In order to enhance the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) experience for thru-hikers and better manage this natural resource, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), in cooperation with its partners, has launched a new voluntary registration system for those attempting to hike the estimated 2,185-mile-long Trail in one year. This registration system exists to ease impacts from the increased number of hikers expected after the release of two hiking related films, “Wild” and “A Walk in the Woods.”
“With a large number of new hikers expected along the Appalachian Trail in 2015 and 2016, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy hopes that this new voluntary thru-hike registration system will allow hikers to know in advance when overcrowding along the Trail will exist, and then adjust a thru-hike start date to his or her advantage – the solution is simple, the hikers need to spread out,” said Morgan Sommerville, the ATC’s regional director.
Users of this voluntary registration system should keep in mind that it does not provide hikers with guaranteed spaces along the A.T. or serve as a substitute for any required permits. At this time, registration is only open for 2015. Registration for 2016 will be available on Dec. 1, 2015.
For more information about the new system, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org/thruhikeregistration.