What's Open & What's Closed Along the A.T.?

Published Oct 9, 2013

The Appalachian Mountain Club's Rob Burbank at Pinkham Notch, NH ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The Appalachian Mountain Club's Media Guy Rob Burbank at Pinkham Notch, NH ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Our friends at the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) know what's open and what's closed, due to the moronic governmental shutdown, along the Appalachian Trail.

The information on this page comes from the AMC website. At the risk of being shot for plagiarism, I am posting it here ... with no pretention that it is original work. We all want to help you understand what's going on, as of Tuesday, October 8, 2013, that's all.

Following that information, you'll find a statement about the shutdown from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's new Executive Director/CEO Ron Tipton, dated October 1, 2013.

The madness in Washington will conclude one of these days. Probably.

According to the Appalachian Mountain Club:

AMC Mohican Outdoor Center is closed. National Park Service officials have closed the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA) in response to the inability of Congress to agree on how to fund ongoing government operations. As a result, the Appalachian Mountain Club's Mohican Outdoor Center, located within the DWGNRA, will be closed until further notice. AMC is working with guests and groups who hold reservations at Mohican to make alternative arrangements. AMC will refund any advance payments to guests who cannot stay due to the government shutdown.

White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) backcountry campsites are closed. As part of the shutdown of federally owned recreation facilities, the U.S. Forest Service has closed Hermit Lake Shelters and other backcountry shelters and tentsites in the WMNF. Anyone camping in these locations as of Monday, October 7, will have 48 hours to vacate these sites.

AMC Huts, AMC's Joe Dodge Lodge and AMC's Pinkham Notch Visitor Center are open. These AMC-owned facilities are not included in the closure order and remain open.

AMC's Highland Center and Cardigan Lodge are open. The Highland Center and Cardigan Lodge are not located on Forest Service land and are not impacted by the current budget impasse.

WMNF Trails are open. While the U.S. Forest Service is closed, excepting some essential services, the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) is not under a closure order, so people are free to recreate on the forest. Visitors should expect WMNF ranger stations, campgrounds, and restrooms to be closed.

Appalachian Trail is open outside of National Parks. The AT is currently closed in the 700 miles where it passes through National Parks, such as the section in the Delaware Water Gap. However, the Appalachian Trail remains open where it crosses National Forest and state lands. This includes the section of the trail in the White Mountain National Forest.

Because of the government shutdown, all Volunteers In Parks (VIP)-Volunteer In Forests (VIF) volunteer programs have been terminated, so volunteer trail maintenance activities on the A.T. have been suspended.

See the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's trail updates for current information.

The New England Trail remains open, but National Park Service (NPS) staff assistance and support has ceased due to the shutdown. See the New England Trail page for current information.

Contact Information

  • Guests with questions or concerns about the status of their reservations should contact AMC Reservations at (603) 466-2727.
  • Anyone with questions about the status of White Mountain trails and shelters should contact the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front desk at (603) 466-2721.
  • Those with questions concerning the Appalachian Trail should contact the Appalachian Trail Conservancy at (304) 535-6331.

Click Here for Complete Details

Statement from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy's CEO Ron Tipton, 10/1/13

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is deeply concerned about how the federal government shutdown will impact the protection and enjoyment of the Appalachian Trail.

The ATC has been working closely with the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service to understand how this shutdown will affect the use of the Trail by hikers as well as by the 31 trail clubs and the thousands of volunteers maintain the A.T. on a day-to-day basis. An extended shutdown would result in a significant reduction in the volunteer and governmental activities necessary to keep the Trail safe and open for the estimated 2.5 million annual hikers.

The Appalachian Trail is now officially closed across the approximately 700 miles managed by the National Park Service. Because of the shutdown, all National Park Service - Volunteers In Parks (VIP) and USDA Forest Service - Volunteer In Forests (VIF) volunteer programs will be terminated. Therefore, for the duration of the shutdown, the ATC will not be able to engage with volunteers in activities on the Trail, Trail facilities, or Trail lands. We also are required to close our visitor center in Boiling Springs, PA.

The Appalachian Trail is a unit of the National Park System, stretching from Georgia to Maine, at approximately 2,180 miles in length. The ATC is funded by public as well as private contributions and has well over 6,000 volunteers donating 220,000 hours of work each year.

We will continue to work with our agency partners and the 31 trail clubs responsible that help maintain and manage the A.T. to keep abreast of any further changes that may impact the Trail.

For further information, contact Ron Tipton (304-535-6331, ext. 116), or Laura Belleville, Director of Conservation (540-449-1138).

To download the Department of Interior Contingency Plan fact sheet CLICK HERE.

Click Here for Original ATC Link


Tags: Tourism, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, News, Closings, US Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Clubs, and Appalachian Mountain Club

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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