History of the AT in North Carolina

Topics: Appalachian Trail, Great Smoky Mountains, Appalachian Mountains Pages: 4 (1317 words) Published: October 18, 2013

The AT In North Carolina
Along the eastern United States runs a trail inching along from Georgia to Maine; this trail is known as the Appalachian Trail. It stretches for an amazing 2,184.2 miles from Springer Mtn., GA all the way to Katahdin, Maine. There are three types of hikers that attempt this life changing walkabout: the section hiker takes the trail and divides it up in sections to hike at separate times; the flip-flop hiker does sections of the trail in different places to avoid weather and crowds; the thru-hiker tries to tackle the entire trail in one go. Typically it takes a thru-hiker an average of about 4 to 6 months to complete the trail and that is going 18 to 20 miles a day. Each year there are “thousands of hikers attempting a through hike; only one in four hikers complete the trail”. It is an extremely huge undertaking to hike the entire Appalachian Trail because “the total elevation gain of hiking the entire A.T. is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest 16 times”. The trail is supported and maintained by thousands of volunteers that put on average of 220,000 hours a year into upkeep and maintenance. The average hiker will burn up to 6,000 calories a day following the “165,000 white blazes” painted on trees and the ground by volunteers. Benton Mackaye, in the year of 1921, “envisioned a trail that would offer the urban dweller escape”. The trail at that time was originally envisioned to extend from “the highest point in northern Appalachians Mt. Washington and New Hampshire, to the highest point in southern Appalachians Mt. Mitchell in North Carolina” . Through the 1920’s construction took off on the trail. Myron Avery, a co-founder of the trail, differed greatly with Mackaye on what direction the trail should take. Avery wanted to include roadways along the trail and Mackaye did not agree with this and thus decided to leave the project. The Appalachian Trail was completed and “opened as a continuous trail in 1937” and in 1968 “was...

Bibliography: .
Akins, Lenord M. and the Appalachian Trail Conservency. Along the Appalachian Trail Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Charleston: Arcadia Publishing, 2012.
Bryson, Bill. A Walk in the Woods. Ed. Random House. New York: Broadway Books, 1998.
Commerce, North Carolina Department of. VisitNc. 17 December 2008. Division of Tourism. 4 May 2009 .
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The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association. Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers ' Companion. Ed. Robert Sylvester. 19th. Harpers Ferry: Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 2012.
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