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In 1921, Benton MacKaye had an idea and a vision to build the Appalachian Trail. With the help of many volunteers that idea became a reality and by 1937, the Appalachian Trail was completed. Over the years the trail was encroached by civilization until 1968 when congress designated the Appalachian Trail as the nation's first National Scenic Trail.
The white blazed Appalachian Trail or simply the AT, is about 2190 miles long winding through 14 states from Springer Mountain in Georgia to it's famous northern terminus at Katahdin in Baxter State Park in Maine. The AT is a privately managed unit of the National Park System and crosses six other units of the NPS including Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks.
The AT travels through eight National Forests as well as numerous state parks, local parks and forests. According to the ATC there are over 160,000 painted white blazes that mark the trail. The lowest elevation along the trail is 124 feet near the Trailside Museum and Zoo at Bear Mountain, New York. The highest elevation is 6625 feet at Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Mileage of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail state by state
- Georgia - 78 miles
- North Carolina - 88 miles
- Tennessee - 293 miles
- Virginia - 550 miles
- West Virginia - 4 miles
- Maryland - 41 miles
- Pennsylvania - 229 miles
- New Jersey - 72 miles
- New York - 88 miles
- Connecticut - 52 miles
- Massachusetts - 90 miles
- Vermont - 150 miles
- New Hampshire - 161 miles
- Maine - 281 miles
Many hikers "thru hike" the AT every year, most starting in mid March - early April at Springer Mountain and finish in September, early October in Maine. If your planning a thru hike of the AT you should check out the following books to help plan your hike, Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion (2017) and Appalachian Trail Data Book (2017).
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy website has a nice Interactive Trail Map for those looking for information on the trail. You can also get the latest Trail Updates from the ATC website. Check out our site for information on the Appalachian Trail as well. We are working on our pages for the AT and hope you enjoy the information as well as maps to help plan your adventure on the Appalachian Trail. Look below for a video featuring the Appalachian Trail museum.
Most that do not have six months for such an adventure, hike certain sections of the Appalachian Trail. There are great short hikes as well as backpacking hikes located a relatively short drive from the Central New York area, including many in northeastern Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey.
Here some books and guides that are a must for anyone interested doing a thru hike of the AT or just a short hike along the trail.
The Appalachian Trail : How to Prepare for & Hike It
How to Hike the A.T.: The Nitty-Gritty Details of a Long-Distance Trek
Appalachian Trail Guide to North Carolina-Georgia
Appalachian Trail Guide to Tennessee-North Carolina: 13th Edition
Appalachian Trail Guide to Southwest Virginia
Appalachian Trail Guide to Central Virginia
Appalachian Trail Guide to Shenandoah National Park
Appalachian Trail Guide to Maryland-Northern Virginia
Appalachian Trail Guide to Pennsylvania
Appalachian Trail Guide to New York-New Jersey
Appalachian Trail Guide to Massachusetts-Connecticut
Appalachian Trail Guide to New Hampshire-Vermont
Appalachian Trail Guide to Maine
The Best of the Appalachian Trail Day Hikes
Check out the 'Exploring The Appalachian Trail' series. The books are from 1998, however are still a great resource for those looking to do section hikes along the AT. Look below for each of the books.
Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Georgia North Carolina Tennessee
Hikes in the Virginias (Exploring the Appalachian Trail)
Exploring the Appalachian Trail: Hikes in the Mid-Atlantic States - Maryland Penn NJ NY
Exploring the Appalachian Trail Hikes in Southern New England: Conn Mass Vermont
Hikes in Northern New England (Exploring the Appalachian Trail)
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