Saturday, April 27, 2013

Most Important And Heroes Hiking The Appalachian Trail

Earl Shaffer -

Earl Shaffer was the first person to walk the AT in one continuous hike, a feat that the Appalachian Trail Conference believed to be impossible. After completing his service during World War II, Shaffer said he wanted to "walk the army out of [his] system," and he began his hike at Mount Oglethorpe, Ga., on April 4, 1948. There were no guidebooks for the trail, so Shaffer set out with just roadmaps and a compass, and averaging 16.5 miles a day, he reached Mount Katahdin 124 days later. The moment was bittersweet for Shaffer who wrote, "I almost wished that the Trail really was endless, that no one could ever hike its length." In 1965, Shaffer hiked the trail again — this time starting in Maine and hiking to Georgia, making him the first person to complete a thru-hike in both directions. Then in 1998, at the age of 79, he hiked the entire AT again. Believe it or not, there have been older thru-hikers: The record is currently held by Lee Barry who finished his fifth AT hike in 2004 at the age of 81.

Mike Hanson -

On March 6, 2010, 45-year-old Mike Hanson set out to hike the Appalachian Trail, and seven months later he completed the more than 2,000-mile trek. What makes his hike so special? He’s completely blind. Hanson spent years testing a special GPS receiver that would guide him to campsites, water sources and other points, and he chose to hike the AT to demonstrate the value of adaptive technology, as well as “the competence and independence of persons with visual impairments.” Hanson says the toughest part of his journey was the mile-long boulder field across the Maine border: “You go over, under, around and between boulders for a mile. If I ever do that again, it will be too soon!”

Grandma Gatewood-

When Emma Gatewood set out to hike the Appalachian Trail, no woman — and only five men — had ever completed a thru-hike. In 1955, the 67-year-old grandmother of 23 finished the hike and earned herself the nickname "Grandma Gatewood." Upon completion of the epic trail, she told Sports Illustrated, "I would never have started this trip if I had known how tough it was, but I couldn't and wouldn't quit." Gatewood is also known as a pioneer of ultra-light hiking — she hiked the trail in Keds sneakers and often carried just an army blanket, a raincoat and a plastic shower curtain that she used as a bag. "Grandma Gatewood" hiked the AT two more times, in 1960 and in 1963, completing her final hike in sections. She was the first person to hike the trail three times, and she was the oldest woman to thru-hike the trail until Nancy Gowler did so at the age of 71 in 2007.

Bill Bryson -

The image of an average AT hiker is likely one of a young, fit outdoorsy type, but travel writer Bill Bryson sought to change all that when he and his childhood friend, Stephen Katz, set out to hike the AT in 1998. Bryson writes that he hoped the trail would get him fit after years of "waddlesome sloth," and although he was only in his mid-40s, he claims to have "a body that's much older." He describes his friend, the doughnut-addicted Katz, as bringing to mind "Orson Welles after a very bad night." The story of this out-of-shape pair's attempted thru-hike — Bryson and Katz finished roughly half the trail — can be found in the book "A Walk in the Woods," a best-seller that inspired many a lazy American to hit the trail. The book takes a humorous look at the trail's many characters, delves into the history of the AT and makes a plea for its conservation.

Scott Rogers -

In 2004, Scott Rogers, 35, became the first above-the-knee amputee to hike the entire Appalachian Trail. Rogers lost his left leg in 1998 when he accidentally shot himself, but he says the accident made him stronger. He now gets around with C-leg, a prosthetic leg and foot that's driven by hydraulics and controlled by microprocessors that monitor his movement to create a stable gait. He says his kids inspired him to achieve his dream of hiking the AT, and he was further motivated when he met Lane Miliken, a 9-year-old amputee who'd read about Rogers' journey. Rogers, who was known as "One Leg" on the AT, dedicated his hike to the boy. Although his journey was challenging — several times he had to resort to crutches which made him "really feel handicapped" — Rogers is proud of his accomplishment. His advice for AT hikers? "Do not be so concerned with how many miles you cover in a day. Concentrate more on the smiles."

