ASHEVILLE, N.C. (May 22, 2018) – Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) fans and nature lovers of all kinds are invited to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act at the Cradle of Forestry amphitheater in Brevard, North Carolina, on May 30 at 6 p.m. Suzanne Dixon, President & CEO of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), will deliver the keynote speech highlighting the landmark legislation of 1968, the rich history and management of the A.T., and the future of the world’s most iconic hiking trail.
The National Trails System Act of 1968 adopted the A.T. into the National Park System. Since this time, it has expanded to include 30 trails recognized for their scenic and historical significance. These trails spanning the United States connect more than 70 wildlife refuges, 80 national parks, 90 national forests and more than 120 Wilderness areas. Some of America’s most popular places to explore and engage with the great outdoors are protected because of the Act.
The celebration will be part of the Wilderness Skills Institute, which is in its eighth year of providing training to public lands volunteers, advocates and agency staff. Held annually at the end of May, the Institute is organized by the USDA Forest Service, the ATC and the Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards (SAWS). Training is offered for free to accepted participants. The application period opens annually in mid-January and can be found at wildernessskillsinstitute.org.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit appalachiantrail.org.
Media Contact: Leanna Joyner
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Email: [email protected]