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Life Changing Achievement: Hiking the Appalachian Scenic Trail End-To-End

Appalchian Scenic Trail

Photo Compliments of Adam Fagen

The total elevation gain of hiking the entire trail is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest 16 times.

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, or simply the A.T., in the eastern United States runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately 2,184 miles long and is one of the three premier long backpacking trails in the United States; the Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world. The trail passes through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

The path is maintained by 30 trail clubs and multiple partnerships, and managed by the National Park Service, as well as the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The majority of the trail is in wilderness, although some portions traverse towns, roads and cross-rivers.

Known as the “A.T.,” each year about 2 to 3 million people visit the Trail, and every year about 1,800 to 2,000 hikers attempt to “thru-hike” the Trail. People from across the globe are drawn to the A.T. for a variety of reasons; to reconnect with nature, to escape the stress of city life, to meet new people or deepen old friendships, or to just experience a simpler life; it is truly an achievement that is life changing.

Appalachian Scenic Trail

Photo Compliments of Frank Kehren

Fun Appalachian Trail Facts

  • The Trail is roughly 2,180 miles long, and passes through 14 states.
  • Volunteers contribute roughly 220,000 hours every year to maintain the trail.
  • Just 1 in 4 who attempts a thru-hike will successfully complete the journey.
  • Most thru-hikers attempt the trail by walking north, starting in Georgia in spring and finishing in Maine in fall, taking an average of 6 months.
  • There are more than 250 three-sided shelters exist along the Trail.
  • Virginia is home to the largest portion of the trail (about 550miles), and West
  • Virginia is home to the least (about 4miles).
  • Maryland and West Virginia are by far the easiest states to hike; New Hampshire
  • and Maine are the absolutely the hardest.
  • The total elevation gain of hiking the entire trail is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest 16 times.
  • There are hundreds of access points within a few hours’ drive of millions of
  • Americans, making it a very popular destination for day-hikers.
  • You can burn up to 6,000 calories each day on the trail.
  • The trail is home to an impressive diversity of plants and animals. You may see black bears, moose, porcupines, snakes, woodpeckers, and salamanders. Some plants you may encounter include jack-in-the-pulpit, skunk cabbage, and flame azalea.

The Additional Appalachian Scenic Trail Information You Need to Thru-Hike

Books with All the Detail You Need To Get Ready

Catch the Bug to Hike the Trial from Other Thru-Hikers

Inspiration From Thru Hikers…Their Personal Stories

Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker

Photo Search

Google – Appalachian Trail Photos

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