Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Headquarters

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Visitor Center in Harper's Ferry, WV. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

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 occupied by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy was used in 1859 by John Brown in his raids to free enslaved black men and women. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

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.

Click Here for the ATC Website

The ATC headquarters at 799 Washington Street in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Your picture can be posted with other 2,000+ Milers. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Thru-hikers share treasures and other junk with one another. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Pictures of the heroes of the Appalachian Trail. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

I spent almost $45 at the ATC store. That's like $8,274.95 for a rich person. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

A shining example of what a clever artist can do with AT logos. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy's Executive Director & CEO Mark J. Wenger graciously posed for this friendly portrait.

You're welcome any time at the ATC headquarters. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Harpers Ferry is marvelous.

Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Harpers Ferry General Store (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

I wonder who had an ale or two at this tavern. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The Meriwether Lewis Building -- of Lewis & Clark Expedition fame. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

The best place in Harpers Ferry, WV to buy a red wheelbarrow. (Photo: Robert Sutherland)

Tags: Appalachian Trail Conservancy and News

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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