Hikers can use the database as an aid for detailed planning of AT section and thru hikes or simply to browse Appalachian Trail features and resources.
WHAT IS THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL?
The Appalachian Trail (the Trail, the AT) is a National Scenic Trail following the crest of the Appalachian Mountains over 2000 miles from Springer Mt in Georgia to Mt Katahdin in Central Maine.
The product of a unique public-private partnership, the Trail was formally proposed in 1921 by Boston planner, Benton McKaye. A network of individuals and local hiking clubs began work the following year, and the final section of the Trail was completed by Civilian Conservation Corp crews on Sugarloaf Mountain, ME in 1937.
The Trail passes through parts of 14 states and includes more than 90 miles of elevation change over its full course. Because of ongoing relocations (largely designed to reroute the Trail onto public lands) the length of the Trail changes every year.
When the AT was completed in 1937 the Trail was officially 2038 miles long. In 2002 the Appalachian Trail was officially 2,168.8 miles long (about 2,172 miles as-walked). Following recent reroutes in Tennessee, Maryland and Vermont the total mileage came an official published length of 2174.6 miles for 2005-2006. (although owing to ongoing reroutes is in fact several miles longer as walked)
Although the AT is a designated Natl Park Service site, it is overseen by the private, non-profit Appalachian Trail Conservancy and a network of regional hiking clubs and individual volunteers.
HIKING THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL
Initially though impossible by many of the AT's planners, in 1948 the entire length of the Trail (then 2044 mi) was first hiked in a single season ("thru hiked") by a recently demobilized Pacific War veteran name Earl Shaffer. Several thousand people have followed in Earl's steps, and even more have completed the Trail over a period of years ("section hiking")
Even if you have no intention of becoming a 2000 Miler the Appalachian Trail is one of the few places in N. America, and the only place east of the Rockies, where a hiker can walk a week or more without running out of trail. Select Here to learn more about planning for a week, a month or six month on the Trail.
* * *