Appalachian Trail

While you can hike the Appalachian Trail from the north to the south, most hikers choose to hike this trail starting in Springer Mountain, Georgia, and finish six months later in Katahdin, Maine. To see the best weather, most start in late March and early April, which allows them to finish mid-September. If you do not want to hike the entire 2,190 miles at one time, there are numerous shorter hikes along this trail that runs through 14 states. Most of the course is maintained by the Appalachian Trail Conservatory, headquartered in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, at about the trail's halfway point. 

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Appalachian Trail

If you plan to through-hike the Appalachian Trail, climb to the top of Mount Springer in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests by following the eight-mile trail from behind the visitors center at Amicalola Falls State Park. Then, start following the trail markers across Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. You will hike through six national forests, two national wildlife refuges, 67 state-owned facilities, and more than 12 municipal watersheds before completing the hike about six months later. About 51% of this trail runs across private property. Many hikers report that they have the most trouble hiking through Virginia because the southern part of the state contains many ridges that must be climbed before reaching the constant up and down of the roller coaster section. 

Hiking Trails



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map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is headquartered in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, near the midway point if you are hiking the trail. It offers maps, exhibits, and other displays related to the trail. It is easy to reach this location from Charleston, West Virginia, and other areas along Interstate 77. 

To follow this route, you will leave West Virginia and travel through Maryland and Virginia before returning to West Virginia. Follow Interstate 77 North and take the left exit to get onto Interstate 79 North. Take Exit 148 to get on Interstate 68 East. Next, take Exit 828 and get on U.S. 40 East. Turn right on Maryland 66 South and left on Old National Pike. At the traffic circle, take the first exit to get on Maryland 67 South. Merge onto U.S. 340 West. In Harper's Ferry, turn right on Union Street and left on Washington Street to reach the Appalachian Trail Conservancy headquarters. 


Appalachian Trail Conservancy, 799 Washington St, Harpers Ferry, WV 25425 

Fee: Entry fee $0

Through-hiking the Appalachian Trail can be done in either direction and takes about six months. Many hikers choose to send supplies ahead. A great option is to rent an RV when you are going to stay in a town for a day or two. Then, you have a comfortable bed and a private shower. You can also hike short sections of this trail or visit sights along it.