Kevin Gallagher -

Want to hike the Appalachian Trail but don’t want to commit five months of your life to it? How about just five minutes? Thanks to hiker and photographer Kevin Gallagher, you can experience the trail in all its glory in just a few moments. In 2005, Gallagher spent six months making his way from Georgia to Maine, stopping every 24 hours to take photos of the journey. By the end of his six-month trek, he had 4,000 photos, and he strung them together to create a stop-motion film. The aptly named “Green Tunnel” will give you a sense of what it’s like to hike the AT and just may inspire you to lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail yourself.

Andrew Thompson -

Many men and women have attempted to be the fastest AT thru-hikers, but the record is currently held by Andrew Thompson, who completed the trail in just 47 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes in 2005. A veteran hiker, it took Thompson three attempts to beat the previous record, and he averaged more than 45 miles per day. In his successful run, he started the trail in Maine to get past the most difficult terrain first, and by the time he ran across all 14 states, he’d lost more than 35 pounds. The women’s record for fastest thru-hike is held by Jennifer Pharr Davis who completed the AT in 57 days, 8 hours and 35 minutes in 2008.

Justice William O. Douglas-

A self-professed outdoorsman, former Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas hiked the entire AT, and he even has an intersecting trail, the Douglas Trail, named after him in New Jersey. Douglas’ love for the environment often carried through to his judicial reasoning, and he even served on the Sierra Club’s board of directors and wrote prolifically about his love for nature. In a 1959 issue of Life magazine he wrote, “Hiking is not the only way to relax. Painting, gardening, tennis, fiddling, these are all means to the same end. But for me hiking is the best of all."

" All who hike The Appalachian Trail are heroes to us who hike " - Atti G.

Firefly Viewing Schedule - Passes Required Now

The Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog: Firefly Viewing Schedule - Passes Required Now: Park officials have announced the Elkmont Firefly Viewing event in Great Smoky Mountains National Park will take place from Thursday, June 6 through Thursday, June 13. For this year's viewing event, the on-line ticketing system, operated through, will again provide visitors with parking passes to guarantee they will be able to park at Sugarlands Visitor Center without the inconvenience of having to arrive hours in advance.

Every year in late May or early June, thousands of visitors gather near the popular Elkmont Campground to observe the naturally occurring phenomenon of Photinus carolinus; a firefly species that flashes synchronously. In 2005 the Park began closing the Elkmont entrance road each evening and operating a mandatory shuttle bus system to and from the viewing area to provide for visitor safety, resource protection, and to enhance the experience for both viewers and campers at Elkmont.

In 2012, the Park instituted the reservation requirement for the first time. This was in response to the increasing popularity of the event which caused management issues in the parking area and congestion for visitors accessing the Sugarlands Visitor Center. The new system improved the visitor experience by allowing reservation holders to arrive later in the day and guaranteed access to the event.

For this year's event a parking pass will be required for all vehicles. The pass will cover a maximum of 6 persons in a single passenger vehicle (less than 19 feet in length). Four passes for oversize vehicles, like a mini bus (19 to 30 feet in length and up to 24 persons), will also be available. Each reservation will cost $1.50. Parking passes will be non-refundable, non-transferable, and good only for the date issued. There is a limit of one parking pass per household per season. Each reservation through will receive an e-mailed confirmation and specific information about the event.

The number of passes issued for each day will be based on the Sugarlands Visitor Center parking lot capacity. Passes will be issued with staggered arrival times in order to relieve congestion in the parking lot and for boarding the shuttles.

The shuttle buses, which are provided in partnership with the City of Gatlinburg, will begin picking up visitors from the Sugarlands Visitor Center RV/bus parking area at 7:00 p.m. The cost will be $1 round trip per person, as in previous years, and collected when boarding the shuttle.

The shuttle service will be the only transportation mode for visitor access during this period, except for registered campers staying at the Elkmont Campground. Visitors will not be allowed to walk the Elkmont entrance road due to safety concerns.

The parking passes for this year's event will be on sale on-line beginning after 10:00 a.m. April 29. The Park will hold back 90 passes for each day to accommodate individuals who did not learn of the need to pre-purchase tickets. Those last 90 passes will go on sale on-line at 10:00 a.m. the day before the event and will be available until 3:30 p.m. on the day of the event or until the passes are all reserved.

