Appalachian National Scenic Trail

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is nearly 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, attracts an estimated 4 million hikers a year to some portion of the trail, including about 500 hikers who complete the entire trail in one year. It passes through parts of 14 states as it traverses the Appalachian Mountain range at its highest elevations.

The trail connects a system of mountains and ecosystems that include some of the areas of greatest biodiversity in North America, and passes through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Shenandoah National Park, parallels the Blue Ridge Parkway, crosses through Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, through a number of Civil War battlefield sites, the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, and numerous state parks and national forests.

The experience of hiking the entire trail—either in one year or in sections over a period of years is often called the "adventure of a lifetime." Ron Tipton, NPCA's Senior Vice President  of Programs, had the great opportunity to hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine 1987, the year Congress passed legislation expanding the Park Service's authority to protect a trail corridor averaging at least 1,000 feet in width. For Ron it was a fabulous experience—every day brought a new sense of excitement and discovery, whether it was a beautiful mountain bald in the Southern Appalachians, the incredibly hospitable mountain town of Damascus tucked into the southwest corner of Virginia, crossing the Hudson River in Bear Mountain Park with a sweeping view extending south to Manhattan, the magnificent White Mountains, and the incomparable open summit of Mt. Katahdin at the northern terminus of the Trail in Maine.

Yet it is the people you hike with, the lifetime friends that result, and the numerous communities along the Appalachian Trail that embrace the trail and its hikers as one of its cultural treasures the make the Appalachian Trail the truly special place it is.

—Ron Tipton, NPCA

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WHAT DO YOU THINK?

mtman2

August 22, 2013

This is their land too! That's why and by the way it's the hunters and hunting clubs ARE WHO initiated most all of the preservation and protection for lands and wildlife! TR was an avid hunter and explorer as well as the major advocate for PARKS. Learn of the other people in our nation + what/why they think. Don't talk about them behind their back as if they're less important than U! Common sense IS the median of two directions and is how OUR highway systems work.

Bartskid

May 21, 2012

Our family camped in this wonderful Park every year on vacation for 10 days, twice a year. It has the most beautiful sites for the entire family to experience and so many things from swimming to water rapids boating and hiking to do together. For the 2010 Republican Congress Bill,(H.R.4089), to now want to open this and other National Parks for hunting, would be a national tragedy. I hope this Park and all of our National Parks last long enough without this interference for my grandchildren to be able to have the same wonderful experience. We must hold on to these places for our children and their children.

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