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.
Click to fill out an online form if you have completed the A.T. and plan to attend the Gathering. On Friday night, we'll call you up on stage to present a special "I Hiked ALDHA Way" patch and certificate from ALDHA to congratulate you before your peers.
If you can't attend the Gathering only members will mailed patches and certificates. Not a member? Join here, it's only $10 per year. (2021 starter requests will be honored)
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.
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. 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.
by Walkin' Jim Stoltz, 2001