The 2,150-mile Appalachian Trail is America's premier footpath. Traversing fourteen states from Georgia to Maine, it has captured the imagination of hundreds of thousands of hikers. From those who dayhike along the famed footpath to the thru-hikers who hike its entire length in a single year, each finds something to treasure along its length. The narrow band of green gives the feeling of wilderness, even though it is only a day's drive from half the country's population.
Perhaps the most unique aspect of the trail though is that it is not, as some perceive, an old Indian trail that has been kept up and improved, but a wholly modern creation. The A.T. was first proposed by Benton MacKaye (rhymes with "sky") in a 1921 article in the Journal of the American Institue of Architects. By 1936, the footpath was completed as a continuous route. The trail was built primarily by volunteers, though the Civilian Conservation Corps workers of the 1930s did yoeman work on the task and many of their shelters and other trail projects remain in use today. The footpath continues to be maintained and managed by volunteers, though it is one of the larger and more visited units of the National Park Service. Working through a unique cooperative management plan, the volunteers and government partners take care of this national treasure.
It was first hiked in one long hike, called a thru-hike, by Earl Shaffer in 1948. Today thousands of hikers set out to thru-hike the trail each year with several hundred succeeding.
To find our more about the trail, you can go to a clickable map of the Appalachian Trail, where state by state information is available, or follow the extensive links below to explore the A.T. on the web. Just looking for something fun? Try printing and coloring McAfee Knob or Trillium from the Appalachian Trail Fun Book.
Planning a hike? We are the authors of Appalachian Trail Backpacker, and The Best of the Appalachian Trail: Day Hikes, and The Best of the Appalachian Trail: Overnight Hikes. Check out the A.T.-related articles we have here @Logue including the ones on Springer Mountain and Blue blazing on the A.T. You may also want to read our suggestions on Long Distance Hike Resupply. Lastly, Frank was interviewed for an article on Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail written by Bill Brewster for ABCNews.com's travel section. It's on getting down to basics in planning an A.T. hike.
The Appalachian Trail Conference
A.T. Map | A.T. Clubs | A.T. Books | @Logue
Maine | New
Hampshire | Vermont | Massachusetts | Connecticut | New York | New
Pennsylvania | Maryland | West Virginia | Virginia | Tennessee | North Carolina | Georgia
Who are these guys? | What
have they done for us lately? | @Logue Bookstore | National Scenic Trails | The Appalachian Trail
Outdoor Links | Gear Links | Articles | Trail Recipes | The Outdoors Skills Quiz | Coloring Pages | Victoria Logue's Home Page