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Trail Updates

Keep up-to-date with the latest conditions on the Trail.
Report Trail conditions: [email protected]

trailwide updates



(Updated 6/18/2018)  BEAR WARNINGS AND OVERNIGHT SITE CLOSURES - MT. ROGERS AREA, SW VA; GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK; OTHER SITES IN GA, NC, TN, VA and NY.

Hikers are advised to be “bear aware” in all areas of the A.T. especially around overnight sites where campers may have been improperly storing their food. Remember that any overnight site can become a problem area at any time once a bear has an opportunity to easily take food that is improperly stored. 

Hikers should be especially careful in areas noted below, where black bears have been exhibiting behavior that indicates they have become habituated to human food. In addition to following the ATC recommendation to carry a bear resistant canister, hikers should never leave packs unattended. Where food storage devices are provided, hikers should store food and other "smellables" in them upon arrival. Also, do not burn food wrappers or leftovers or leave them in fire pits, which may attract bears. Remember, when a bear is fed by a human -- intentionally or unintentionally--a fed bear is a dead bear.

Keep dogs leashed to reduce the risk of negative encounters between dogs and bears.

(Updated 6/9/2018) ALERT!  CAUTIONS FROM NORTH CAROLINA TO NEW YORK RELATED TO RECENT STORMS AND PROLONGED RAINS. 

The following conditions may make hiking and camping inconvenient, difficult or unsafe due to multiple storm systems over the last few weeks:

  • Overhead hazards from storm-damaged trees. "Widow-makers" and other hazards from damaged or unstable trees will remain a concern in many areas. Campers need to be extremely vigilant about inspecting overnight sites for trees and limbs around and above them that could fall - even in completely still conditions.
  • Flooded or swift-moving creeks (if it looks unsafe to cross it probably is; backtrack or wait for water levels to fall until it is safe to cross)
  • Mudslides 
  • Hazards from uneven treadway and narrow path through cut tree trunks and limbs 
  • Downed trees (major storm damage reported cleared as of 5/31, but isolated single trees are down in some area)
  • Washed out or damaged access roads 
  • Waterlogged campsites 
  • Wet and muddy treadway (hiking in these conditions can further damage trails; please walk in the middle of the trail rather than the dry edges to prevent further erosion and trail widening).

Always hike with a map and compass (GPS-enabled apps can be very useful but are not infallible). Let someone know your itinerary, and be prepared with contingency plans. Allow extra time to complete your hike.

Report any notable trail problems to [email protected]. Photos are helpful. 

See below for a state-by-state listing of problem areas. Check back for updates. Please stay safe!

 

ATC strongly recommends a bear canister for storing food on your A.T. hike
(1/12/2017-present)  The Appalachian Trail Conservancy and Nantahala Ranger District strongly recommend carrying a bear canister—constructed with solid, non-pliable material and designed to resist bears—to store your food and smellables on the A.T. Bear canisters provide an effective alternative to hanging food bags.

An excellent resource for black bear related information can be found at www.sierrawild.gov.

Black bears inhabit every county the Appalachian Trail passes through. Problems can occur at any location on the Appalachian Trail when hikers are careless with food storage. Although hikers are most likely to encounter bear activity in spring and summer, bears can be active at any time of year. Recent problematic bear activity has been reported in locations noted in state by state sections below, where closures shelter or campsite closures may be in place.

 

May through July is peak tick season. Learn how to protect yourself from Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses! Visit www.appalachiantrail.org/lymedisease for more info.


​trail updates by state

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Georgia

Water source information
Info on the status of water sources in Georgia:

Georgia A.T. Club - Water Sources & Availability

FS77 - Temporary Road Closure
(6/18/18) FS77 (which provides access to Springer Mountain from the east) will be closed until July 6. The Springer Mountain trailhead can be accessed on foot using the Appalachian Trail Approach Trail beginning at Amicalola Falls State Park, or by vehicle on the west side using Doublehead Gap Road onto FS42. More information can be found here.

 

Frosty Mountain - Bear Warning
(5/25/18) A bear has been reported taking a hiker's food bag near the shelter. Please store food appropriately; a bear-resistant canister is recommended.

Sassafras Gap - Bear Warning
(5/25/18) A bear has been reported taking hikers' food bags. Please store food appropriately; a bear-resistant canister is recommended.

