Appalachian Trail

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The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply The A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States, extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Katahdin in Maine. It is approximately 2,175 miles  long. The path is maintained by thirty trail clubs and multiple partnerships. The majority of the trail is in wilderness, although some portions do traverse towns and roads, and cross rivers. Along the way, the trail passes through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

The trail was conceived by Benton MacKaye, a forester who wrote his original plan shortly after the death of his wife in 1921. MacKaye's idea detailed a grand trail that would connect a series of farms and wilderness work/study camps for city-dwellers. In 1922, at the suggestion of Major William A. Welch, director of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, his idea was publicized by Raymond H. Torrey with a story in the New York Evening Post under a full-page banner headline reading "A Great Trail from Maine to Georgia!" The idea was quickly adopted by the new Palisades Interstate Park Trail Conference as their main project.

In the 1960s, the ATC made progress toward protecting the trail from development, thanks to many sympathetic politicians and officials. The National Trails System Act of 1968 paved the way for a series of National Scenic Trails within the National Park and National Forest systems.


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Appalachian Trail
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