Eco-Trace Award


(East Coast and Other Trails of the Appalachian range and region)

Do you qualify for an Eco-Trace Award? Trace your own map and complete 500 miles on any trails of your choice on the East Coast of the North American continent.(not including the Appalachian Trail) Then complete the form below to be recognized for achieving the Eco-Trace Award to receive your certificate and patch. Add rockers to your patch for each additional milestone of 1000 and 2000 miles hiked. You simply self-certify the distances and trails that you hiked, and you qualify!

Qualifications for award begin starting with miles hiked beginning January 1, 2024. The award is available to all active ALDHA members. *Only ALDHA Life-Time Members may qualify retroactively for non-AT miles hiked before January 1, 2024.

Remember to Leave No Trace on your ECO-Trace hikes!

APPLY NOW (must be an active ALDHA Member): ECO-Trace Form

Alternative Trails List

So… What is ALDHA’s new ECO-TRACE Award, and why should I consider taking on the challenge?

By Dave Chandler

Q: What does the acronym ECO-TRACE stand for?

A: East Coast and Other Trails of Appalachia

Q: “Trace” what?

A: Trace is another old-fashioned term for a path or trail (e.g., the Sheltowee Trace) In another sense, for this hiking challenge, hikers can “trace” your own maps of any trails you choose to hike.

Q: How does it work?

A: Simply compile 500 miles of hiking on different trails within the Appalachian region, other than the Appalachian Trail. You can find qualifying trails on ALDHA’s website using the Education tab, or simply self-certify the miles and the trails if you believe that they qualify. We take you at your word and if you think the trail miles should count, then they count!

Q: How will I receive the award and/or be recognized?

A: After you complete the ECO-TRACE Award application on ALDHA’s website, your application will be reviewed and approved. You will receive a certificate certifying that you hiked 500 miles of “other East Coast Appalachian trails” and a brand-new ECO-TRACE Award patch. Award recipients will also be recognized at the annual ALDHA Gathering.

Q: Why the new ECO-TRACE Award?

A: Mostly, this is up to You, good hiker! We, at ALDHA, think you agree that there is a myriad of great trails on the East Coast to explore—and other wonderful Trail Communities to become a part of. Getting out on new frontiers might also help to alleviate some of the congestion that AT has experienced in recent years. It is “eco-friendly” to minimize the impact that crowding has especially on the main track of the AT. Trail erosion will decline, “leave-no-trace” polices will have a lasting impact, and we can all do our part to Hike-In-Harmony as we enjoy as many of these sacred paths as possible.

If you are not currently a member and completed your hike, then consider joining us now and you are eligible.

If you can’t attend the Gathering, members will have their patches and certificates mailed to them. Not a member? Join here.

Comments are closed.