Caution Advised in Georgia Post Hurricane Irma
(Updated 02/21/18) While most areas with hurricane damage have been cleared, hikers are advised that hazards will remain even if all the blowdowns have been cleared. It takes a long time for conditions to stabilize after a serious weather event like Irma. Be very careful in choosing places to camp, including at or in shelters. Look up and around out to a couple of tree lengths in distance to be sure your shelter or campsite is not threatened by broken limbs, widow makers or leaning or damaged trees.

Amicalola Falls State Park - Free Classes for Thru-hikers
(Updated 03/20/18) Free half-hour classes designed to help northbound thru-hikers #startwell are offered daily at the Amicalola Falls Visitor Center from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm through April. One-on-one pack "shakedowns" to help hikers make good decisions about what to carry and reduce packweight are also available. Classes are open to all. More information can be found here

Unicoi Gap - Vandalism
(09/06/17) Theft of windshield wipers and a car battery reported occurring here on 9/5/17. The owner of one car was an overnight hiker; it is not known how long the other vehicle was parked.

Bears in Georgia—Respect the Wildlife
(08/16/17) Nimblewill Gap to Hightower Gap, including Black Gap Shelter, Springer Mountain Shelter, Hawk Mountain Campsite and Shelter: Hikers are advised to be bear aware since black bears in the area are exhibiting behavior that they have been habituated to human food. In addition to following the ATC recommendation to carry a bear canister, hikers should never leave packs unattended, should store food and other "smellables" in bear boxes provided, and are advised to hang packs on bear cables at shelters so they are not carried away.

Bear canisters seasonally required for camping between Jarrard Gap and Neel Gap
(unknown date - present) 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.


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North Carolina (South of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park)

Bear-Proof Canisters Strongly Recommended on Nantahala Ranger District
(8/24/2017) Due to an increase in close and serious bear encounters in Panthertown and along the Appalachian Trail, the Nantahala Ranger District is strongly recommending that backcountry campers use bear-proof containers for all food and scented items.

Standing Indian/Deep Gap Area - Bear Warning
(5/25/18) Bears have been reported taking hikers' food bags. Please store food appropriately; a bear-resistant canister is recommended.

Seasonal Road Closure of Deep Gap Road/USFS 71
(02/21/18) Deep Gap Road (US FS71, south of Standing Indian), is closed seasonally from roughly 1/1 to 3/31.

Caution Advised in North Carolina Post Hurricane Irma
(Updated 02/21/18) While most areas with hurricane damage have been cleared, hikers are advised that hazards will remain even if all the blowdowns have been cleared. It takes a long time for conditions to stabilize after a serious weather event like Irma. Be very careful in choosing places to camp, including at or in shelters. Look up and around out to a couple of tree lengths in distance to be sure your shelter or campsite is not threatened by broken limbs, widow makers or leaning or damaged trees.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Bear activity in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Overnight site closures and cautions 
(6/17/18) Problematic bear activity has been reported at some overnight sites in the park. Hikers must use the food storage cables provided at all backcountry campsites in the park.

Plan ahead to avoid closed campsites or shelter sites and always store food and smellables properly.

Current closures and cautions:

Birch Spring / #113 Campsite (mile 171.9) - WARNING (campsite remains open for use)
Mollies Ridge Shelter 
(mile 177.3) WARNING (shelter remains open for use)
Russell Field Shelter (mile 180.4) - CLOSED
Spence Field Shelter 
(mile 183.3)WARNING (shelter remains open for use)
Derrick Knob Shelter (mile 189.4) - CLOSED
Mt. Collins Shelter 
(mile 202.4) CLOSED
Cosby Knob Shelter 
(mile 230.7) CLOSED


Backcountry Permit Fees
(2/1/13 - Present) 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.

Davenport Gap (Tenn. 32/N.C. 284,eastern boundary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park) – Vehicle break-ins and car thefts
(1/3/16 - Present) Do not park overnight: This location has a history of vandalism with car thefts reported as recently as 1-3-16. Park at Big Creek Ranger Station in seasons when rangers are present.

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.

North Carolina & Tennessee Border 


Water source update
(02/27/17) Info on the status of water sources in NC/TN border:

Unknown at this time

Trail Re-Opened south of Hot Springs; Cautions Remain
(Updated 5/16/18) The US Forest Service has reopened the Appalachian Trail from Garenflo Gap to Hot Springs. The 50 acre Deer Park Fire is now 100% contained.

