The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the completion of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) with a summer games competition on August 14, 2012 at the Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, NC. The event will run from 5 to 9 p.m.
Participants will compete for a variety of outdoor gear prizes by playing classic activities like a water balloon toss, watermelon seed spitting contest and a cupcake walk. Prizes have been generously donated by Mountain Khaki, Gregory, and ENO.
The event will also feature Jay Leutze, noted national conservation spokesperson and author, who will read from his new book, Stand Up That Mountain. Musicians are welcome to come and perform during the competition. The Highland Brewing Company will also feature beer specials throughout the event.
“This year marks a milestone for the Appalachian Trail,” said Mark Wenger, Executive Director and CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. “Not only does this anniversary celebrate the completion of the Trail, it also celebrates the unique collaboration and determination of countless individuals, private organizations, and state and federal agencies in their efforts to complete this long-distance hiking trail from Maine to Georgia.”
The A.T. was completed 75 years ago on August 14, 1937. This task took over 15 years to complete, and involved thousands of volunteers, agency partners, local Trail maintaining clubs and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The A.T. is one of the longest continuously marked footpath in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through fourteen states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail’s northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.
It has been estimated that 2-3 million people visit the Trail every year and about 1,800–2,000 people attempt to “thru-hike” the Trail. People from across the globe are drawn to the A.T. for a variety of reasons: to reconnect with nature, to escape the stress of city life, to meet new people or deepen old friendships, or to experience a simpler life.
Hiking in the Smokies