Through the years the Appalachian Trail has seen an increasing of visitor use. While more people experiencing what nature has to offer is great, it amplifies the challenge of mitigating more wear and tear on the Trail and its facilities, like campsites. In order for the A.T. to be preserved for for future generations, actions must be taken to reign in damage due to increased and expanded use and prevent future abuse.
The Nantahala Hiking Club (NHC) is taking action in their region of the Trail, working with the US Forest Service and Appalachian Trail Conservancy to add improvements that, “help [outdoor recreationists] do the right thing.”
While I was volunteering with the NHC Bill Van Horn, former NHC president, took some time to show me around White Oak Stamp camping area. It is a heavily impacted site which the club is trying to rehabilitate, by creating:
Signing designated campsites about 200 feet from the trail.
- Preventing social trails from forming by clearly marking paths with blue blazes to the campsites and water source.
- Establishing a campsite register to collect site usage data.
Watch this video for a look at all the great work they have done so far!
Blogger: Natrieifia Miller
Title: Trail Program Assistant with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Based out of Asheville, NC
Affiliation: Biology Student, University of North Carolina Asheville, in Asheville NC