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Appalachian Trail – Overview

Appalachian Trail Overview

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,190 mile foot path that starts at Springer Mountain in Georgia and ends in Maine on the summit of Mt. Katahdin. It is estimated that over two million people hike some portion of this well known trail every year.

There is no lack of information on hiking this trail, and hopefully these pages will provide a concise and useful guide as you begin to explore one of the most famous long distance trails in the United States.

Appalachian Trail In a Nutshell

  • The trail stretches across 14 states. It begins in Georgia and ends in Maine, with a quarter of it passing through “The Long Green Tunnel” (Virginia).
  • Elevation gain on the trail equates to climbing Mt. Everest 16 times. Mt. Everest is approximately 29,035 feet.
  • The trail opened in 1937, but a continuous hike was not completed until 1948 by Earl Shaffer.
  • Most hikers take 5 – 6 months to complete the trail, but Joe “String bean” McConaughy complete the trail in 45 days in 2018.
  • Nicknames or trail names are common along the trail. If you don’t start with a trail name, it probably won’t be long until one claims you!
  • The Appalachian Mountain Range is considered one of the oldest on the planet.
  • Clingman’s Dome in Tennessee is the highest point @ 6,644 feet
  • There are approximately 80 hostels along the Appalachian Trail, with an updated list found here.