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.
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.”
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.
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.