Trail Updates

Voluntary Thru-Hiker Registration!
A voluntary Appalachian Trail (A.T.) thru-hiker registration is now available. The system will enable hikers to select a start date that allows them to avoid the most crowded days, and provides benefits for those who participate. All thru-hikers are encouraged to register during the first year of the pilot program to help disperse use and conserve the A.T. Click here to register or learn more.

Norovirus Prevention
Outbreaks of highly contagious norovirus (stomach bug) have occurred at various locations on the A.T. the last two years in a row, with the northbound thru-hiker "bubble" disproportionately affected. Hygiene measures such as hand-washing, avoiding sharing of food, and prompt reporting are critical in helping prevent an outbreak or containing one should it occur. Please report date and location of any cases or outbreaks of vomiting and diarrhea on the A.T. or at  places used by A.T. hikers (e.g. hostels) to the local health department and ATC at [email protected].

For more information and a downloadable poster, click here. (4/5/2015)

Lyme Disease Alert
May through July is the prime season for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses on the Appalachian Trail, especially from central or northern Virginia through southern New England, but ticks can be active year-round anytime the temperature is above freezing. Please take precautions to prevent Lyme disease and know how to spot the symptoms. More information is available on our Health & Safety page.

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. 

Backcountry Permit Fees
As of February, 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, TN) 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.

Fontana Dam Construction - Hikers minimally affected
Due to construction, there may be a very short detour at the visitor center adding only a few feet to the route. Hikers will be allowed to cross Fontana Dam even if the dam appears to be closed or blocked. (February 9, 2015)

Shelters in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Bear activity and closures 
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. 

NORTH CAROLINA & TENNESSEE BORDER 

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.

TENNESSEE

US 321 to Wilber Dam Rd. (approx. 4 miles) - All activities except hiking along the Appalachian Trail are prohibited due to recent bear activity.
Hikers are asked to walk through the area without stopping. Preparation or consumption of food, lingering, and camping are prohibited in the area known locally as "Oliver Hollow" by a U.S. Forest Service closure order. 
The Watauga Lake Shelter in this stretch is also closed. Even though a "closure order" has been issued to restrict usage of the area, the A.T. is not closed to hiking. These orders are in effect for an 18-month period from June 3, 2014 until December 1, 2015. The official U.S. Forest Service poster can be found here. (June 17, 2014)

Watauga Lake Shelter - Closed
See entry above. The official U.S. Forest Service poster for the shelter closure can be found here. (June 17, 2014)

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

Relocation Opened North of Pearisburg
The A.T. has been relocated between the New River and Rice Field Shelter north of Pearisburg, to a corridor of public land that will be protected from development. The new route is 0.1 longer.

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. 

NORTHERN VIRGINIA

Snickers Gap/Va. 7 area parking notice
Hikers are cautioned against parking on the shoulders of VA 679 if the VA 679 parking lot is full - vehicles parked on either shoulder will be towed. Alternate parking is available on the east-bound lane of VA 7 at the corner of VA 601. If your car is towed, contact the Clarke County Communications Center at (540) 955-1234. (April 9, 2015)

Snickers Gap/Va. 7 - vehicle break-in reported
Three vehicles were broken into at the trailhead parking at Va. 679 during the day and valuables stolen. (April 19, 2015)

WEST VIRGINIA

New A.T. Community Supporters in Harpers Ferry
Several business in Harpers Ferry and Bolivar are now participating in the A.T. Community Supporter program. These businesses support the A.T., ATC, or hikers in various ways. Some may offer special services or discounts for hikers or ATC members. For more information, visit the A.T. Thru-Hikers' Companion Updates page. (6/27/2014)

 

MARYLAND

Pen Mar - Parking Pass available
An advance parking pass is now available for overnight parking at PenMar. It is not required, but is strongly recommended for those leaving their vehicle for more than a couple of nights. Here's how to get the pass:

Click here to email Christine Casey  at the Washington County Parks and Facilities Dept. the following information:

  (1) the make and model of your vehicle
  (2) registered owners name
  (3) tag information
  (4) dates the vehicle will parked

