Appalachian Trail Histories

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Browse Exhibits (27 total)


For the most part, hiking on the Appalachian Trail is a safe activity.  In fact, for the 2016 Hiking year there is only one recorded case of an actual bear attack.  According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website, approximately three million people visited the trail this year (2016). Taking the numbers in hand, the chances of a bear attack are roughly one in three million. 

However, along with bears there are several other dangers that come into play.  Some of which many overlook when planning to visit the Appalachian Trail. Many dangers, very easy to avoid but also just as easy to overlook and become a serrious problem. Before embarking on a hike, whether it be for a day, a week, or the full through-hike.  One should learn about what potential dangers there are and keep an open eye to their surroundings. 

Every year, thousands upon thousands of hikers pass through on the Appalachian Trail, whether thru-hikers or section hikers, all have the same goal, to reach the end of the trail. However, whether one is a thru-hiker or section hiker, attempting to complete the Appalachian Trail with no assistance is difficult. Fortunately, however, for hikers along the Appalachian Trail, people in surrounding communities strive to act as Trail Angels, performing Trail Magic for the hikers through and organization and or family; looking to help hikers reach their goal of completing the trail. Through this exhibit, the meaning behind, reasons for, and impact of Trail Magic along the Appalachian Trail will be revealed. 

Appalachian Pine Mixer.jpg

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.), stretching 2,189 miles across 14 states, is cared for by a coalition of federal and state agencies, as well as by 31 volunteer Trail clubs. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the main conserving organization of the A.T., oversees these various clubs and contributes to their funding. However, the given amount varies, depending on aspects of each Trail club's level of activity. As a result, the Trail clubs are engaged in an undeclared competition, for substantial funding from the ATC.