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Applalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC)

I love what the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) does.  The team ( both employees and volunteers) are amazing. The work that they do is incredible ,and its mission is far from impossible: ” ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.” 

First, I will begin my blog by giving  a brief history of the trail, then some stats, and conclude by showing you why the ATC is so wonderful.

The Appalachian Trail was first thought of in 1921 by a forester, Benton MacKaye (Whom has his own trail named after him). On August 14, 1937 the first 2,000 miles of continuous trail was finished. The trail lead from Mt Oglethorpe, GA to Baxter State park in Maine.  The trail is never complete. It is now around 2,180 miles long. Some people, known as ‘thru-hikers’ choose to hike the trail all the way thru in on hike. This usually takes about 5-7 months. It has been estimated that around 2,000 people try to thru hike each year, but never few actually make it. Other hikers known as ‘section hikers’ hike the entire AT, but they do it sections at a time. Some hikers just hike parts of the AT with no intentions to hike the entire trail.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is based in Hapers Ferry, VA. Hapers Ferry is the half way mark on the trail. On July 4th, 2005 the ATC celebrated its 80th year. The ATC is made up of employees and volunteers which have a desire to be in nature and conserve the AT. To this team, taking care of the AT is a main goal in their life. Anyone can take part in the ATC. There are many crews that go out every seson to clean up the trail and make sure that it is safe for hikers. These crews are based in various sections of the trail. S.W.E.A.T. crew, which I am part of this year, cleans up around the North Carolina/ Tennessee area in the Summer. SWEAT is awesome and I would do it all summer if I had time to! Some people choose to do the crew all summer, some choose to stay only a week, and some people choose to stay multiple weeks. ( I’ll make sure my next post is about SWEAT crew). All in all, the ATC does some pretty amazing things to conserve the land that we still have. They also do a great job of getting hikers and observers involved in programs that they have set up, even youth education. They have programs for teachers such as the trail to every classroom. Which tells youth about the trail and hopefully sparks interest in students. The ATC does a great thing. So to that I will conclude by saying:

Thank you to the ATC team, your work is much appreciated.


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