Passes can be purchased at Parking passes may also be obtained by calling 1-877-444-6777but Park officials strongly encourage the use of the on-line process, because it provides far more information to visitors about what to expect when they arrive at the Park. The $1.50 reservation fee covers the cost of processing the requests for the passes. The Park will not receive any revenue either from the reservations or the shuttle tickets.

Hiking in the Smokies

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hike To HuckleBerry Knob In The Winter In North Carolina

•Distance: About 2.4 miles.

•Difficulty: easy.

Huckleberry Knob, at 5,560 feet, is the highest point easily reachable from the Cherohala Skyway, and it provides a magnificent panorama of the Unicoi Mountains. The wide trail—actually an old road—makes for an easy family hike, 2.4-miles round-trip. This is a “double-bump” hike that first climbs over Oak Knob (5440 feet) before descending into a meadow and then on to the broad summit of Huckleberry Knob. These two grassy balds, like nearby Hooper Bald, are deliberately maintained by USFS mowing and display wildflowers and even huckleberries in season. A number of bird species, like bobwhite quail, prefer the woodland openings provided by these balds.

Near the summit of Huckleberry Knob is a grave marked by a plaque and a large metal cross. In December 1899, two lumber company employees tried to walk cross-country to Robbinsville on a cold snowy day. Their bodies (and several jugs of whiskey) were found by a hunter about eight months later, three-quarters of a mile away from the gravesite on a small stream now called Dead Man’s Run. Those were rough and ready days. The set of remains more badly mauled by animals was buried on Huckleberry Knob. The other was given to a Robbinsville doctor for use as a medical exhibit.

The grave of Andy Sherman near the summit of Huckleberry Knob (el. 5560ft/1695m) in the Unicoi Mountains of the southeastern United States. Sherman worked in a logging camp along Tellico River (near modern Tellico Plains, Tennessee) in the late 1890s. He and a friend named Paul O'Neil left the camp on December 11, 1899, headed across the main crest of the Unicoi Mountains en route to Robbinsville, North Carolina. A hunter found their dead bodies several months later, surrounded by several jugs of whiskey.

Like Falls Branch Falls, Huckleberry Knob seems to be deliberately under-advertised by the Forest Service, although there is a fine trailhead marker and paved parking for several cars. Traveling west on the Cherohala Skyway, the trailhead is located on the right about a half-mile beyond mile marker 9, that is, about 8.5 miles from the Tennessee border
At the beginning of the trail in the snow

It was a warm 15 degrees

It was still snowing on the way to the top

So pure so beautiful

I love hiking in the snow

I Love the Snow

 Gravesite Of Andy Sherman At Huckleberry Knob

Over 8 inches of snow on the top of HuckleBerry Knob

Atti and I at the top of HuckleBerry Knob

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chattanooga To Be Named First Official Trail Town Of The Great Eastern Trail

The Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog: Chattanooga To Be Named First Official Trail Town Of The Great Eastern Trail: Chattanooga will be named as the first official trail town of the Great Eastern Trail at a ceremony to be held at the Tennessee Riverpark’s Amnicola Marsh pavilion on Sunday, April 28, 2013, at 12:00 noon EDT. Representatives of the City of Chattanooga, including then Mayor Andy Berke, Hamilton County, and the Great Eastern Trail Association will participate. The public is also invited to attend.

The Great Eastern Trail (GET) is a new long-distance hiking trail comparable in many ways to the Appalachian Trail (AT). Its “trail town” designation is essentially the same as the AT’s “trail community” and can be expected to provide similar economic benefits. The GET has been created by linking together regional trail systems. It extends nearly 1,800 miles between Alabama’s Flagg Mountain and the North Country National Scenic Trail just south of New York’s Finger Lakes. About 72% of the GET is open to hiking. More information about the GET and the Great Eastern Trail Association is available at

Tom Johnson, president of the Great Eastern Trail Association, states. “The Great Eastern Trail passing directly through Chattanooga makes Chattanooga the largest city in the country by far to host a major long-distance trail.”

