Hiking the southern Appalachian Trail

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Appalachian Trail

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Hiking trails,

Trail Broken down into sections

For more information: http://www.appalachian.org/

Trail Head
Springer Mountain to Neels Gap
Section 1 - Georgia
Neels Gap to Dicks Creek Gap
Section 2 - Georgia
Dicks Creek Gap to Winding Stair Gap
Section 3 - Georgia/North Carolina
Winding Stair Gap to Fontana Dam
Section 4 - North Carolina
Fontana Dam to Newfound Gap
Section 5 - Great Smoky Mtns Natl Park
Newfound Gap to Davenport Gap
Section 6 - Great Smoky Mtns Natl Park
Davenport Gap to French Broad River
Section 7 - North Carolina/Tennessee
French Broad River to Nolichucky River
Tennessee-North Carolina - 371 Miles
After leaving Virginia, the Trail goes for about 70 miles through Tennessee before beginning to follow the TN-NC border. In this area, the Trail crosses through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where it reaches its highest point, Clingmans Dome, before continuing through the Nantahala Forest.
Section 8 - North Carolina/Tennessee
Nolichucky River to US321 (Hampton)
Section 9 - North Carolina/Tennessee
US321 (Hampton) to Damascus
Section 10 - Tennessee/Southwest Virginia
Damascus to I-81 (Atkins)
Section 11 - Southwest Virginia
I-81 (Atkins) to Pearisburg
Section 12 - Southwest Virginia
Section 13 - Central Virginia
US11 (Troutville) to James River

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Hiking the Southern Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail, called "the A.T." by those who hike on it frequently, is the premier recreational hiking trail in the United States. The national scenic trail is a 2,174-unbroken mile footpath along the ridge line and across the major valleys of the Appalachian mountain chain. The trail begins on the summit of Springer Mountain in northern Georgia and ends on the summit of Mount Katahdin in north central Maine. The trail passes through fourteen states, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Roads cross it for all but its northernmost 100 miles which makes it accessible for anyone just wanting to hike a portion of the trail. White rectangular blazes (2-inch wide by 6-inch high rectangles painted on trees, rocks, etc.) mark the trail over the entire 2100 miles from Georgia to Maine. Turns are marked with double blazes and side trails and approaches use blue markers, usually these lead to shelters, water supplies, or vistas. There are a series of three-sided lean-tos or shelters, spaced about a day's journey apart. They are available to all trail users on a first-come, first-served basis. Water is available along the trail from numerous springs and streams, however be smart, have a filter cup if you plan on using a stream for drinking water. By planning ahead long-distance hikers can re-supply as the trail route passes through or near many towns.

As it winds its way through the mountains, it passes through eight national forests, six national parks, and numerous state and local parks. Almost 99% of the Trail is currently protected by Congress and the National Park Service or by granted rights-of-way for foot travel only. Annually, more than 4,000 volunteers contribute more than 185,000 hours of effort on the Appalachian Trail. No fee is charged nor is special permission needed to hike anywhere on the footpath itself, though in some high-use areas registration is required for overnight stays and fees may be charged for use of shelters and other constructed facilities.

More than four million people use some part of the A.T. annually, most for short hikes lasting an afternoon, a day, or a weekend. In any given year, many thousands are in the process of hiking the entire Trail in sections over a period of years. Every year about 2,500 hardy individuals attempt to backpack the entire Appalachian Trail in one continuous journey.

Interesting People and The Appalachian Trail

The life and times of Earl V. Shaferof Pennsylvania ... writer and poet, naturalist, dedicated environmentalist, and the first person to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail from end to end in one continuous journey

An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning by Benton Mackaye

Captain Myron Avery (1899-1952) was born in Lubec , Maine . He followed a career in the U.S. Navy. His avocation was the out-of-doors and mountain climbing. He was the first president of the Appalachian Trail Conference and an enthusiastic developer of the Appalachian Trail in Maine.