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  • Writer's pictureNewell Collins

Hiking The Appalachian Trail!

Our Area Hiking! The Appalachian Trail Let’s begin with the Granddaddy of all trails on the eastern coast of the United States: The Appalachian Trail! This 2190 mile trail begins (or ends) at Springer Mountain in North Georgia. It winds its way thru our area and up the Appalachian chain of mountains to the end (or beginning) at Mount Katahdin in Maine. One could start at either end but most folks start in the spring in the south approach at Springer, mainly because the northern climes are still covered in snow at this time of year. The majority of thru-hikers hike northbound, beginning in Georgia anytime from late-March to mid-April. Southbound hikers generally begin late May to mid-June. Some hikers start heading north, then realize that they will not make it to Katahdin before Baxter State Park closes on Oct. 15. The trail weaves its way thru 95.7 miles of North Carolina and over 200 miles along the Tennessee/North Carolina border. This gives our locals and visitors many opportunities to hop on the AT at several points throughout the area. This site offers good tips for traveling thru our state. Explore by State-North Carolina

Appalachian trail-101-guide The thru hiker will need to make a study of the trail as some places require permits to camp. There are many shelters along the trail also. Here you will find info on the trail, gear talk, thru-hike prep, hiking strategies, trail etiquette and more. More advice can be found at the next site which is more informal and written by experienced thru hikers. Heed their advice to make for a safe and more enjoyable hike. 11 Things I wish I Knew Before Hiking the AT

Appalachian Trail FAQ This is a great place to get some questions answered about the trail as you begin to plan your adventure. Lots of good info here!

Sections of the AT are easier for the local hiker and even the day hiker. This site has easy sections to jump on and day hike. Or spend a weekend or even a week hiking this storied trail.

Trail Names are part of the fun and lessons learned on the hike. Read about all the ways trail names are arrived at or earned on the trail. Loved these stories!

For me, the Appalachian Trail is shrouded in mystery. I wonder what pushes folks to make this journey, many by themselves! Is it the beauty of the mountains? Or is it the self-introspection to be found along this trail? Or is it the sense of those who have gone before and accomplished (and even those who have tried and failed), to be a part of this historical trail? I plan to find out this summer as I hike different parts of the AT!

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