Until recently, the Chattanooga area was one of the few remaining major gaps existing between the regional trail systems that are components of the GET. That gap has now been closed through the efforts of a joint Great Eastern Trail Association (GETA) / Cumberland Trail Conference (CTC) committee chaired initially by Jim Schroeder of Murfreesboro, TN, and currently by Warren Devine of Oak Ridge, TN. Over the last couple of years, the GETA/CTC Chattanooga Committee has worked diligently in partnership with local, state and federal partners and interested citizens to identify and establish a trail connection between the Georgia Pinhoti Trail at the Tennessee-Georgia state line and the Cumberland Trail on Walden’s Ridge. The Cumberland Trail will serve as the GET’s path northward to the Tennessee-Kentucky line.

Joanna Swanson and Bart Houck whose trail names are “Someday” and “Hillbilly Bart,” are currently engaged in an effort to become the first persons to thru-hike the GET. Their hike through the Chattanooga area took place in early February 2013. They will interrupt their thru-hike to return to Chattanooga for this event and will present a program on thru-hiking the GET at Outdoor Chattanooga, 200 River Street, at 4:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 28, 2013. The public is invited to attend. Their progress on their thru-hike can be followed on the website

On Sunday, April 28, 2013, in addition to the “Trail Town” ceremony and the “Thru-Hike” program, there will be two guided walks along the Riverwalk. The walks will depart from the Tennessee Riverpark’s Amnicola Marsh pavilion at 1:00 p.m. immediately following the “Trail Town” ceremony and the public is invited to participate.

Also, on Saturday, April 27, 2013, there will be three opportunities for the public to participate that morning in guided hikes and walks along existing and planned segments of the GET’s route.

A complete schedule of the public activities, including the hikes, “Trail Town” ceremony and “Thru-Hike” program, that are part of the “Great Eastern Trail – Chattanooga Weekend” event can be viewed online at the Outdoor Chattanooga website: For questions about the schedule, the public may call the Outdoor Chattanooga office at 423-643-6888

Updates on Flood Damaged Trails in the Smokies

The Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog: Updates on Flood Damaged Trails in the Smokies: Great Smoky Mountains National Park crews are making needed repairs on both Chimney Tops Trail and Noland Creek Trail which received significant flood damage this winter.

In Tennessee, the popular Chimney Tops Trail has been closed since January when high waters destroyed the pedestrian bridge across Walker Camp Prong at the beginning of the trail. Crews are working to replace the 70-foot long bridge to allow trail access and estimate reopening the trail by June 30th, 2013. At that time, the Park's Trails Forever Crew will begin Phase 2 of the ongoing full trail rehabilitation which will necessitate closing the trail each Monday through Thursday from Monday, July 1 through Thursday, October 17, while the trail continues to undergo a major facelift.

In North Carolina, Park crews will repair a slide area along Noland Creek Trail. In order to make the needed repairs, the trail will be closed to all hiker and horse use from April 22 - May 2, 2013 from the trailhead to Backcountry Campsite 64. Note that Campsite 64 will remain open, but Backcountry Campsite 65 will be closed during the project.

During the January 30th storm, the Great Smoky Mountains received more than 4 inches of rain in 24 hours, resulting in flooding of streams throughout the park which were already swollen from higher than normal precipitation throughout the month. Average rainfall during January across the Smokies usually averages 5-7 inches of rain, but the park received 14-17 inches of rain during the month.

Other backcountry closures you should be aware of include:

• Beard Cane Trail and campsites #3 and #11
• Hatcher Mountain Trail
• Scott Mountain Trail from campsite #6 to Schoolhouse Gap (campsite #6 is open)
• Backcountry Campsites 3, 11, 40, 54

For more information about trail closures, please call our Backcountry Information Office at 865-436-1297

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Ticks : Information to Know About Them

Although ticks are commonly thought of as insects, they are actually arachnids like scorpions,spiders, and mites. Ticks are among the most efficient carriers of disease because they attach firmly when sucking blood, feed slowly, and may go unnoticed for a considerable time while feeding. Ticks take several days to complete feeding.
Ticks wait for host animals from the tips of grasses and shrubs (not from trees). When brushed by a moving animal or person, they quickly let go of the vegetation and climb onto the host.

Ticks can only crawl; they cannot fly or jump. Ticks found on the scalp have usually crawled there from lower parts of the body. Some species of ticks will crawl several feet toward a host.
Ticks can be active on winter days when the ground temperatures are about 45 Fahrenheit.

