The Best Birthday Present for the Appalachian Trail

Published Jul 23, 2012

Getting a birthday present for a national hiking trail that is turning 75 is hard.

Unless you get in touch with your creative side and make a video that answers the question: "Why Do You Love the Appalachian Trail?"

[Tip from divorced old man: Under no circumstances should you give an actual woman a smarmy video instead of a store-bought gift -- no matter how many times she says, "Oh, don't get me that diamond tennis bracelet on sale at [insert store here] or a car like your friend bought his wife, just because he loves her. Just tell me why you love me. That's all." It's a trap. Women never add the key phrase, "while we are touring France, Spain and Italy, without your mother."]

Sorry. Where were we?

Oh! Giving a present to the Appalachian Trail for its birthday.

The incredibly talented folks at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) came up with the perfect way to honor the AT on its 75th birthday this August.

A video contest. Oh, yeah.

The ATC wants you to tell them why you love the AT. They want your response in a video no longer than three minutes.

Tell them what the Trail means to you and why you keep coming back for more.

  • Showcase your favorite section of the Trail
  • Sing your favorite trekking song
  • Do an interpretive dance about the time you almost fell off that cliff
  • Reenact conversations with weird thru-hikers
  • Mention the aftereffects of drinking tea from what you were SURE that hiker said was made from boysenberries ... not poison berries
  • Definitely skip reenacting the time you drank unpurified water from that pretty stream because "it never killed the pioneers."

The grand prize winner will receive a custom ATC hammock, courtesy of ENO(TM). The winners' video will be screened at this year's "Discover the Appalachian Trail" Fall Membership Drive.

But, wait!!! There's more!! You'll be featured in A.T. Journeys (The Official Magazine of the A.T.) and on the ATC's YouTube page.

Now that is a prize package.

Submitting a video is quick and easy! Videos will be accepted through Sunday, September 2, 2012.

Simply visit ATC's Facebook Page Here for Details.

Rules and Requirements

  • Participants must answer the question, "Why do you love the A.T.?"
  • Participants can only submit one video
  • Any video conflicting with the ATC's Leave No Trace(TM) principles will be disqualified. For information on LNT(TM) visit:
  • Inappropriate material is strictly prohibited and will not be displayed for voting which includes, and is not limited to nudity, profanity, illegal activity, etc.
  • The video must fall within time length restrictions, minimum of 30 seconds and a maximum of 3 minutes
  • Videos must be submitted by using a YouTube or Vimeo URL


Visit our Facebook Page ( to upload your video. Click on the "Video Contest" tab, click "Enter", fill out the required information, upload your video and click "Submit."

Each submission will pass through an ATC inspection to insure the content is appropriate.

Once approved, videos will be displayed before the voting starts on September 4, 2012. (This process may cause a slight delay, so don't be alarmed if your video isn't visible directly following a submission.)

Timeline (Eastern Time)

  • Video Submission: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - Sunday, September 2, 2012. (All submissions must be uploaded by 11:59 p.m.- September 2, 2012)
  • Voting Period: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 - Friday, October 5, 2012. (All votes must be cast by 11:59 p.m.- October 5, 2012)
  • The winners will be announced: Monday, October 8, 2012


First Place:

  • Custom ATC hammock, courtesy of ENO(TM)
  • Video screened in front of audiences at this year's Discover the Appalachian Trail: 2012 Fall Membership Drive
  • Featured in A.T. Journeys (Official Magazine of the A.T.)
  • Video featured on the ATC's YouTube Page
  • One-year membership to the ATC

Second Place:

  • ATC themed tote bag
  • Glow-in-the-dark water bottle
  • Featured in A.T. Journeys (Official Magazine of the A.T.)
  • One-year membership to the ATC

Third Place:

  • ATC themed hat
  • Featured in A.T. Journeys (Official Magazine of the A.T.)
  • One-year membership to the ATC

Click Here for Terms & Conditions and Lawyerly Mumbo Jumbo

Tags: Events, Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, and Festivals

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
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