Trail Updates

WEATHER PREPAREDNESS 
If you are planning a hike on the A.T., be prepared for the conditions you may encounter.  The mountains of the A.T. have vastly different weather conditions than what is reported in towns even a few miles away due to sometimes dramatic differences in elevation. While spring-like temperatures start to occur with more frequency in April, anywhere along the A.T. temperatures can dip below freezing well into April especially at higher elevations; wind chill can create temperatures that are significantly colder. 

NOROVIRUS PREVENTION
outbreaks of norovirus have occurred on the A.T. in North Carolina/Tennessee in early spring the last two years in a row, with the northbound thru-hiker "bubble" disproportionately affected. For more information and a downloadable poster, click here.

New Great Smoky Mountains National Park Permit Fee 
 As of February 2013, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park  implemented a new system for obtaining backcountry permits and also began charging fees for permits. See the Great Smoky Mountains National Park section below for more details. 


The latest guides and maps can't always keep up with rapidly changing Trail conditions. Check this page regularly for information on current conditions, relocations, and other big changes along the Trail. More Trail conditions can be found on some local A.T. management partners' websites.  If you notice a problem on the Trail that requires attention please let us know at trailconditions@appalachiantrail.org.  

2014 A.T. Thru-hikers' Companion UPDATES: Click here to review the most recent updates to information about town services listed in the publication.

Vandalism - Before your hike, be sure to visit  the A.T. Shuttle List on our Parking, Shuttles & Transportation page for recent vandalism reports in the area you are planning to park your car. Vandalism reports are listed separately at the end of each state's section. 

Georgia

Bear canisters seasonally required for camping between Jarrard Gap and Neel Gap
A new U.S. Forest Service rule requires approved bear-resistant storage containers for overnight camping on a 5-mile stretch of the A.T. in the Chattahoochee National Forest between Jarrard Gap and Neel Gap, between March 1 and June 1 each year. This stretch is located between points 26.7 and 31.7 miles north of the southern terminus of the A.T. at Springer Moutain, Georgia, and includes Woods Hole Shelter, Slaughter Creek Campsite, and Blood Mountain Shelter. “Bear canisters” should be used to store food, food containers, garbage and toiletries. For more information, call the Chattahoochee - Oconee National Forest at (770) 297-3000.

NORTH CAROLINA

Long Branch Shelter Open
Construction of the Long Branch Shelter was recently completed by the Nantahala Hiking Club and is now open. It is about 2 miles north of Albert Mountain in the Nantahala National Forest. There are accessible eating shelves, accessible privy, and the site is laid out with interior trails at accessible grades. Cold Spring Shelter under construction
The Cold Spring shelter, south of Wesser, NC, is closed while undergoing renovation by the Nantahala Hiking Club. 

Post Office Changes - Fontana Dam, North Carolina
Reduced hours: M - F 11:45 am to 3:45 pm. This schedule reflects a change that was implemented during November 2012. 

GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

For a full list of road and facility closures and warnings throughout the park, click here. Weather-related road and facility closures may change throughout the day. For updated road and weather information please call (865) 436-1200. Once you hear a voice, dial extension 631 for road information or extension 630 for a weather forecast.  Click here  for more information about bears in the backcountry. 

New Backcountry Permit Fees
As of February 13, 2013, a backcountry permit must be obtained for overnight stays before entering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and a $4 per person fee will be required for each night in the backcountry. Backcountry permits can be obtained up to 30 days in advance. Hikers who meet the definition of an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker (those who begin and end their hike at least 50 miles outside the park and only travel on the A.T. in the park) are eligible for a thru-hiker permit of $20 (valid for 38 days from the date issued for an up to 8 day hike through the Park). Permits are available at www.smokiespermits.nps.gov. You may also obtain a permit in person at the park’s Backcountry Office (at the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg) or over the phone; with permits issued by fax, mail or email. Hikers staying overnight in the backcountry are required to have a printed copy of the permit.

For more information, visit www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/backcountry-camping.htm or call (865) 436-1297.

Post Office Changes - Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Likely to change during 2013; no projected schedule at this time.

Shelters in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Bear activity
Bear activity has been reported at various shelters in the park. Hikers must use the food storage cables provided at all backcountry campsites in the park. Occasionally shelters are closed when bear activity becomes especially problematic. There are reports of recent activity at the following shelter(s):

Peck's Corner Shelter - Bear activity
Hikers are cautioned about bear activity at this shelter. Hikers must use the food storage cables provided at all backcountry campsites in the park. (1/7/2014)

NORTH CAROLINA & TENNESSEE BORDER 

Post Office Changes - Hot Springs, North Carolina
Likely to change; no projected schedule confirmed.