It is important to remember that although ticks are thought of as being a threat during the warm weather months of spring and summer, they may also be prevalent during the cool weather of the fall and have even been observed during unseasonable warm weather during the winter. Despite
the time of year, if you are going to be involved in outdoor activities, precautions should be taken to avoid tick bites and tick-borne diseases.
Although at least 15 species of ticks occur in Tennessee, only a few of them are likely to be encountered by people: American dog tick, lone star tick, blacklegged (deer) tick, brown dog tick, and winter tick.
American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis)

One of the most frequently encountered ticks is the American dog tick, also sometimes known as the wood tick. The larvae and nymphs feed on small warmblooded animals such as mice and birds. The adult American dog tick will feed on humans and medium to large mammals such as raccoons and dogs.

Unfed males and females are reddish-brown and about 3/16-inch long. Females have a large silver-colored spot behind the head and after feeding will become ½-inch long or about the size of a small grape. Males have fine silver lines on the back and do not get much larger after feeding. Males are sometimes mistaken for other species of ticks because they appear so different from the female.
In Tennessee the adults are most active in April, May, and June. By September the adults are inactive and are rarely observed. The American dog tick can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and possibly ehrlichiosis to humans.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog: Newfound Gap Road Reopens to Thru Traffic

The Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog: Newfound Gap Road Reopens to Thru Traffic: Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials announced the completion of road repairs to Newfound Gap Road (Hwy 441) this morning. The road has been closed since the January 16th landslide that washed away approximately 200 feet of the road. At 10:00 am on April 15th, the Park officially opened the road to all thru traffic between Cherokee, NC and Gatlinburg, TN.

Park Superintendent Dale Ditmanson, NC Congressman Mark Meadows, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Michell Hicks, and Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) Construction Operations Engineer Emmett Melton jointly announced the opening of the road this morning 30 days ahead of the scheduled completion date of May 15, 2013. The National Park Service, FHWA, Phillips & Jordan, Inc. (P&J), APAC Harrison Division, and all subcontractors worked cooperatively in the most efficient and expeditious manner possible to restore Hwy 441 to a safe byway for the traveling public, the gateway communities, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The primary repair contract was awarded to P&J for the submitted bid of $3,989,890.00 with the completion date set at May 15, 2013. The contract included a monetary incentive of $ 18,000 per day to the each day of completion prior to May 15, 2013, up to a maximum of $504,000 offered jointly by the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian (EBCI) and the National Park Service.

"We recognize the economic importance of the road to our neighboring communities and are grateful that our partners at Federal Highways Administration and were able to respond efficiently to our need and work with the contractors to make the necessary repairs in less than 90 days," said Superintendent Ditmanson.

APAC Harrison Division completed Phase 1 of the reconstruction project on February 21, 2013 by developing the access road to the slide area, removing of debris, and stabilizing the slope above the work area. P&J mobilized equipment on February 22, 2013 to begin Phase 2 of the reconstruction project which included rebuilding the roadway and filling the area washed away during the landslide with crushed stone.

The final design includes over 200 feet of pipes to allow for the drainage of subsurface water flow along with 150 feet of side drainage leading to a culvert at the end of the slope. This drainage system and previous crushed stone material will further protect the road and park resources from future damage due to both overflow and subsurface water flow. The fill area was naturally sloped and planted with seed. In addition, erosion measures were put into place along the 900 foot debris field below the landslide which was also seeded.

Hiking in the Smokies

Mt. Cammerer FireTower In The GSMNP

Mount Cammerer is a mountain on the northeastern fringe of the Great Smoky Mountains, in the Southeastern United States. The mountain is situated on the state line between Cocke County, Tennessee and Haywood County, North Carolina. The Appalachian Trail traverses Cammerer's south slope and a restored fire lookout at the summit offers panoramic views of the eastern Smokies, Cocke County, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Although a narrow ridge connects Mt. Cammerer to a nearby higher knob, leaving Cammerer with a very low topographic prominence, the mountain is clearly visible not only from the surrounding mountains, but from various points in the town of Cosby and along I-40 as it crosses Cocke County. Mt. Cammerer is a popular hiking destination, especially in Autumn, when the leaves of the trees in the forest around the mountain blaze red, orange and yellow for as far as the eye can see.