Please remember to continue to practice fire safety as dry conditions may return quickly. Never leave a campfire unattended. If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave. 

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Tennessee

Jones Falls to Pond Mountain - High water/hazardous conditions
(5/24/18) Jones Falls (mile 400.2) to Pond Mountain (425.0) - high water makes the streams, river and waterfalls dangerous. BE CAREFUL.

McQueen Knob - Bear Warning
(5/25/18) Bears have been reported taking hikers' food bags. Please store food appropriately; a bear-resistant canister is recommended.

Watauga Dam - Bears Active in Area
(5/17/16-present) Hikers should use caution near Watauga Dam as bears are active in this area; hikers should be alert for and keep a respectful distance from bear(s) with cubs.
 
Watauga Lake Shelter - Closed
(4/15/16-present) Watauga Lake Shelter closed to all entry due to bear activity.

No picnicking, lingering or overnight camping. Hiking the Appalachian Trail only. BEARS ACTIVE IN THIS AREA. Please continue through the area without stopping. Closure Order: National Forest System lands Oliver Hollow Rd. to Wilbur Dam; closed until further notice.
 
US 19E - Parking not recommend
There is a long-standing recommendation by the local A.T. maintaining club to avoid parking at this location.
 

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Southwest Virginia

Bear Warning - Mt. Rogers Area / Thomas Knob Shelter
(Revised 6/1/2018)  Problematic bear activity has been occurring with increasing frequency at Thomas Knob Shelter in the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area in southwest Virginia, mile 498.5 from Springer Mountain, Georgia. On multiple occasions at the shelter and campsites within several miles of the shelter, a bear has retrieved food bags hung in trees. Hikers are discouraged from camping anywhere between Elk Garden/VA-600 and Wise Shelter unless they can use one of the following food storage facilities provided:

    Thomas Knob Shelter: a food storage area is protected by a temporary electric fence, with instructions posted.
    Rhododendron Gap: a food storage area is protected by a temporary electric fence, with instructions posted.

     

The Place Hostel -- contact info change
(5/13/18) The Place Hostel contact number has changed. The new number is (276) 608-7283.

Trail has re-opened near Bland/Bastian area; cautions remain
(5/7/18) A 7.3-mile section of the Appalachian Trail that had been closed due to fire between Suiter Rd (VA 615) north to I-77 (near the towns of Bastian and Bland,VA) has re-opened. This is between mile 584.3 and 591.6 from Springer Mountain, Georgia.

Approximately three quarters of a mile of Trail was burned, and the tread-way is unaffected despite being burned over in places. Crews will likely return to the site Monday to monitor. Hikers are advised to stay on the trail and to use caution as  trees may be weakened by the fire. 

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


Central Virginia

McAfee Knob/Roanoke Area - Trail Has Re-Opened; Caution Advised
(Updated 5/16/18) A 19.8-mile section of the Appalachian Trail has re-opened in Central Virginia — from VA 311 (mile 709.4 from Springer Mtn., GA) north to US 220 (mile 729.2 from Springer Mtn., GA). It had previously been closed due to a wildfire on Catawba Mountain. Hikers are advised to use caution due to fire-weakened trees.

Brown Mountain Creek - Temporary Relocation
(4/9/18) A 0.7-mile section of the A.T. has been temporarily relocated due to damage to the lower Brown Mountain Creek bridge. The relocation is blazed and signed at both ends. The relocation is approximately 0.1 shorter, on an old roadbed. The bridge is expected to be replaced in 2020.

Peters Mountain – Mountain Valley Pipeline Construction
(3/29/18) A.T. hikers should be alert for construction-related activity in the vicinity of Pocahontas Road and Symms Gap Meadow, on Peters Mountain north of Pearisburg, VA. The Appalachian Trail will remain open during construction of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Humpback Rocks - Bear Activity
(11/16/17) Bear activity has been reported in the vicinity of Humpback Rocks and Paul C. Wolfe Shelter, including an incident in which an animal stole a hiker's food. Hikers should exercise extra caution when storing food overnight, keep dogs on leash, and avoid solo hiking and camping if possible in this area.