Apple House Shelter  Removed
The Apple House Shelter, trail south of 19E between Overmountain Shelter and Mountaineer Shelter, has been removed. The Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club  worked with the USFS and ATC to coordinate the removal due to issues with its location and use.

Post Office Changes - Elk Park, North Carolina
Likely to change during 2013; no projected schedule confirmed.

TENNESSEE

No updates at this time.

SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA

Straight Branch footbridge washed out - Detour in place
A section of the A.T. near Straight Branch and US-58 east of Damascus, VA, has been rerouted indefinitely due to the complete washout of the Straight Branch Footbridge during a high water event in May 2013.  The reroute (detour) follows portions of the Beech Grove Trail and Virginia Creeper Trail. This detour is expected to be in place for the foreseeable future, as A.T. management partners plan for the construction of a replacement footbridge. For more information, contact Mount Rogers NRA at (276) 783-5196. 

Mt. Rogers – Vehicle break-ins and thefts
The Trail between Damascus and VA Rt. 16 at Mt. Rogers NRA Headquarters has a long history of vehicle break-ins and thefts. 

Post Office Changes - Bastian, VIrginia
Reduced hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm; Saturday 8:15 am- 11:15 am.


CENTRAL VIRGINIA

Trail Relocation and Construction on A.T. North of Pearisburg
The A.T. is being relocated between the New River and Rice Field Shelter north of Pearisburg, to a corridor of public land that will be protected from development. Construction on a natural gas pipeline that will cross the A.T.'s current location has already begun. Hikers should expect to see signs of construction, and should continue to follow white blazes--the new trail will not be be blazed until it is opened and the old trail is closed.

Post Office Changes - Montebello, Virginia
Reduced hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm; Saturday 10:00 am - 1:00 pm.

SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK

Skyline Drive Updates
Skyline Drive is a 2-lane scenic highway following the ridgecrest and traversing the length of the Park. It roughly parallel and frequently crosses the Appalachian Trail. It is open year round; however, the Drive may be temporarily closed on short notice for indefinite periods due to winter weather conditions. For the most current Skyline Drive status, call (540) 999-3500, choose Option 1, and then Option 1. Park staff also post opening and closing information on Facebook and Twitter.

Park Facilities
Click here for the Park's most updated facility schedule. 

Little Calf Mountain; Beagle Gap, Skyline Drive mile 96.9 - Relocation opened
The Potomac Appalachian Trail club opened a relocation on Little Calf Mountain, just north of Rockfish Gap. The relocation turns trail west in a field a few hundred yards north of the parking area at Beagle Gap on Skyline Drive, curls around Little Calf Mountain while climbing to its summit, then rejoins the existing A.T. a few hundred yards north of the Little Calf summit.

Bearfence Mountain Hut – Access trail relocated The access trail to Bearfence Mountain Hut (p. 137 in the A.T. Guide to Shenandoah National Park) has been relocated from a direct spur from the A.T. to the shelter. It now utilizes two existing woods roads. The old blue blazed (mile 9.0 on page 137) access trail has been completely brushed in and access to the shelter is now utilizes the yellow and blue blazed Slaughter Trail (mile 9.2 on page 137). In 0.1, turn right on blue blazed trail on woods road (yellow blazed Slaughter Trail continues straight ahead, generally downhill). Go 0.1 to Bearfence Mountain Hut.  

NORTHERN VIRGINIA

Post Office Changes - Bluemont, Virginia
Reduced hours: M - F 10 am - 1 pm, 2 pm - 5 pm; Saturday 8:30 am - 12 pm. This change took place Jan. 12, 2013.

WEST VIRGINIA

No updates at this time.

MARYLAND

Crampton Gap Shelter - Re-Opened
Damage caused by a fire in the shelter has been repaired. (3/15/14)

Crampton Gap Shelter Spring - Unreliable in summer and fall

The Crampton Gap Shelter spring routinely goes dry in July and remains dry through the fall into winter. Water is available a short distance south --see entry for Gathland State Park above.

Dahlgren Backpack Campground
Water is available from a frost-free spigot a short distance north on the access road. The restrooms and bathhouse are still closed for the season, but a portable privy is available. (3/24/14)

Pennsylvania

Pine Grove Furnace State Park – New parking rules
Pine Grove Furnace State Park requires that hikers check in with the park office before leaving a vehicle in the park and that vehicles be left for no more than one week.

