Thursday, March 21, 2013

Traveling the A.T.

The West coast has the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) and the East coast has the A. T.  (Appalachian Trail). The Appalachian Trail is about 2,200 miles long and goes through 14 states. It ranges from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.


Some adventurers, know as "thru-hikers" try their hand at hiking the entire trail in a single season. I've only done trails in Massachusetts but would love to hike the Appalachian Trail in it's entirely. I've heard that the best way to hike the whole trail, is to start in Georgia and work your way up to Maine in the fall for the changing of the leavesIt's an absolutely beautiful hike and I can't wait to do it. 

The Appalachian Trail has more than 250 shelters and campsites that are available to hikers. The shelters and campsites are mostly maintained by local volunteers and the shelters are in great condition. I remember watching a program about the trail on Discovery Channel and they talked about how friendly the locals are. 

The trail crosses numerous roads, which give the hikers a chance to hitchhike into a near by "trail town". The trail towns are use to seeing hikers, so there are a lot of accommodations specifically geared to those hiking the trail. Trail towns are where the hikers get to see the generosity of the locals. Locals almost always provided food, a hot meal, or shelter for hikers. 

Scenic lookout from the trail in Massachusetts

The Appalachian Trail has increased in popularity over the years and it can get crowed at times. You will run into a lot of fellow hikers, so if you are looking for a more secluded trail this is not the one for you. I'm hoping within 2 years I'll be hiking the entire trail, and you bet your ass I'll write about it!

If you have ever hike the Appalachian Trail in its entirely don't be afraid to share your story with me. I would love to hear some personal stories. 

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