• Appalachian Trail frequently ask questions (FAQ)

    Commonly asked question about the Appalachian Trail

    What is the Appalachian Trail?
    The Appalachian Trail is a national scenic trail that extending from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine.

    How long is the Appalachian Trail?
    As of 01 January 2015, it is 2189.2.

    Where does the
    Appalachian Trail start?
    If you are hiking it in a south to north direction, it starts at Springer Mountain in Georgia.
    If you are hiking it in a north to south direction, it starts at Mount Katahdin in Maine.

    How many states does the Appalachian pass through?
    It goes though 14 states, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

    Is the trail marked and how?
    The trail is marked with White Blazes the entire length. They are 3x6 inch painted white blazes on trees, rocks. When you see a double white blaze (one on top of the other) this will depict an upcoming change in direction or an intersection. When there is a double blaze and the bottom blaze is offset to the left of the right it usually depicts the direction of change.

    How far apart are the white blazes?
    Distance between blazes varies. In some areas, blazes are almost always within sight; in areas managed as wilderness you may encounter only four or five per mile. If you have gone a quarter-mile without seeing a blaze, stop. Retrace your steps until you locate a blaze. Then, check to make sure you haven't missed a turn.

    How long does it take to hike the Appalachian Trail if you were to do it in one continuous hike?
    This all depends on the individual. The average is about six months. Some take seven months and others have hiked it in 4 to five months.

    What about bears, snakes and wild animals on the Appalachian Trail?
    There are wild animals on the trail bears, snakes, and wild boars. All hikers should take certain precautions to protect themselves and their food, such as hanging food in bear bags, but there is little worry of these animals causing any serious harm.

    How much does it cost to hike the Appalachian Trail?
    The average cost to hike the trail is about $1,000 a month. This also depends on the individual. Some have been known to spend a lot more and other have spent less.

    What is a thru hiker?
    The Appalachian Trail Conservancy defines a thru hiker as an individual that completes the entire length of the trail in 12 months or less.

    What is a 2,000 miler?
    This is an individual that has hiked the entire length of the trail. The defining difference between a 2,000 miler and a thru hiker is that a 2,000 milers has taken more then 12 months to hike the entire length of the trail. Some hikers do the trail in section, taking years to complete it. They are called section hikers.
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. BStrong's Avatar
      BStrong -
      How do thru hikers pay for things while hiking the trail? Do they carry cash? Do they pay by credit and/or debit cards?
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