Appalachian Trail Histories


Anthropogenic Impact in Southern Appalachia (Student Exhibit)

Benton MacKaye's initial mission and purpose in creating the Appalachian Trail was to bring people back to nature. Over the years, the trail has become one of the most popular hiking trails in the United States and thus has completed this initial mission. However, the sudden increase of humans in a part of nature that had not previously seen much human interaction carried a significant impact on the trial environment. While many policies, such as the Leave No Trace movement, have been enacted to slow the environmental degradation taking place on the AT, it is still important to recount the historic impact on the AT’s environment, and things that have been permanently altered.


Elise Holliday