The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook
 

All about rain forests of the world

Appalachian National
Scenic Trail

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    The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,167-mile footpath from Maine to Georgia which follows the ridge tops of the fourteen states through which it passes. Each day, as many as two hundred backpackers are in the process of hiking the full length of the trail. On average, it takes about four to five months to hike the entire length.
    More than 250 backcountry shelters are located along the Appalachian Trail at varying intervals, as a service to all Appalachian Trail hikers. A typical shelter, sometimes called a “lean-to,” has a shingled or metal roof, a wooden floor and three walls and is open to the elements on one side. Most are near a creek or spring, and many have a privy nearby. Hikers occupy them on a first-come, first-served basis until the shelter is full. They are intended for individual hikers, not big groups. The
Appalachian Trail Conservancy website has more complete information for hikers who intend to camp on the trail. This organization consists of local hiking clubs and volunteers, oversees maintenance and improvement of the trail. Every year, more than 6,000 volunteers improve and maintain the trail from Maine to Georgia.
    The Trail, which passes though North Carolina, was conceived by Benton MacKaye in the 1920s. With the support of local hiking clubs and interested individuals, MacKaye’s dream eventually became a reality. By 1937 the trail was completed by opening a two-mile stretch in a densely wooded area between Spaulding and Sugarloaf Mountains in Maine .It may be entered at many points as it passes through North Carolina for over 300 miles.
 

Website:  Appalachian National Scenic Trail
Location: The trail passes to the north of
Asheville
Address: Appalachian Trail Conference Southern Regional Offices: 160-A Zillicoa St., Asheville, NC 28801
Distance: From Asheville, approximately 30 miles—a 45-minute drive
Resources: Appalachian National Scenic Trail (National Park Service) PO Box 50, Harpers Ferry WV 25425; 304-535-6278
                  Appalachian Trail Conservancy  799 Washington Street, Harpers Ferry VA 25425, 303-535-6331.
Directions: Closest access is at Sams Gap, on the North Carolina/Tennessee line. Take US 19/23 north to the state line. Look for the parking on the west side. Just before the parking lot at the crest of the ridge is a trail sign. The parking lot is just before 19/23 becomes a four-lane road. After parking, walk back along 19/23 about 100 meters to access the trail.

 

         

 

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