AT mapThe Appalachian Trail (AT) is a 2180-mile footpath which follows the Appalachian Mountains, crossing many of the highest peaks in the range. It begins on Springer Mountain in Georgia, then heads north, passing through North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire, with a dramatic conclusion on Mount Katahdin in Maine.

The AT’s white rectangular blazes mark an often steep path through 6 national parks, 8 national forests, and numerous historic landmarks. While the trail predominantly wanders through wild forested mountains, its path also connects dozens of small towns.

Northbound thru hikers typically begin the trail in March or early April, and finish in September. Thus, in addition to witnessing a great diversity of plants and animals, thru hikers get to experience the change of seasons on their journey.


  1. Hopefully I will be able to catch up with y’all for an on-the-trail visit when you are coming through the NC section of the AT!


  2. North Star and Shutterbug,
    Wonderful to see this website! (and particularly to get some tips about healthy eating on the trail.) All the best on your walk, and keep an eye out for Cerulean Warblers come Virginia!
    – Ouzel (Lee)


  3. I was just linked to your blog, and I’ve gotta say I’m glad I found it! My friend and I will be hiking the AT next year and we just started training. I’ll be going through your advice on gear and everything. Good luck on your hike and when you plan on passing through the Hawk Mountain area in PA, I’d love to meet you two.


  4. Hi, great blog. I just wrote a rather long paragraph and promptly lost it!

    Essentially I am thinking of hiking the AT in maybe two or three separate sessions (thru hiking?) but I’m worried about the animals of the AT. What should I be concerned about and what preventative measures should I take?


    1. What you’re planning on doing is called a section hike. However, since your sections are so long you’ll have much in common with thru hikers (hiking the entire trail in one piece).

      On the AT I would recommend hanging your food every night to protect it from bears and rodents. You’ll need 50′ of rope and a waterproof stuff sack. Ticks carrying Lyme disease are the other main concern. Wear long pants and/or do thorough tick checks every night. The rest of the creatures will be ones you’re excited to spot!


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