Pine Swamp Branch shelter temporarily closed due to overhead hazards
(03/21/17 - present) Pine Swamp Branch A.T. shelter is located north of Pearisburg, Virginia (654.7 miles from Springer). The shelter, and a 300’ radius around the shelter, is temporarily closed to overnight use due to multiple standing dead trees caused by gypsy moths. 

Hikers: Please mark your guidebooks and plan to camp elsewhere. This shelter closure is for your safety. Workarounds and more information to navigate this area can be found here.

Shenandoah National Park 

Park Facilities
(1/7/18) Click here for the Park's 2018 facility schedule.
This includes opening and closing dates for lodges, campgrounds, camp stores, waysides (snack bars, limited groceries, souvenirs, and gasoline), and visitor centers.  

Pinefield Hut - Bear Warning
(09/20/17) Hikers are advised to avoid Pinefield Hut (mile 895.8 north of Springer Mountain, GA) in the park's South District due to recent bear activities. Habituated bears have learned to associate tents and backpacks with food, so if you do stay there, be especially diligent about properly storing food and toiletries with scents, leaving no crumbs or wrappers in your tent or backpack, and do not leave your pack on the ground.

Mathews Arm Campground—Reopened
(09/13/17) Mathews Arm Campground (mile 952.7 north of Springer) reopened after rehabilitation construction project was completed on September 1, 2017.

Skyline Drive Updates
(1/1/15-present) 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 weather related 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.

 


Northern Virginia

Water Source Update
(05/31/18) Water source updates for Northern Virginia:

All water sources are flowing.

Snickers Gap/Va. 7 area parking notice
(4/22/16) 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 nearby at the intersection of VA 7 and VA 601, where a rather large parking lot is located. If your car is towed, contact the Clarke County Communications Center at (540) 955-1234. 

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West Virginia

(6/5/2018) Footbridge over the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry has re-opened.

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Maryland

(Updated 6/6/2018)  Goodloe Byron Memorial Footbridge over the Potomac River  re-opened 6/5/2018. The treadway of the C&O Towpath is muddy and rough in places, but is passable.

Keeptryst Road—Re-Opened

(6/6//2018)  This road that provides access to the A.T. at the north end of the C&O Towpath re-opened after repairs were completed on the flood-damaged road.

Dahlgren Backpackers Campground—Open for the season
(Spring 2018 - date unknown)  The Dahlgren Backpackers Campground seasonal bathroom and showers operated by South Mountain Recreation Area are open for the season. 

Water source update
(5/31/18) Info on the status of water sources in MD:

All sources are flowing.

All frost-free spigots on the A.T. in Maryland are now operational again:

Gathland State Park
Dahlgren Backpacker Campground
Washington Monument State Park

Pen Mar - Parking Pass Available
(Updated 9/29/2017) 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 Pam Boyd at the Washington County Parks and Facilities Dept. Be prepared to provide the following information:

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

You will receive a "Do Not Tow" pass as an attachment that must 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 Monday-Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (reduced hours during winter months).

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Pennsylvania

A.T. Midpoint (approx.)—Rausch Gap Area - Beaver Activity Flooding
(6/11/18) The footpath approximately 9/10 of a mile north of Rausch Gap Shelter has flooded due to beaver activity on Haystack Creek. About 150 feet are under water - hikers should expect to wade here for the foreseeable future.

A.T. Midpoint (approx.)—Dead Woman's Hollow Prescribed Burn and Temporary Reroute Pending
(Updated 5/8/18) The A.T. north of Dead Woman’s Hollow Road may be rerouted during fall of 2018 for short durations during prescribed fire operations. Hikers should observe signage and follow any re-routes as directed and be aware that conditions may be very smoky. The PA Bureau of Forestry (PA BOF) in cooperation with ATC, PATC and the Western PA Conservancy, are conducting a 500+ acre project aimed at restoring a Scrub Oak/Pitch Pine Barrens ecosystem within the Big Pine Flats eco-region. The project began in the spring of 2016 and includes approximately 2 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) and its associated corridor in Pennsylvania's Michaux State Forest near Dead Woman’s Hollow Road. This area is a critical reference site for pitch pine/scrub oak habitat. It will be treated using prescribed burning, a commercial timber sale, and mechanical mowing of the forest understory and some portion of the overstory tree layers. For more info, contact: Roy Brubaker, District Forester, Michaux State Forest, (717) 352-2211.

