A Century After the Appalachian Trail Was Proposed, Millions Hike It Every Year Seeking ‘the Breath of a Real Life’

Go on microadventures close to home and be closer to nature.

Go on microadventures close to home and get closer to nature. Image T20

McAfee Knob in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the Appalachian Trail’s most scenic vistas. Ben Townsend/Flickr / CC BY 2.0 By Charles C. Chester The Appalachian Trail, North America’s most famous hiking route, stretches over 2,189 mountainous miles (3,520 kilometers) from Georgia to Maine. In any given year, some 3 million people hike on it , including more than 3,000 “thru-hikers" who go the entire distance, either in one stretch or in segments over multiple years. The AT, as it’s widely known, is a national icon on a par with conservation touchstones like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone’s Old Faithful geyser and the Florida Everglades. It symbolizes opportunity – the chance to set out on a life-altering experience in the great outdoors, or at least a pleasant walk in the woods . Benton MacKaye , the classically trained forester who proposed creating the AT in 1921, saw it as a space where visitors could escape the stresses and rigors of modern industrial life. He also believed it could be a foundation for sound land-use patterns, with each section managed and cared for by local volunteers. MacKaye was a highly original thinker who called for protecting land on a continent-spanning […]

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for exclusive content, original stories, activism awareness, events and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Support Us.

Happy Eco News will always remain free for anyone who needs it. Help us spread the good news about the environment!