White County/Helen, Georgia Designated an Appalachian Trail Community

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), along with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club (GATC) and the city of Helen, invites the public to attend the official designation of White County/Helen, Georgia as the newest Appalachian Trail Community™ on November 30, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. The ceremony will be held at the Bandshell Amphitheater located 100 feet north of the Chattahoochee River near Hwy 17/75 in downtown Helen, Georgia. This event is free and open to the public.

Over 40% of White County is comprised of state and federal public lands, making outdoor recreation a dominant feature of this mountain community. The city is most known for its Bavarian flavor, giving tourists a taste of the southern Appalachians.

The designation ceremony will begin with the national anthem performed by Charles Aiken, thru-hiker and longtime GATC volunteer and Trail-maintainer. Aiken was first introduced to the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) at age 12 and has continued to share his passion for the Trail ever since. He recently developed a hiking program, now active in various North Georgia schools, where students can learn about the history of the A.T. and experience the outdoors.

Following the national anthem, various guests will present including Mark Wenger, executive director/CEO of the ATC, Morgan Sommerville, southern regional director of the ATC, Mayor Judy Holloway and Tom Aderhold, former president of GATC and longtime volunteer awarded the 50 Year Service Award by the National Park Service for his efforts managing the A.T.

The Appalachian Trail Community™ is a new program of the ATC, the nonprofit responsible for management and protection of the A.T. Launched in 2010, this program recognizes and thanks communities for their part in promoting the A.T. as an important local and national asset.

* White County/Helen, Georgia A.T. Community Designation Ceremony
* Date: November 30, 2012
* Time: 11:00a.m.
* Locations: Bandshell Amphitheater in downtown Helen, 100 feet north of the Chattahoochee River near Hwy 17/75

Hiking in the Smokies

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