The Appalachian Trail
The Longest Hiking-Only Trail in the World

The Appalachian Trail Blog

Overview

2,200 Miles
165 Days to Hike
3 Million Annual Visitors
165,000 White Blazes
The Appalachian Trail (affectionately referred to as the AT) first opened as a continuous trail in 1937. It is marked by iconic white blazes (one about every 70 feet). The actual length changes from year to year as the trail shifts and detours are added or removed. Each year, thousands attempt to hike the entire trail. Of those that finish, it takes an average of 165 days. The AT was the first trail to be named a National Scenic Trail by the National Trails System Act in 1968. Rights of way and government ownership protect more than 99 percent of the trail. The AT is maintained by over 4,000 volunteers. Photo Credits

Location

14 States
As the world's longest hiking only trail, the AT traverses most of the eastern US. The AT runs from Mount Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. Along the way, it crosses 14 states: Maine (287 mi), New Hampshire (161 mi), Vermont (150 mi), Massachusetts (91 mi), Connecticut (52 mi), New York (90 mi), New Jersey (73 mi), Pennsylvania (229 mi), Maryland (41 mi), West Virginia (18 mi), Virginia (554 mi), Tennessee (94 mi), North Carolina (96 mi), and Georgia (79 mi).

Accomodations

Tents Shelters Cabins Inns

While most hikers will need to cary a lightweight tent, hammock, or tarp, the AT is known for its over 250 free, first-come-first-served shelters. They generally provide three walls, a roof, food hangers, and a wooden floor, and they are placed near a water source and privy about a days hike apart. Most also provide campsites for tents in the case that the shelters are full. Other places to stay along the trail include full service lodges with meals during the summer, cabins in state parks, and local inns. Photo Credits

Thru-Hike Records

45 Days NoBo
Joe McConaughy
54 Days SoBo
Heather Anderson
45 Days SoBo Supported
Karl Meltzer
46 Days NoBo Supported
Scott Jurek

Separate records are tracked for self-supported hikers and supported hikers. Supported hikers receive help through a crew that helps transport food, equiment, etc. Joe McConaughy actually edged out the overall fastest with 45 days, 12 hours, and 15 minutes compared to Karl Meltzer's 45 days 22 hours 38 minutes. Dale "Grey Beard" Sanders is the oldest person to have logged a thru-hike at the age of 82.

Most Popular Posts

Watching the 10 Best Appalachian Trail Movies is much easier on your wallet, feet, career and relationships that hiking the Trail from Georgia to Maine.

Carrying guns on the Appalachian Trail legally is complicated. Laws in 14 states, and rules in federal, state & local parks must be considered.

Anyone can thru-hike our nation's most popular footpath, if they can climb the 10 Highest Peaks on the Appalachian Trail.

Some of the filming locations for the movie, A Walk in the Woods, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, were easy to spot for Appalachian Trail hikers.

A former FBI profiler, Dr. Mary Ellen O'Toole, authored a book on ways to discern the traits of dangerous people. Heeding her tips might save your life.

The Appalachian Mountain Club's Pinkham Notch Visitor Center provides life-saving weather and trail data to Mt. Washington hikers.

Thinking of attempting a thru-hike of the AT? Read Doctor Grumpy's Ten Tips for Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers before you hit the Trail.

Read about the most famous places on the Appalachian Trail.

The case of the hiker who went missing from the Appalachian Trail in Maine in 2013 gets curiouser and curiouser with news of Geraldine Largay's journal.

Solo female Appalachian Trail hikers can be fearless, after some wise preparation. Here are a few tips on how to avoid trouble.

Those who attempt to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail are heroes. Take the hike with them by reading these thru-hikers' tales.

Did you know that you can go from Grand Central Station to the Appalachian Trail train station in under 2 hours? New Yorkers: come to the Appalachian Trail!

The A.T. Guide by David "Awol" Miller is all you you'll need to hike the Appalachian Trail from one end to the other -- with stops anywhere in between.

The view from Stecoah Gap is exquisite. Hikers are rewarded with panoramic vistas and a couple of sturdy picnic tables that are perfect for a quick meal.

Published Mar 29, 2016. The Hiker Hostel in Dahlonega, GA, is for sale. Is this your big chance to pursue a dream?

Monson, Maine, at the southern end of the 100-Mile-Wilderness is an oasis for Appalachian Trail hikers.

Thousands of hikers are attempting a thru-hike of the AT. Only 25% will make it to Mt. Katahdin, but they'll all have great Appalachian Trail Hiker Stories.

Blood Mountain is peaceful today. That hasn't always been true. In fact, it's a former battlefield.

Beacon Point is a horror movie about a group of hikers who set out for 10 days on the Appalachian Trail.