It's hard to believe that it's been 30-years since 18 hikers gathered at the Highacre trail hostel in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, to discuss the formation of a new organization that would promote the welfare of the hiking community.
One of their first decisions was to come up with a name for their group, in keeping with their goal to be inclusive of hikers who trekked on the Appalachian Trail and elsewhere. They settled on the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA).
After going down that path, the group came up with a mission statement, which now has four aspects:
ALDHA's quarterly newsletter is remarkable. The Winter 2013 edition is 44-pages long and is packed with color photographs and stories that members and casual hikers will devour.
You'll find a dozen pages dedicated to the recent ALDHA Gathering in Shippensburg and what they call a "synopsis of the mysterious case of Geraldine Largay who went missing in Maine over the summer," but it's more than that. I found the ALDHA story written by Editor in Chief Bill O'Brien to be the most comprehensive collection of facts, maps and details that I have personally seen.
Time spent perusing the ALDHA newsletter is never wasted.
You might be best acquainted with ALDHA because of their outstanding Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion. This annually updated guidebook to shelters, water sources, town services and other useful information is compiled and published by ALDHA, in conjunction with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC).
There are other guides, but the Companion is my personal favorite. My copy is old and decrepit from use, but it fits neatly into a quart-sized baggie and it's always valuable.
An off-trail family of hikers, dreamers and friends of the trail working to preserve, protect and promote the long-distance hiking community.
Tags: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, and Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association
Published Aug 16, 2014.
Published Oct 8, 2014. The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association brings hikers from every hilltop & valley to its annual Gathering in Williamston, MA, October 10-13, 2014.
The Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club is an energetic group whose primary purpose is maintaining a 10+ mile section of the Appalachian Trail in Virginia.
The 34th Annual Gathering brings hikers together for fellowship, adventures & trail tips from ALDHA, the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association.
Published May 19, 2016. Our friends with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club just released MATC's May 2016 newsletter that includes an invitation for you to join them on the AT.