Caledonia State Park – New parking rules
Caledonia State Park now requests that those parking overnight at the parking area on Rt. 30 register at the park office. For more information, contact the park at (717) 352-2161. (4/22/2013)

The Ironmasters Mansion hostel - Reopened for business
Note that the doors are locked from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

PA 225 – Temporary Road Closure
PennDOT will be conducting road repairs that will require daytime closures (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) of PA  225 over Peters Mountain from Monday, April 21 until Friday, May 2. A round-the-clock closure will begin on Monday, May 5 and continue until Friday, May 23. The A.T. parking area is expected to be unavailable during this time. (4/16/2014)

Rausch Gap Shelter – Now open
The Blue Mountain Eagle Climbing Club has completed the shelter renovations and it now open for overnight use.

Hamburg - Parking limited
Parking at the end of Reservoir Road is limited due to construction associated with Hamburg Watershed facilities.

Lehigh Gap to Little Gap – CAUTION - Remedial activities in progress
Remedial activities associated with the revegetation of Blue Mountain are currently being conducted near the A.T. between Lehigh Gap and Little Gap as part of the Palmerton Zinc Pile Superfund Site. The Appalachian Trail and blue-blaze Winter Trail will remain open during these activities.  Frequent truck traffic will occur on the administrative access road that parallels the A.T.  Hikers are advised to stay on the A.T. and not use the road. (July 19, 2013)

Post Office Changes - Danielsville, Pennsylvania
Reduced hours: M - F 8:30 am - 12 pm, 2 - 4:30 pm; Saturday 8 am - 12 pm. 

Kirkridge Shelter - Water no longer available.
The water line to the spigot that served as the water source for the Kirkridge Shelter is broken; no water is available at this shelter. (4/16/2014)

NEW JERSEY

Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area - Road Reopened
Blue Mountain Lakes Road west of the trail has been repaired and reopened.

Sunfish Pond - Relocation opened
From the A.T. - Garvey Springs Trail junction north to a stream near the Upper Yards Creek Reservoir, a distance of about one mile, the trail has been relocated several hundred yards to the west. It now follows a contour just to the west of the height of land of the ridge. Just before rejoining the existing trail, the relocation provides an extensive up-river view of the Delaware River valley

NEW YORK

Bellvale Mountain (Warwick/Greenwood Lake) - Fixed ladder removed
A temporary replacement has been installed. As it's aluminum, care should be used, particularly when descending in wet weather. A more permanant solution is still being planned.

Post Office Changes - Unionville, New York
Reduced hours: M - F 8 - 11:30 am, 1 - 5 pm; Saturday 8 am - 12 pm.

Little Dam Lake – Little Dam Bridge collapsed
Little Dam Bridge, just south of Little Dam Lake, 3 miles west (or Trail south) of NY 17 and the NY Thruway, collapsed. A crew from the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference has installed step stones.

Post Office Changes - Southfields, New York
Scheduled to change in late May or mid June 2013; no projected hours or date confirmed yet.

West Mountain - Relocation
Heading southbound, after crossing Seven Lakes Drive, the Trail meets and is co-aligned with the 1777W trail for 0.1 mile, then the new route turns left. After another 0.1, the trail meets and turns right on an old woods road. After about 0.2 miles, it turns left off the woods road and climbs for about 0.4 miles, where it rejoins the old A.T. at an open area with good views. The relocation is about 0.85 miles, roughly 0.2 longer than the old route. Refer to page 113 in the NY-NJ A.T. Guide.

Bear Mountain – Relocation
Parts of a planned three-mile relocation of the A.T. over Bear Mountain have been opened to the public. Hikers should pay close attention to blazing in the area. Work on the remainder of this relocation and restoration of the old route and social trails in the area will continue.

CONNECTICUT

Post Office Changes - Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut
Reduced hours: M - F 8:30 am - 1 pm, 2 pm - 5 pm; Saturday 9 am - 12 pm.

Post Office Changes - Sharon, Connecticut
Reduced hours: M - F 9:30 am - 4:30 pm; Saturday 9:30 am - 12:30 pm.

Guinea Brook (just north of Conn. 4/Cornwall Bridge) Stepping stones washed away
The rock stepping stones across Guinea Brook are no longer safe to use.  Crossing Guinea Brook requires fording or utilizing the blue blazed bypass trail. Use the “high water bypass” or the Mohawk Trail, or continue S on RT 4 to the Breadloaf Mountain parking area and take the blue trail to rejoin AT. The bypass is strongly  recommended during periods of high water or icing. 

