Appalachian Trail Festivals — 2020
Southern Ruck — Jan. 17-19
NO Ruck — Jan. 24-26
A.T. KickOff — March 6-8
ATC Flip Flop Festival — April 25-26
Trailfest, Hot Springs, N.C. — TBA
A.T. Museum Hall of Fame Banquet — May 2
Trail Days, Damascus, Va. — May 15-17
National Trails Day — June 6
Mason-Dixon AT Outdoor Festival — June 13
Dahlonega Trail Fest, Dahlonega, Ga. — Sept. 11-13
Trail's End Festival, Millinocket, Maine — Sept. TBA
ALDHA West Gathering — Sept. 25-27
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, established in 1925, is a national not-for-profit corporation that is both a confederation of the 31 local organizations with assignments to maintain the Appalachian Trail and a membership organization with support from all 50 states and more than 15 other countries. Under agreements that date to the 1930s, buttressed by federal legislation in 1968 and 1978, ATC leads a cooperative-management system for the Trail that equals the National Park Service and USDS Forest Service at national, regional, and district levels, a variety of agencies in 14 states, a few other federal agencies, and even some county and town agencies.
That “management” charge for more than 250,000 acres of public lands extends far beyond enhancing the user’s experience and keeping the footpath open and facilities safe — to safeguarding the boundaries and monitoring the health of hundreds of rare, threatened, and endangered species between the Trail and the corridor’s edge.
The ATC's mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.
Its vision is to connect the human spirit with nature – preserving the delicate majesty of the Trail as a haven for all to enjoy. The ATC is committed to nurture and protect this sacred space through education and inspiration. It strives to create an ever-expanding community of doers and dreamers, and works to ensure that tomorrow’s generations will experience the same mesmerizing beauty we behold today.
The Appalachian Trail Museum Society serves the Appalachian Trail community by telling the stories of the founding, construction, preservation, maintenance, protection, and enjoyment of the Trail since its creation. The Museum will collect, preserve, and interpret materials relevant to these subjects in an effort to portray not only the history of the Trail, but also the essence of the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual human experience of the Appalachian environment and the culture of hiking.
Friends of ALDHA
From humble beginnings this trail club has grown to global proportions, literally. The trail that continues north from Mount Katahdin in Maine into Eastern Canada now stretches through Europe by hopscotching over Iceland, Ireland, Great Britain and beyond. It will ultimately find its terminus in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, in northern Africa.
A similar organization to ALDHA, the American Long Distance Hiking Association, or ALDHA West, has details on its annual Gathering.
The legacy of the late backpacking balladeer, "Walkin' Jim" Stoltz, continues on the home page he set up following the success of his six-month, 2,750-mile trek on the Pacific Crest Trail in 1996. Walkin' Jim's timeless music is available here. Sadly, he passed away in September 2010, way before his time.
The organization that was created in the wake of Earl Shaffer's death has a number of projects under way, all of which will benefit the preservation of Earl's legacy as the first man to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.
The Katahdin Art Project
Percival P. Baxter made it his life’s “magnificent obsession” to create, protect, and provide to the people of Maine a wilderness haven encompassing some of the most rugged terrain in the Northeast.
Friends of Baxter State Park is an independent citizen group with a mission to preserve, support, and enhance the wilderness character of Baxter State Park.
In 1948, Earl Shaffer told a friend he was going to “walk off the war” to work out the sights, sounds, and losses of World War II. Four months later, Earl Shaffer became the first person to hike the entire length of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine...
followed by the nonprofit trail organization.
AT Trail Clubs
Georgia Appalachian Trail Club
Appalachian Mountain Club
AMC maintains a wide variety of hiking trails through its various chapters, including in the Whites, Delaware Valley, Mass., Conn. and Maine.
The Randolph Mountain Club
This club promotes the enjoyment of the Randolph, N.H., area and is the newest addition to the ATC's trail maintaining clubs.
The Maine A.T. Club
The club has posted its official home page, complete with photos, updates, and other news.
Other Hiking Links