One of the pavilions that's available on the tenting site at the Shippensburg Gathering, as seen at daybreak during the 2015 event. The Gathering will return there in October 2018. (Photos by H. Dean Clark)

Gathering registration

Sign up for the Gathering and pay your dues all in one swoop by following this link to the digital registration form.

presenters form

Would you like to put on a workshop at this year's Gathering about a trail you've hiked, or a trail-related subject you feel strongly about? Fill out this online form and send it electronically to the Gathering coordinator.

Hikers Fair
exhibitors form

If your trail club or hiker-related cause or business would like to set up a table at our Gathering Hiker Fair, fill out this digital form and send it to us electronically.

Thru-hiker recognition
signup form

Click here to fill out an online form if you have finished the A.T. this past year and plan to attend the Gathering. On Friday night, we'll call you up on stage to present a special patch and certificate from ALDHA to congratulate you before your peers.

Gathering programs
from the past

Follow this link (click here) to see archives of past Gathering programs, from 2003 to the present, all in PDF format.




































































































































































The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association

An off-trail family of hikers, dreamers and friends of the trail working

to preserve, protect and promote the long-distance hiking community.

 The Gathering

The 2018 Gathering

The 37th annual Gathering of long-distance hikers, friends and A.T. dreamers will convene the weekend AFTER Columnbus Day, Oct. 12-14, 2018, at Shippensburg University in Shippensburg, Pa. It will be the third time the Gathering will be held at the college that's conveniently off of Interstate 81 in southern Pennsylvania. The A.T. is less than 15 miles away.

Jim Niedbalski is organizing the program for this Gathering and welcomes anyone who'd like to put on a workshop on either a long-distance trail, a trail-related subject or other hiking-related topic. Contact him at Or use the form in the left-hand column. Exhibitors in the hiker fair are also welcome. Again, see the form at left.

All workshop sessions and the evening presentations will be held in the CUB, the Ceddia Union Building. Camping will be right on campus, near a parking lot with plenty of room for all vehicles. In addition to portable johns, there is a full-service restroom with running water near the camping area that includes a covered pavilion with several picnic tables. Showers will be available in a nearby gymnasium that's within walking distance of the CUB and campsite. Finally, all-you-can eat meals will be offered at reasonable cost in a dining hall across from the CUB.

Details on the program will be announced later, as everything is still in the planning stages. More information is expected after the ALDHA board's spring meeting, set for April 7. We hope to have a full slate of information in the summer newsletter. You can register at any time by clicking the link for the registration form here.

2017 group photo

Many thanks to "Crooked Sticks," aka H. Dean Clark, for once again providing a bevy of professional photos of the Gathering, including our family portrait taken on Sunday morning. Click on the image below for the high-resolution version that you can download to your computer and use at will. (The original image is about 3.5 MB in size, so download time may take a minute.) If posting elsewhere online, please credit Dean.

HOME      |      WHAT'S NEW      |      NEWSLETTER      |      COMPANION      |      STORE
ABOUT      |      JOIN      |      VOLUNTEER      |      GALLERY      |      LINKS      |     CONTACT US






Gathering History

The first Gathering was held before ALDHA was even officially created. In the fall of 1982, Warren Doyle gathered together long-distance hikers and friends of the trail for a weekend retreat in southern West Virginia, and it was during that time of fellowship and renewal in the community of the Appalachian Trail that the seed of an idea for ALDHA was planted.

Six months later, at a meeting in Harpers Ferry on March 5, 1983, attendees voted to formally establish an organization of hikers, maintainers, friends of the trail and folks who dream of someday hiking the A.T., and they christened their newborn group the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association.

ALDHA has held an annual Gathering ever since, with locations varying from north to south to accommodate our ever-growing membership.


Walkin' Jim

The Gathering Song

At the 2000 Gathering in Pipestem, W.Va., Walkin' Jim Stoltz was asked if he would compose a song for ALDHA to help mark the 20th Gathering the following year. He readily agreed, then admitted later that it proved to be a lot harder than he thought it would be. When he stood up to perform it that next year at the 2001 Gathering in Hanover, N.H., we think he hit it out of the park.

A few years later, he sat down and recorded it for Weathercarrot's video documentary on the 25th anniversary of ALDHA. Click the link below to listen. Feel free to download it, too. After his untimely passing in 2010, Jim's former wife gave ALDHA the rights to it, and we offer it to you all in hopes that it'll stir fond memories of the Gathering and that you'll always remember Walkin' Jim.

"To the Gathering Again"
by Walkin' Jim Stoltz, 2001