To celebrate the 75th birthday of the Appalachian Trail (AT), I took a road trip to visit several of the AT's most significant physical milestones.
One of my first stops was the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) headquarters at 799 Washington Street in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
It's easier to hike there from Georgia's Springer Mountain than it is to find a nearby parking place for a car, but it's worth the effort.
One of the key values of the ATC is what they call a "spirit of cooperation." That perfectly describes how I was treated by the staff when I showed up unannounced.
The building used by the ATC has historical significance. The marker in front attests to the fact that it was once the site of John Brown's fort.
Walking from Springer Mountain to 799 Washington Street is of monumental significance to thru-hikers.
The site is commonly used as a mail-drop to resupply and prepare for the hike to Katahdin. Hikers are welcome to chat with one another, check e-mail and weather forecasts, sit on a comfy sofa, and snarf down as many candy bars and sodas as they can afford.
Walking through the rooms of the ATC was fascinating -- reminiscent of a hollering into an echo-y canyon.
Workers seem to be squirreled away in secret nooks and hidden crannies.
Each time I said hello, voices responded from every direction, replete with random hands waving and heads horizontally stuck out into open spaces to prove they were alive and well -- even if they weren't on the majestic trail they serve so faithfully.
The AT would not have survived without the tireless effort of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Add a visit to their Visitor Center to your bucket list.
You'll find many new reasons to invest a few of your remaining days preserving the national treasure that is the Appalachian Trail.
Harpers Ferry is marvelous.
Tags: Appalachian Trail Conservancy and News
Published Oct 7, 2013.
Published Oct 29, 2014. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) held a membership drive in Atlanta on 10-25-14. They showed the film: The Appalachian Trail: An American Legacy.
Published Jul 30, 2015. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy added new members to its board of directors. Meet the new ATC board here. They have a vital role in preserving the Trail.
Read about the most famous places on the Appalachian Trail.
Published Oct 30, 2014. On 10-29-14, Appalachian Trail Conservancy Director of Marketing & Communications Javier Folgar released details of the ATC's new Five-Year Strategic Plan.