Officially, it is named the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Commonly, it is called the Appalachian Trail or the AT for short. It is one of the most famous hiking trails in the world.
The AT is a hiking trail that stretches approximately 2,200 miles between Springer Mountain, Georgia and Mt. Katahdin, Maine (that’s the mountain pictured on the blogs homepage). It passes through 14 States in the Eastern United States. It draws people to it for all kinds of different reasons. Each year about 4,000 volunteers give back to the trail.
The trails lowest elevation point is 124 feet and its highest point is 6,625 feet. In total, there is a total elevation gain of about 465,000 feet (89 miles) from end to end. That is a lot of up and down!
History is all around on the AT, ranging from Civil and Revolutionary War sites, First Nations sites, sites related to the founding the Nation and much more. Nature and human communities are all connected by the AT. By many accounts the human interactions (with other hikers, trail angels and people in towns) are just as important to trail life as is experiencing nature.
The Appalachian Mountains started forming about 480 million years ago when the African and North American continents were colliding. The mountains were thought to be as high as the Himalayan Mountains are today. Over time these eroded down almost completely. Then about 60 million years ago they reformed and what we see today is what remains. Along certain parts of the trail are ancient lava flows.