History --

Mount Cammerer was named for Arno B. Cammerer, Director of the National Park Service (1933–1940) and an instrumental figure in establishing a national park in the Great Smoky Mountains. Before its renaming, Mt. Cammerer was known as "White Rock," referring to the bright white rocks that burst through the treeline at the summit. On some North Carolina maps, Mt. Cammerer is called "Sharptop". At least one story tells of a lightning blast that cut a hole in the summit, leaving a pool of water that attracted ravens.

Throughout the late-19th century and early 20th-century, moonshining was rampant in the area around Mt. Cammerer, as what was then a virgin wilderness provided the perfect cover for the illegal stills. Most residents in the area, however, were law-abiding mountain farmers, as described in local resident Mary Bell Smith's In the Shadow of the White Rock. Ella Costner, designated by the state of Tennessee as the "poet laureate of the Smokies," was born in the area of what is today the Cosby Campground, at the base of Mt. Cammerer. In 1934, the Civilian Conservation Corps built a camp at the base of the mountain, and constructed most of the trails and overlooks in the area.

The lookout at the summit of Mt. Cammerer was built by the CCC in 1937, using nearby rock and timber (other materials had to be hauled up the mountain). The tower was manned by a fire ranger until the 1960s, after which it fell into disrepair before being restored in 1996.

Hiking Routes --

The quickest route to the summit of Mt. Cammerer is to ascend the Low Gap Trail from the Cosby Campground to the Appalachian Trail at Low Gap. From Low Gap, it's just over two miles to the Mt. Cammerer Trail, which follows the ridge a half-mile or so to the summit. The total distance from the Cosby Campground to the summit is just over five miles.

The Lower Mount Cammerer Trail follows the mountain's northern base over a seven-mile up-and-down trail before intersecting the Appalachian Trail near Davenport Gap. Most hikers who use this route make the following loop: Cosby Campground , Lower Mount Cammerer Trail , Appalachian Trail , Cosby Campground. The Appalachian Trail intersects the Mount Cammerer tower trail along this route. The total distance, including the tower trail, is appx. 15 miles.

Multiple hiking trails, horse trails, and walkways intersect at the Cosby Campground, which can lead to confusion. From the parking lot (near the campground), one path leads east to the Lower Mount Cammerer Trail. To reach the Low Gap Trail, simply follow the path parallel to Cosby Creek. Both trails are marked.

The Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog: Appalachian Trail Enthusiasts to Meet at Western Carolina University for 39th Biennial Conference

The Smoky Mountain Hiking Blog: Appalachian Trail Enthusiasts to Meet at Western C...: Registration is now open for the 2013 Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Biennial conference, scheduled for July 19-26, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. The event is hosted by the five southern Appalachian Trail (A.T.) maintaining clubs and convenes Trail managers, hikers, and fans to celebrate and conserve the iconic National Scenic Trail.

The program includes 137 organized hikes, 70 workshops, live music, dancing, and trips to some of the region’s best activities.

Hikes are planned on the A.T. and other regional trails. Workshop topics cover hiking, trail maintenance, natural wonders, cultural history, and volunteer leadership development. Activities include rafting, zip-lining, touring Asheville’s booming art scene, and visiting the Carl Sandburg Home and the Biltmore Estate.

“This event is only held in the southeast once every eight years, so the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is excited to bring this informative and entertaining event to North Carolina to showcase the Appalachian Trail and the surrounding beauty,” Morgan Sommerville, regional director of the ATC.

Organizers expect 1,000 participants of all ages for the celebration of the A.T. The Biennial also serves as the general business meeting of the ATC’s membership; this meeting will take place on Saturday evening, July 20th.

Contra dancing, music from Southern Exposure and Buncombe Turnpike, presentations about hiking long trails, and a Cherokee storyteller make up the rest of the evening entertainment scheduled Sunday through Thursday. Evening activities are open to the public with a $7 nightly ticket.

The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. The A.T. is a unit of the National Park System, stretching from Georgia to Maine, at approximately 2,180 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. Volunteers typically donate more than 220,000 hours of their time doing trail-related work each year, and about 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year.