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Happy 75 Anniversary Appalachian Trail! Changes along trail may threaten path

Land around trail may go up for purchase

Shout out to Seattlepi
  • The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is located here in Harpers Ferry West Virginia. The trail passes right through the town and hikers can frequently be seen stopping to rest in the town.

    The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is located here in Harpers Ferry West Virginia. The trail passes right through the town and hikers can frequently be seen stopping to rest in the town. Mark Fickett

    Tuesday marks the 75th year since the 2,180 mile trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Katahdin Maine was completed.

    Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program was essential in completing the trail, along with volunteers and young workers.

    McAfee Knob overlook in Roanoake County Virginia provides a stunning view of the Catawba Valley along the trail.

    McAfee Knob overlook in Roanoake County Virginia provides a stunning view of the Catawba Valley along the trail. Credit Something Original

    But the path of the trail may change as land around the trail comes up for purchase, possibly altering the wildness and connection with nature along it.

    Mark Wenger, executive director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Harpers Ferry said:

    “Will it move a little to the left, a little to the right?” he said. “Yes, depending on the physical attributes of the area.

    “One of the tenets of the trail is to provide that personal experience of sort of being one with nature. You can’t necessarily do that if you’re walking along a major highway,” Wenger said. “So it’s been relocated to give it some degree of privacy and that sense of the wonder of nature.”

     A sign marks the trail in Harpers Ferry West Virginia where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet.

    A sign marks the trail in Harpers Ferry West Virginia where the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers meet. Lindi Stevenson

    The idea for the trail came from an article from 1921 that proposed an idea for a nature trail that would let people escape the drudgery of daily life.

    Harpers Ferry in WV on the border of the three states of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia along the Potomac River is the halfway point of the trail.

    A view of the Appalachian Trail that runs through Harpers Ferry from <a href="http://52wednesdays.com/?p=361">Roz and Russ</a>. Visitors can walk a short distance on the trail without going to far.

    A view of the Appalachian Trail that runs through Harpers Ferry from Roz and Russ. Visitors can walk a short distance on the trail without going too far.

    Considered the half way point of the trail, only 1 in four hikers out of the 2,000-3,000 will continue along it.

    There are supply stations and post offices near the trail where hikers can pick up supplies sent by friends and family.

    The trail is part of the National Park System, managed by the trail conservancy, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, 31 local clubs and various state agencies.

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    One comment

    1. Anonymous  October 7, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Beautiful!

      Reply

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