10 Hiking Tips for the Appalachian Trail

About the Trail

Formally known as the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, this trail is approximately 2,200 miles long and spans 14 states from Georgia to Maine, though Virginia is home to 550 miles of the trail. The Appalachian Trail is included in the Triple Crown of long distance hikes in the United States, along with the Continental Divide Trail and Pacific Crest Trail.

The National Park Service, US Forest Service and non-profit Appalachian Trail Conservancy manage the trail.

Gain/loss in elevation: 464,500

Miles: 2,190

Remember these tips when venturing out on the Appalachian Trail:

  1. Be prepared to encounter wildlife (bears, deer, elk, moose), as well as pests like ticks and mosquitoes.
  2. Expect company in the spring: many avid hikers, known as thru-hikers, traverse the whole trail and begin in March or April.
  3. Stay hydrated and pack food! Even if you’ll only be on the trail for a few hours, it’s important to bring provisions.
  4. Bring sunscreen and sun protection such as hats and sunglasses.
  5. Avoid cotton clothing, as cotton retains water and will remain cold and wet. Opt for wool, fleece, or clothes with a breathable shell and dress in layers.
  6. Break in your boots before getting on the trail and bring first aid supplies.
  7. Plan for emergencies: charge your cell phone fully, check reception areas, carry a map, stay on the trail if you get lost and yell for help – three short calls at regular intervals is the international signal for help.
  8. Leave your hiking plans with someone at home and check-in on a regular basis.
  9. The trail operates on the leave no trace practice – leaving wildlife and plants alone, being respectable toward other hikers and minimizing waste and campfire impacts.
  10. Have fun! Plan to explore the Appalachian Trail when you stay at Inn at Riverbend!

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

Inn at Riverbend

125 River Ridge Dr. Pearisburg, VA 24134

540.921.5211 stay@innatriverbend.com

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