Caledonia State Park - PA 233 Bridge Construction
(3/7/18) The road bridge on PA 233 immediately south of US 30 is under construction. While this project does not affect the A.T. footpath in any way, the Caledonia SP overnight parking lot for the A.T. located on the south side of US 30 just west of PA 233 is closed. Contact Caledonia SP for alternate overnight parking.


PA 645 - Vandalism report
(10/17/17) A vehicle was broken into and packs stolen at the trailhead parking area here.

Pine Grove General Store Reduced hours
(11/2/17) The store, located in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, is open 7 days a week during the summer season, but now has reduced hours.

Pine Grove Furnace State Park—Ironmaster's Mansion
(5/10/17) The Ironmaster's Mansion (hostel) is open for the season. Contact Ironmaster's Mansion for details.

Boiling Springs—Allenberry Inn
(5/10/17) Allenberry Resort has reopened, however they are not offering a special rate for hikers.

Water source update
(5/31/18) Info on the status of water sources in PA:

Water is expected to be flowing well at most sources.

Port Clinton—Trailhead parking closure
(8/16/16 - present) The parking lot at the corner of Blue Mountain Road and PA 61—on PA Game Commission property—is no longer available for access to the A.T. It is blocked and signed 'No Parking.' A nearby parking lot directly off PA 61 on Park Service Lands remains a viable option.

Pine Grove Furnace State Park – Parking rules
(4/26/16-present) 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 – Parking rules
(4/26/16-present) 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.  

Lehigh Gap to Little Gap – CAUTION - Remedial activities in progress
(4/9/15-present) 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. 

Pennsylvania Game Commission
(1/7/16-present) Fluorescent Orange Requirement Nov. 15 - Dec 15: On state game lands in Pennsylvania (much of the A.T. between the Susquehanna River and Delaware Water Gap--roughly the northern 2/3 of the state), all hunters and non-hunters are required to wear at least 250 square inches of fluorescent orange material on the head, chest and back combined, or a fluorescent orange hat, from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 (except on Sundays). The orange material must be visible from all angles (360 degrees). For more information about hunting safety along the A.T. visit www.appalachiantrail.org/hunting.  

Camping Regulations: Only thru-hikers (defined as those "walking the Appalachian Trail from point of beginning to an exit, which is not the place of beginning") may camp on Pennsylvania Game Commission lands, and these hikers must camp within 200 ft of A.T. and at least 500 ft from a spring, stream or public access area.  

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New Jersey

Vernon—The St. Thomas Episcopal Church Hiker Hostel is closed
(05/24/17)The Church is closed for renovations under new ownership.

Water source update
(02/27/17) Info on the status of water sources in the NJ state: 

Unknown at this time

Vernon - Rt. 517
(5/6/16) Hikers are urged to obey the No Parking signs on Rt. 517. Parking along 517 is very limited and cars parked in the No Parking zone have been ticketed recently.

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New York

East of the Hudson - May 15 Storm Damage Cleared; Extreme Caution still advised
(6/1/2018)  Although the A.T. is passable, with all areas of major tree damage cleared, extreme caution is advised. The treadway may be uneven, with large holes where tree rootballs have been upended; the cleared path through downed tree trunks and branches may be narrow and create hazards. White flagging is in place where blazes are missing or the trail has been re-routed, but may be hard to spot in some conditions. Isolated individual downed trees remain.
 
Fahnestock State Park - Camping update
(4/17/2018) The park campground will be closed during 2018 while a new water system is installed, but accommodation will be made for A.T. hikers to camp near the concession stand at the beach at the north end of Canopus Lake. A blue-blazed side trail about 1 3/4 mile north of the A.T. crossing of NY 301 will direct hikers to the designated tenting area. The beach, restrooms, and showers will all be open. Snack bar has limited hours and won’t open until summer.

Shenandoah Tenting Area Alert - Water source contaminated (Pump Closed)
(11/3/2017) Hikers should not drink the water at the Shenandoah Tenting Area Well (at mile 1427.7 north of Springer Mountain, Georgia). Recent testing has indicated microbial contamination of the water supply. Bacteria, viruses, and parasites may be present which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. People with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, infants, young children, and older adults are at increased risk of illness. To protect the health and safety of Trail visitors, the pump and well have been shut off. The closure will last until appropriate corrective measures can be taken.

