The whole of Appalachian Trail goes through Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia. This would undoubtedly be exhausting to walk! However, some hikers walk the whole trail in a season. Others walk just for a day. I would choose to take that approach, but if you're a hearty enough soul to attempt to walk the thing, then congratulations. This article contains information beneficial to both you and the more casual hiker.
Appalachia is a beautiful country to traverse, and you may feel at home if you bring along your banjo or at least a backpack guitar to serenade yourself and/or your traveling companions while you look on the green valleys of Virginia. This hike is a lovely way to relax and let the beauty of Appalachian National Scenic parks put your mind into a calming, meditative state in touch with the nature of this unique area of the varied country that is the United States of America. Know that many before you have walked this footpath across ridge crests under the vast blue sky. Volunteers keep most of this federal and state-protected land maintained; more than 4,000 volunteers, annually. Together, they contribute over 185,000 hours of work. So, as you can see, many people care about the maintenance of Appalachian Trail accessibility for you and me, and with good reason.
The Appalachian National Scenic Park was the first National Scenic Trail. It was made so in 1968 by the National Trails System Act. The trail was opened in 1937, its vision first conceived by Benton MacKaye, and then fulfilled by volunteers. If you plan to hike the trail, you should be well prepared with supplies, appropriate clothing and plenty of water. Appropriate preparation can mean the difference between a beautiful experience and a stressful, potentially unhealthy and dangerous experience. If you have a cell phone, it is advisable to bring the cell phone with you so that you may contact help in case of an accident. Plan your hike realistically: if you've never walked further than 4 miles in one day, it is not advisable to plan a trip of 6 miles, even if there is a landmark that you would like to see at the end of that 6 mile trek. Keep in mind the longevity of Appalachian Trail scenery - it's not going anywhere, at least not too soon, and can wait an extra day if you need to break your trip into two days.
For first-time long-distance hikers, it is advised that you do some training in advance. Know that the first part of your trip will go slowly if you are not in good shape preceding the start of your hike. Set short-term goals realistic to your current abilities, and then over time you will see progress as you set your goals higher. The extensive nature of the journey of Appalachian Trail hiking will become all too apparent after your first couple weeks on the path.
Surely the experience of traveling the length of Appalachian Trail parks will be an excellent payoff, and a goal which, when fulfilled, will be reason for pride on the part of the ambitious hiker.