Many serious hikers dream of becoming a thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail. However, while many start the 2,190 mile hike in Amicalola Falls, Georgia, few make it all the way to the end at Baxter Peak on Katahdin in central Maine. In fact, the infographic below gives you some details on how few actually complete the hike.
How Old is the Appalachian Trail?
Benton MacKaye came up with the plan for an Appalachian Trail in 1921. Its first section opened quickly in 1923, in the state of New York. However, it took until 1937 to complete the trail and open it to the public.
What States Does the Appalachian Trail Go Through?
To hike the Appalachian Trail, you’ll need to walk through the Appalachian Mountains in 14 different states. That includes (starting at the usual thru-hike, south to north):
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
- New Jersey
- New York
- New Hampshire
Click here for a complete guide for beginners to hiking the Appalachian Trail throughout all 14 states.
Each of these states has many beautiful parks and National forests. I do, however, have a few favorites from my travels. The beautiful Amicalola Falls in Amicalola State Park top the list. And my fall road trip through the Appalachians in New Jersey stood out as the most colorful on the fall foliage tour we took for our 40th anniversary.
But the Appalachian Trail is about more than the hikers. As you might expect, it takes thousands of agencies and volunteers to maintain all those miles of hiking trails along with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. You can read the list of 30+ active trail clubs on the National Park Service website.
25 Things You Didn’t Know About Hiking the Appalachian Trail Infographic
Canada’s Great Trail
We do have a long trail in Canada too — one that runs from shore to shore — that’s almost complete! The trail, which has taken 25+ years to build, will link 15,000 communities along 24,000 km. You can download the app and start planning your great trail hike from the Great Trail website!
The infographic above was created by Kathryn Wilde, a former internet marketer. She studied PR at the University of Southern California. After graduation, she found a job in a travel agency. But from the very beginning, she knew that spending 8 hours working every day without any activity wasn’t for her.
One day, she got so tired of office work that she decided to become a travel blogger. Click here for her Appalachian Trail 101: The Complete Guide For Beginners.
Now her daily routine consists of her 3 favorite things: hiking, writing, and spending time with her two amazing dogs. Find Kathryn at: w: hikeandcycle.com e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: @WildeDogLover f: Kathryn Wilde
About the Photo
The photo above is the bridge on the Appalachian Trail where the Potomac River meets the Shenandoah River. It’s an autumn landscape near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, USA. [Stock Photo] Click here to see what hikers are saying about the Appalachian Trail in Shenandoah Park on Trip Advisor.