The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) traverses many different types of public lands, including parks, forests, refuges, and game lands. It is not always easy while on the footpath to know which jurisdiction you are walking through, except at boundary signs. A concerted effort is made to identify land types on official A.T. maps, but hikers and hunters are advised to "know before you go."
Hunting is permitted along approximately 1,250 miles of the A.T. through national forest lands, national recreation areas, and on state forests and game lands.
Hunting is prohibited along approximately 900 miles of the Trail through national parks (like Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains), most state parks, and on lands acquired by the National Park Service exclusively for the Trail and still under National Park Service administration, including the outside edges by A.T. corridor boundary signs.
Hikers should be aware that the protected corridor is often narrow, averaging about 1,000 feet wide. Even in areas where hunting is prohibited, hunters on adjacent lands may not know that they are near the Trail. Hunters may inadvertently cross onto Trail lands or unknowingly fire toward the Trail.