Along the way, he meets some great friends: from Tangy and Munchies in Georgia...

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Hikers Pack 1,000 Pounds Of Trash Off Appalachian Trail

The trio of do-gooders — Seth Orme, Joe Dehnert, and Paul Twedt — named their effort the Packing It Out initiative. Their goal was the removal of more than 1,000 pounds of litter as they hiked from Georgia to Maine. They hit the trail in March, and by August 15th had met the goal. To remove this much debris they relied on the help and generosity of good samaritans who...

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Wanted: Volunteers to adopt sections of Maine Appalachian Trail

With a hiking pole in one hand and pruning shears in the other, Ron Dobra picked his way along the Appalachian Trail, snipping overhanging branches and making note of eroding soil. For the past 20 some odd years, he has helped maintain the popular hiking trail, which spans from Georgia to Maine and is seeing more foot traffic each year. “The entire length of the AT —...

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88-year-old woman recalls 40 years of ‘Trail magic’ hiking the Appalachian Trail

North Carolina native Nancy Weaver has always loved the outdoors, so camping and hiking seemed natural to her. In more than forty years of hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail, Weaver, now 88, has learned a few things: be prepared for rain and the occasional bear, pack lightly, and expect kindness from strangers. “Trail Magic,” they call it, and it comes...

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The Long Start to the Journey

A Story of the Appalachian Trail In the winter of 2013 filmmaker Chris Galloway set out to thru hike the Appalachian Trail starting on Springer Mountain, Georgia and walking over 2,000 miles to reach Mount Katahdin, Maine. In the course of his seven month trek, Frost (as he came to be known on the trail) trudged through deep snow drifts on the Smoky Mountain crest,...

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Anish Breaks the Appalachian Trail Unsupported Speed Record

Today, at 5:25pm on top of Springer Mountain, history was made. Heather ‘Anish’ Anderson just set the record for the fastest unsupported hike of the 2,285-mile Appalachian Trail, finishing in 54 days, 7 hours, and 48 minutes. She averaged about 42 miles a day over the course of the trail. History repeats itself, and so does Anish. In 2013, Anish set the record for the...

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Appalachian Trail not just built for thru-hikers

The entirety of the AT in Great Smoky Mountains National Park goes from Fontana Dam in the south to Davenport Gap in the northeast. While it’s just a small section of the full Georgia-to-Maine trail, the part of the trail in the Smokies is 71 miles long. It usually takes about a week to complete. Backpackers need to get reservations and permits from the park service in...

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TVA to begin work on Fontana Dam

Tennessee Valley Authority will begin maintenance work on Fontana Dam on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. Work is planned to continue through March 30, 2016. During this time, the dam will be closed to vehicle traffic. The dam will remain open to foot traffic. Hikers will need to walk behind the visitors center and then up the steps to access the dam. If you are planning a hike...

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Appalachian Trail murder ‘reverberates still’ after 25 years

In September 1990, a couple hiking the Appalachian Trail planned to celebrate a birthday at the Thelma Marks Shelter on the trail on the mountain overlooking Duncannon, Pennsylvania. However, when Biff and Cindi Bowen arrived at the shelter on Sept. 13 after a meal in Duncannon, they immediately turned around and headed back into town. The couple had discovered the...

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Beyond the White Blaze: Appalachian Trail Guide

The Appalachian Trail is the country’s most famous footpath. Stretching 2,189 miles from Maine to Georgia, it attracts three million hikers each year—including over 2,000 thru-hikers. That number is expected to grow with the release of the Hollywood blockbuster A Walk in the Woods starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte. Will crowds swamp the A.T. or help save it? The...

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Hiking the Appalachian Trail: Boots not made for Pennsylvania

The Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania is “where boots go to die,” and “lots of people leave Pennsylvania limping and bruised.” After traversing all 220 miles of the AT in the Keystone State, both statements are indeed accurate. The reason is entirely geological, owing to the amazing jumble of rocks of all types, sizes and shapes – known scientifically as felsenmeer –...

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Hikers behaving badly: Appalachian Trail partying raises ire

When Jackson Spencer set out to tackle the Appalachian Trail, he anticipated the solitude that only wilderness can bring — not a rolling, monthslong frat party. Shelters where he thought he could catch a good night’s sleep while listening to the sounds of nature were instead filled with trash, graffiti and people who seemed more interested in partying all night,...

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Why the Most Popular Hiking Memoirs Don’t Go the Distance

The question arises: why are the three most famous accounts of hiking three of the world’s most famous long-distance trails written by people who did not hike the whole distance? The loneliness and skull-bound nature of a long-distance hike fits quite nicely with the thinking out, if not the actual writing, of books. The dusty back aisles of Amazon are glutted with...

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