Today marks the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) 86th anniversary. The ATC has been instrumental in managing and protecting the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) since its inception and continues to work hard to protect these lands.
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials who were working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. It is focused solely on preserving and managing the A.T. to ensure that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. The Trail’s national offices, with a visitors center open seven days a week, have been located in West Virginia near the Trail since 1972.
The A.T. was the idea of Benton MacKaye, a forester and regional planner who proposed preserving a ribbon of connected wild lands as a tonic for the busy pace of urban life. Although the Trail was first completed in 1937, much of the original A.T. was on private land and roads. Over the years, the ATC has played a major role in managing and maintaining the A.T., primarily with volunteers, while also routing the Trail onto the wildest, most scenic lands of the Appalachian Mountains and securing a permanently protected corridor of land.
In celebration of the ATC’s 86th anniversary, the organization will offer a 1-day only membership discount to the public on March 3rd. For more information or to become a supporter, visit www.appalachiantrail.org.