Iron Bridge, Housatonic River - Closed to motor vehicles
The Iron Bridge across the Housatonic River at Fall Village near the power plant  has been closed to motor vehicles by the Town of Salisbury.  Pedestrian use is allowed at this time, but eventually the bridge will be closed  to hikers when renovations begin.  A relocation marked by orange blazes,  involving a road walk on RT 128 and Dugway Road, will be instituted when the bridge officially closes during construction. (9/10/12)

MASSACHUSETTS

Tyringham Fire Company Pavilion: Hikers are again being allowed to camp at the pavilion in the center of town.  From the Jerusalem Rd crossing hike downhill to the center of town, then left on Tyringham Main Rd just past the Fire House to the pavilion.

Upper Goose Pond Cabin Opening
The cabin will be opened on Saturday, May 18th for hikers to stay with a caretaker present until closing on October 20th (last night to stay in the cabin Saturday, October 19th).  Hikers are advised to use the bear boxes to store their food as bears are active in the area.  Also, no cooking is allowed on the porch. Please use the cook table under the pavilion roof behind the cabin or the picnic tables at the tent sites.

VERMONT

In September 2011, Hurricane Irene caused damage all along the A.T., but Vermont was hit hardest - extensive damage to the footpath, bridges, and access roads is still being addressed. Some bridges are still out so be careful when crossing streams; river crossings can be deceptively hazardous. Read  Safety Tips for Fording Streams and Rivers for more information. 

For a list of extensive road and facility closures and other updates, visit the Green Mountain Club's Trail Updates page.

Post Office Changes - Danby, Vermont

Hours likely to be reduced to six hours each day; no specific schedule confirmed yet.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Post Office Changes - Lyme, New Hampshire
Hours likely to change; projected schedule unknown at this time. 

Post Office Changes - Wentworth, New Hampshire
Reduced hours: Monday through Friday, 7:00 am - 11:00 pm, 2:45 pm - 4:45 pm; Saturday, 7:15 am - 12:00 pm.

Ore Hill Shelter –  Burned down 
The Ore Hill Shelter, along Dartmouth Outing Club's section (NH/VT guidebook section 7) burned down sometime in late October 2011. ATC, DOC and Forest Service partners are investigating the cause and local situation.  There are no current plans underway to replace it; however, as many A.T. club maintainers know, our system of continuous overnight shelters, lean-tos and campsites requires continuity. ATC will inform the public about the club's and partners' plans as soon as they are known.

Post Office Changes - Warren, New Hampshire
Reduced hours: M - F 7:30 am - 9:30 am and 3 pm - 5 pm; Saturday 7:30 am - 11:30 am. This change took affect Jan. 12, 2013.

Post Office Changes - Glencliff, New Hampshire
New, reduced hours will be in effect 2/24/14 are Monday - Friday 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm and Saturday 7 am - 1 pm.(2/22/14)

Cascade Brook Bridge out

The bridge on the A.T. (also known as the Cascade Brook Trail) over Cascade Brook was washed out during a spring 2011 flood. A short distance upstream from the former bridge site there is a rock hop crossing suitable at low to moderate water levels. During high water, the rock hop crossing is not safe and hikers should seek alternate routes. Heading northbound: It is recommended to leave the A.T. at Lonesome Lake and take the blue-blazed Lonesome Lake trail to the Pemi Trail (at the Lafayette place campground) and rejoin the A.T. just before going under Franconia Parkway (I-93/NH Rt.3). Heading southbound: Take the Pemi Trail after going under the Parkway to the  Lonesome Lake Trail. See the A.T. New Hampshire-Vermont guidebook and map #3 or AMC's White Mountain Guide and Franconia-Pemigewasset map #2. 

MAINE

Post Office Changes - Oquossoc, Maine
Expected to be reduced; no projected schedule confirmed.

Access to Mt. Abraham - The Rapid Stream road damaged
It is being repaired only to the last house which is 3 miles short of the trailhead. 

Kennebec Ferry Service – 2013 Schedule
May 24 – July 11: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. only
July 12 – September 30: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
October 1 – October 14: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. only
Click here or contact David P. Corrigan, ferry contractor, at (207) 672-4849 for details and current information regarding the ferry service.

Post Office Changes - Monson, Maine
Tentative projected schedule: M - F 8 am - 12 pm, 2:15 pm - 4:15 pm; Saturday 7:30 - 11:00 am. Date to take place not confirmed - likely fall 2013.

Gulf Hagas side trail – Footbridge washed out
The Gulf Hagas Brook bridge was washed out by spring high water. This does not affect the A.T. itself, but does affect access to a popular side trail. A replacement bridge will likely not be installed until fall (at the earliest). Until the bridge is replaced, hikers using the Gulf Hagas side trail will need to wade across the brook. Please cross at the designated ford rather than trampling brush up and down the banks of the stream.

Baxter State Park 
Visit www.baxterstateparkauthority.com for closures and important information.