Who We Are

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), established in 1925, is a national not-for-profit corporation that is both a confederation of the 31 local organizations with assignments to maintain the Appalachian Trail and a membership organization with support from all 50 states and more than 15 other countries. Under agreements that date back to the 1930s, buttressed by federal legislation in 1968 and 1978, ATC leads a cooperative-management system for the Trail that equals the National Park Service and USDS Forest Service at national, regional, and district levels, a variety of agencies in 14 states, a few other federal agencies, and even some county and town agencies.

That “management” charge for more than 250,000 acres of public lands extends far beyond enhancing the user’s experience and keeping the footpath open and facilities safe—to safeguarding the boundaries and monitoring the health of hundreds of rare, threatened, and endangered species between the Trail and the corridor’s edge. Details on this multifaceted work can be found throughout this site.

Our mission 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.

Our vision is to connect the human spirit with nature – preserving the delicate majesty of the Trail as a haven for all to enjoy. We are committed to nurture and protect this sacred space through education and inspiration. We strive to create an ever-expanding community of doers and dreamers, and work to ensure that tomorrow’s generations will experience the same mesmerizing beauty we behold today.

An all-volunteer staff in Washington, D.C., managed the organization for its first four decades. With central offices in Harpers Ferry, WV, a quarter-mile from the Trail since 1972, the ATC today has a governing body of 15 volunteers, close to 40,000 individual members, an annual budget of $7.3 million, a full-time staff of about 45 in six locations (along with more than a dozen part-time and seasonal employees), and total assets of about $12 million, including almost 40 properties along the Trail.