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New Hampshire through Maine
New Jersey through Vermont
Shenandoah through Pennsylvania
Virginia through Shenandoah
Georgia through Carolinas
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You can see Karen’s past
progress and current position.
The Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,174-mile footpath along the ridgecrests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. The trail traverses 14 states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is used by day, weekend and other short-term hikers, section-hikers and thru-hikers. Thru-hikers hike the entire length of the Trail in one season.
The A.T. began as a vision of forester Benton MacKaye and was developed by volunteers and opened as a continuous trail in 1937. It was designated as the first National Scenic Trail by the National Trails System Act of 1968. The Trail is currently protected along more than 99 percent of its course by federal or state ownership of the land or by rights-of-way. Annually, more than 4,000 volunteers contribute more than 185,000 hours of effort on the Appalachian Trail.
History of the Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a public footpath following more than 2100 miles of Appalachian Mountain ridgelines between Maine and Georgia. Roads that cross it at varying intervals give ready access. The Trail is protected along more than 99 percent of its course by federal or state ownership of the land itself or by rights-of-way. It was designed, constructed, and marked in the 1920’s and 1930’s by volunteer hiking clubs joined together by the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC). Formed in 1925 and now a nonprofit organization based in Harpers Ferry, W. Va., ATC has worked with the National Park Service (NPS), USDA Forest Service (USFS), state, and local communities as active partners in the Trail project from the beginning.
A “super trail” had been much talked about in New England hiking circles at the turn of the 20th century. The “A.T.” evolved from the 1921 proposals of Massachusetts regional planner Benton MacKaye to preserve the Appalachian crests as an accessible, multipurpose wilderness belt -- a retreat from eastern urban life. (Two thirds of the Nation’s population lives within 550 miles of the trail.) The old clubs that united behind MacKaye, plus the new clubs formed specifically to advance the A.T. idea, concentrated on the hiking aspects of his vision under the leadership of Myron H. Avery, ATC chairman from 1931 to 1952. The clubs, the two federal agencies, states, and the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps combined forces to open a continuous trail by August 1937. Hurricanes, highway construction, and the demands of World War II undid those efforts until 1951 saw all sections finally relocated, opened, and marked for hikers and nature lovers.
The 1968 National Trails System Act made the A.T. a linear national park and authorized funds for the NPS, USFS, and states to protect the entire route with public lands. The goal is to maintain the entire Trail environment as a place for everyone to hike, backpack, or otherwise enjoy the Appalachian mountains and wildlands, while at the same time conserving the natural, scenic, historical, and cultural resources of this one-of-a-kind park.
Karen began the trail here --->
Karen finished the trail here --->