You will receive a "do not tow" pass, as an attachment, that is to be printed and posted in your vehicle so local police will know that the vehicle has been registered. For more information, call (240) 313-2700 Tue-Fri. 6am - 4:30pm (reduced hours in winter and more information here.) (10/6/2014)

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)

Port Clinton - Construction
The Borough of Port Clinton, PA will construct an underground pipe line near the A.T. starting in July 2014 and ending by September 2014.  Construction will occur along the section of Trail between Broad Street heading Trail-north to Port Clinton Avenue (on the east side of State Route 61).  Hikers will be able to pass through the construction area with no or only minor delays of a few minutes.  Please follow A.T. blazes and signs directing hikers through the work area. (June 27, 2014)

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

Prescribed Burns (off-Trail smoke will be visible)
UPDATE 4/15 12:20 p.m Due to low RH(below prescription) the proposed burn for today was canceled.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission plans to conduct prescribed fire treatments in 2015 on lands adjacent to the Appalachian Trail in Schuylkill and Lebanon counties, Pennsylvania. The prescribed burns are being used as a management tool to increase the number of oaks at each site. The burns will not directly affect the Appalachian Trail or associated lands. However, visitors hiking the A.T. in the vicinity, and at the time, of the burns may smell smoke or see smoke off in the distance. For further information and maps of the proposed burn areas, click on the following links to the PA Game Commission's website.
SGL 217, Schuylkill County Baer Rocks Burn Unit 1
Schuylkill County Baer Rocks Burn Unit 2
Lebanon County Monroe Valley Burn, Unit 2 
(April 9, 2015)



Palmerton Hostel closure
After several decades of serving hikers, the hostel in the Palmerton Police Borough (sometimes referred to as the "Jailhouse Hostel") has permanently closed and will not be open to hikers in 2015. (April 9, 2015).

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.  Occasional 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. (April 9, 2015)

NEW JERSEY

The water pump is dry at Blue Mountain Lakes Road
This location is 17.6 miles north of the PA/NJ line at the west end of the Delaware River Bridge. (April 9, 2015)


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 permanent solution is still being planned. (4/9/2015)

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. (4/9/2015)

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

No updates at this time.

VERMONT

Tucker Johnson shelter (near Maine Junction) destroyed by fire.
The shelter, which burned in 2011, may eventually be replaced, date: TBD (updated 5/9/14)

NEW HAMPSHIRE

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 shelter, which burned down in 2011, will not be replaced.  Tents sites and a new privy are available at the site of the former shelter. (Revised 5/9/2014)

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

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 – 2015 Schedule

  • May 22 – July 9  (9 am to 11 am only)
  • July 10 – September 30   (9 am to 11 am and also 2 pm to 4pm)
  • October 1 – October 12  (9 am to 11 am only)

Click here or contact David P. Corrigan, ferry contractor, at (207) 672-4849 for details and current information regarding the ferry service. The Kennebec River is the most formidable unbridged crossing along the entire A.T. Do not attempt to ford the river. Please use the ferry service.

Post Office Changes - Monson, Maine
M - F 8 am - 12 pm, 2:15 pm - 4:15 pm; Saturday 7:30 - 11:00 am. 

Baxter State Park 
Baxter State Park is the location of Katahdin, the mountain whose summit serves as the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Katahdin is a mile-high mountain with spectacular views, extremely challenging terrain, and miles of exposed trail above treeline. Because of the difficulty of the climb to the summit, hikers are required to start their ascent by cut-off times that vary depending on the number of daylight hours available.

Hikers staying overnight within the park boundary must camp at designated sites, and campsite reservations are strongly recommend for overnight sites for all hikers except those who have arrived on foot walking more than 100 miles. (Northbound thru-hikers do not need reservations; flip-flop and southbound thru-hikers should plan on reservations for at least the night following their climb of Katahdin, and possibly the night before). All must pay a camping fee whether a reservation is obtained in advance or not. For more information about camping in the park and climbing Katahdin, visit 
www.baxterstateparkauthority.com and the Baxter State Park Facebook page.