Harriman State Park –  Bear Warning at Fingerboard Shelter
(6/5/2018) There have been recent reports bears taking hikers' food bag at the Fingerboard Shelter (mile 1389.4 miles north of Springer). A bear canister is recommended as the best method of protecting food and keeping bears and hikers safe anywhere along the Appalachian Trail. Alternatively, food bags and smellables should be hung 12 feet from the ground, 6 feet from the trunk, and 6 feet from the limb from which it hangs, using the "PCT Method."

Bear Mountain – Relocation
(4/9/2015-present) 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. 


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Connecticut 

Water source update
(1/11/2018) Info on the status of water sources in CT:

Refer to AT Water Availability in Connecticut page by Appalachian Mountain Club Connecticut Chapter.

River Road in Kent - Seasonal closure to vehicular traffic
(5/21/2018) River Road in Kent, CT (trail north of Saint John's Ledges Parking) is closed to vehicular traffic from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. Minimal parking is available at Saint John's Ledges parking area. The A.T. remains open as usual for foot travel only.

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Massachusetts

CheshireSt. Mary's Church (Hostel)
(07/25/17) St. Mary of the Assumption Church no longer allows hikers in the church hall overnight. It's open until 8pm for bathroom access, charging cell phones, etc. Hikers may tent on the grounds, though.

Shaker Campsite—regular bear activity
(06/29/17) The Shaker Campsite (mile 1538.2 north of Springer) sees regular bear activity. The bears have not been aggressive, but are not frightened away by human activity. Hikers are advised to immediately place their food and other odoriferous items into the bear box at the campsite upon arrival, and to prepare and cook food away from their tents.

Kay Wood Shelter, Mt. Wilcox South Shelter—bear activity
(06/29/17) In separate incidents, a bear attempted to get into tents where food was present at the Kay Wood (1565.7 miles north of Springer) and Mt. Wilcox South (1532.3 miles north of Springer) Shelters. Hikers are advised to immediately place their food and other odoriferous items into the bear box immediately upon arrival at the campsite, and to prepare and cook food away from their tents.

Water source update
(02/27/17) Info on the status of water sources in southern MA 

Unknown at this time

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Vermont

Killington—Temporary Trail Closure
(revised 05/10/18) The A.T. over Killington (approximately 1.5 miles on either side of the summit) is temporarily closed due to mud season conditions when hiking causes significant damage.  For additional information, click here. Hikers are asked to avoid all high-elevation areas of the A.T. in Vermont during mud season; see entry below.

Mud season has arrived, but snow and ice may linger
(05/08/18) Trails in Vermont, especially at higher elevations, are a muddy mess, and some areas are still covered with snow and ice. Due to the late season snowpack, Green Mountain Club volunteers and staff are just starting to get out to clean up the trail before hiking season.  Shelters have not yet been cleaned, blowdowns from recent storms may still block the trail, water bars have not yet been cleared, etc.  Plan hikes on the A.T. in Vermont for after Memorial Day, when trail conditions improve and are not as susceptible to damage. For more information, visit the Green Mountain Club's blog post Mud Season Has Arrived! Help Protect Fragile Environments and follow the Green Mountain Club Facebook page for updates.

Long-distance hikers who cannot change their plans are asked to walk in the middle of trail through the mud to avoid damaging the fragile edges of the Trail and widening the footpath. Snowshoes and traction devices may still be required in some areas. Tips on hiking in winter conditions that may still be present can be found here.

Kid Gore Shelter, Story Spring Shelter—bear activity
(06/29/17) In several incidents at Kid Gore (1625.0 miles north of Springer) and Story Spring (1629.6 miles north of Springer) Shelters, a bear has pulled down hiker food bags that were accessible as well as entered the shelter to get food bags hung there. Hikers using these sites are urged to hang food and other odor items (including cookware and cosmetics) out of the reach of these animals. The "PCT Method" is recommended as the most effective approach to hang your food. Bear canisters are the most effective approach to protecting bears from your food. Signs have been posted at these overnight sites informing hikers of the bear activity.

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New Hampshire

Temporary Relocation - Crawford Path section of White Mountains
(05/04/2018)  A temporary relocation will add 0.1 in length, 350 feet of elevation gain and loss, and more exposed terrain to an 0.7-mile section of the A.T.

