The two species of skunk that live on the Appalachian Trail are the spotted skunk and the striped skunk. Smaller than the striped skunk, the spotted skunk has horizontal stripes on the neck and shoulders and spots on its sides. In contrast, the striped skunk has two thick white stripes along its back that converge in a kind of cap on the head.
Skunks can spary their fetid, oily musk up to 15 feet, but the mist can go 3 times as far, and the smell can reach a mile. If a predator gets skunk fluid in the eye, it can be painful and may even cause temporary blindness. Skunks consume any food they can find, and they often seek food around shelters and campgrounds. Though they may be cute to watch, they are also huge carriers of rabies.
The best thing to do when confronted by a skunk is to back off. Most likely it is just looking for food and will scurry off in a short time.