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Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Detailed information for tourists about the Appalachian National Scenic Trail In the Appalachian Mountains, from Katahdin, ME, to Springer Mountain, GA

Appalachian National Scenic Trail

In the Appalachian Mountains, from Katahdin, ME, to Springer Mountain, GA

 

The 2,167-mi trail was the nations first designated national scenic trail. The federally protected trail corridor protects the habitats of hundreds of rare, threatened, and endangered species and preserves some of the East Coasts finest remaining wildlands. Topography along the trail ranges from the rugged White Mountains in New Hampshire to the rolling farmlands of Pennsylvania's Cumberland Valley to the high-elevation grassy balds of Roan Mountain, Tennessee. The trail was built by volunteers and completed in 1937. Its maintained and managed primarily by volunteers, whose efforts are coordinated by the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conference. It became a national scenic trail in 1968.

 

WHAT TO SEE & DO

Backpacking, hiking. Facilities: Visitor center: the Appalachian Trail Conference s national office in Harpers Ferry, WV; trail, shelters, huts. Map and guidebook sales area (Harpers Ferry, WV). Tips & Hints: Carry map, compass, whistle (3 blasts are an international call for help), flashlight (with extra batteries), sharp knife, fire starter (a candle, for instance), waterproof matches, first-aid kit, extra food, water (and some means to treat naturally occurring water), warm clothing and rain gear, and a heavy-duty garbage bag (to serve as an emergency shelter). Busiest June-Aug., least crowded Nov.-Apr.

 

LODGING

Camping: In the park: 260 three-sided shelters available about a days hike apart along the trail; backcountry camping allowed.  Hotels: In the park: Appalachian Mountain Club Cabins (Gorham, NH, between Franconia Notch and Wildcat Ridge, tel. 603/466-2727; 8 huts; $23 self-service, $82 full service; full-service cabins closed Nov.-Feb.).

 

FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS

Free. Overnight camping permits or user registration required at Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah national parks (see separate entries) and parts of the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire and Baxter State Park in Maine. No motor vehicles, bicycles, or mountain bikes on off-road sections. No horses or pack animals except in part of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Leashed dogs only. Hunting is allowed on many of the lands through which the trail passes. No rest rooms. Trail open year-round. Visitor center open mid-May-mid-Sept., weekdays 9-5, weekends 9-4; mid-Sept.-mid-May, weekdays 9-5.

 

HOW TO GET THERE

The trail has 500 access points along its 2,167-mi length from Katahdin, Maine, to Springer Mountain, Georgia. It passes through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia.

 

CONTACTS

Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Harpers Ferry Center, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, tel. 304/535-6278, fax 304/535-6270). Appalachian Trail Conference (Box 807, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425, tel. 304/535-6331, fax 304/535-2667).

Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Detailed information for tourists about the Appalachian National Scenic Trail In the Appalachian Mountains, from Katahdin, ME, to Springer Mountain, GA