Background: The A.T. across the southern Presidential in the White Mountains is co-aligned with the Crawford Path from Mt. Pierce to Mt. Washington. Originally constructed in 1819, The Crawford Path is the oldest continuously maintained footpath in America and will be recognized in 2019 at its 200 anniversary.

In preparation for this milestone, the Crawford Path will be undergoing major repairs during the 2018 hiking season and the section between the north and south junctions with the Mount Monroe Loop trail. (Information about the White Mountain National Forest closure order can be viewed here).

Fortunately, the adjacent blue-blazed Mount Monroe loop by-passes the closed section of the A.T./Crawford Path is about the same length at just 0.1 mile longer. (total length 0.8 mile). The Mount Monroe loop is more exposed than the A.T. and includes an additional 350 feet of elevation gain.

AMC Thru-Hiker Pass (providing discounts on A.T. campsites)
(05/23/17) A new program was introduced by the Appalachian Mountain Club for the 2017 season. Any A.T. thru-hiker or section-hiker who pays for one night at a fee campsite ($10) along the A.T. in the White Mountains is eligible for this pass, which is good for 2 weeks. It provides a 50% discount at any of the other 8 A.T. fee campsites through the White Mountains, and some other perks. More info can be found here.

Water source update
(02/27/17) Info on the status of water sources in NH:

Unkown at this time

The A.T. across the southern Presidential in the White Mountains is co-aligned with the Crawford Path from M. Pierce to Mt. Washington. Originally constructed in 1819, The Crawford Path is the oldest continuously maintained footpath in America and will be recognized in 2019 at its 200 anniversary. I preparation for this milestone, the Crawford Path will be undergoing major repairs during the 2018 hiking season and the section between the north and south junctions with the Mount Monroe Loop trail. (Suggest including additional info from the WMNF closure order here). Fortunately, the adjacent blue-blazed Mount Monroe loop by-passes the closed section of the A.T./Crawford Path is about the same length at just 0.1 mile longer. (total length 0.8mile). The Mount Monroe loop is more exposed than the A.T. and includes an additional 350 feet of elevation gain.

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Maine

Appalachian Trail Visitor Center in Monson, ME
(05/23/17) Everyone is welcome. Long-distance hikers are able to obtain information about the 2017 Baxter State Park hiker permit. Staff are available to help plan logistics for the 100 Mile Wilderness and Katahdin. Trail conditions posted daily. Community and day hike information also available.

Hours: 8-11, 1-5 every day (June 7 to Oct 15)
Address: 5 Main Street, Monson, ME 04464
Phone: 207-766-7091 (active as of June 7)
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/monsonatvisitorcenter/
MonsonVC2017


Baxter State Park

(05/23/17) 2017 Appalachian Trail Long Distance Hiker Permit: A free A.T. long distance hiker permit will be required of all long distance A.T. hikers: Northbound Thru-Hikers (Nobos), Southbound Thru-Hikers (Sobos), Flip-Flop Thru-Hikers and Section-hikers.

Long distance A.T. hikers must obtain a permit card in person at Baxter State Park Headquarters or Katahdin Stream Campground when the A.T. (Hunt Trail) opens for hiking. Once hikers obtain a permit card they will need to have it stamped at the Katahdin Stream Ranger Station.

The number of AT-Hiker Permit Cards for 2017 are limited by a Baxter State Park quota: 3150 A.T. hikers. If all available permit cards have been issued for 2017, "The Birches" long distance hiker campsite will close for the year. Hikers may complete their hike by obtaining a Day Use Parking Reservation (DUPR) or campground reservation (cannot be processed via smartphone) and enter the Park through the Togue Pond Gate.

For more information, please visit the Baxter State Park webpage or refer to their recent announcement


Hikers staying overnight within the park boundary must camp at designated sites; reservations are necessary for overnight sites for all hikers except those who have arrived on foot walking more than 100 miles. (Southbound thru-hikers should plan on making reservations for at least the night following their climb of Katahdin, and possibly the night before). All overnight hikers 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.baxterstatepark.org and the Baxter State Park Facebook page.

 

Kennebec Ferry Service
(4/25/18) 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. 2018 Kennebec Ferry schedule


Water source update
(02/27/17) Water sources associated with the following landmarks have been reported dry

Unknown at this time


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