Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers Asked To Postpone Thru-Hikes

Appalachian Trail thru hikers asked to cancel hikes to avoid Corona Virus risks.

Appalachian Trail thru hikers asked to cancel hikes to avoid Corona Virus risks.

Appalachian Trail Thru Hikers Asked To Postpone Thru-Hikes. Late winter and early spring is the time for a mass human migration known as Appalachian Trail thru-hike season. Hundreds of hearty souls begin their 2,160 mile odyssey on a lonely mountain in Georgia called Springer. Hikers will usually hike South to North and will traverse fourteen states. The northern terminus of the AT is a foreboding island in the sky called Mount Katahdin, Maine.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) oversees issues regarding the trail and its community. On March 17, 2020 the ATC formally requested 2020 Appalachian Trail thru-hikers to postpone their section hikes and thru-hikes due to the threat of COVID-19. Particular concern was over the hiker habit of centrally congregating. Thru-hiker habits include congregating at shelters, around picnic tables, shuttling in vans and staying in hostels, these practices go against the “social distancing” measures recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ATC states that they “do not make this request lightly,” and they are aware of the time and investment that goes into a thru-hike.

If hikers insist on continuing their hikes, the ATC has strongly urged the following protocol to be followed by hikers.

—Do not start hikes at the southern end of the trail, including Amicalola State Park and Springer Mountain.

—Be financial stable enough to potentially self-quarantine for 14 days if necessary.

—Hike with the understanding that you will have reduced on-trail and localized support, and be prepared to handle that.

—Avoid congregating at shelters and high-traffic areas.

—Be mindful when visiting small and vulnerable communities with fewer healthcare resources.

Thru-hikers attempt to hike the entire trail in a single season. The number of hikers attempting a thru hike increases annually. IN 2017 there were 715 northbound and 133 southbound thru-hikes reported.

“Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail has had a lasting positive impact on my life,” said former AT thru-hiker Loyd. “I empathize with the hikers who may not get to continue due to the COVID-19 virus. It takes a huge mental, physical and financial commitment to attempt a long distance hike and I hope that everyone planning to hike this season keeps that fire in their belly and returns to the trail when appropriate and walks on to their fulfill their dream!”

More Hey Smokies Features:

Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground...
Dollywood Cades Cove Expansion Breaks Ground. Smoky Mountain officials announced today the expansion of the popular theme park has begun. The pr[Read More >>]
Native American Fry Bread Recipe
Native American Fry Bread Recipe...
Native American Fry Bread Recipe. This bread has been sustaining Americans for centuries. The simple recipe has been handed down through the ge[Read More >>]
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park...
Corona Virus Closes Great Smoky Mountains National Park. GSMNP closes to support COVID - 19 prevention efforts. Park officials have closed all a[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines...
Great Smoky Mountains Initiates Corona Virus Health Guidelines. Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 all national park campgrounds, picnic areas, p[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers Close
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers Close...
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Visitor Centers Close March 17, 2020. The closures are in response to efforts to inhibit the spread of the CO[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Region Coronavirus Closings
Smoky Mountain Region Coronavirus Closings...
Smoky Mountain Region Coronavirus Closings as of March 16, 2020. As the nation and the world brace for the effects of the COVID-19 virus the Smo[Read More >>]
Park Recruits Trail Volunteers
Park Recruits Trail Volunteers...
Park Recruits Trail Volunteers. Great Smoky Mountains National Park encompasses over 500,000 square miles and boasts 848 miles of maintained [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes
Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes...
Great Smoky Mountains Considers Cades Cove Car Ban Changes. The scenic valley of Cades Cove is traditionally closed to motor vehicles until 10 a[Read More >>]
Clingmans Dome Volunteers Needed
Clingmans Dome Volunteers Needed...
Clingmans Dome Volunteers Needed. Clingmans Dome is the highest peak in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The observation tower, at 6,644' fe[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Mingus Mill Volunteers Needed
Smoky Mountain Mingus Mill Volunteers Needed...
Smoky Mountain Mingus Mill Volunteers Needed. Great Smoky Mountains National Park officials are asking for volunteers to provide interpret[Read More >>]
Cades Cove Car Ban Ends
Cades Cove Car Ban Ends...
Cades Cove Car Ban Ends. Cades Cove has been closed for visitors for two months but that ends when the Laurel Creek Road (a seven-mile main acce[Read More >>]
Keep Sevier Beautiful Gardening Workshops
Keep Sevier Beautiful Gardening Workshops...
Keep Sevier Beautiful Gardening Workshops are scheduled for each Thursday in March, 2020. The workshops are free to everyone and begin each week[Read More >>]
Volunteers needed for Great Smoky Mountain ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Program
Volunteers needed for Great Smoky Mountain ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Program...
Volunteers needed for Great Smoky Mountain ‘Adopt-a-Plot’ Program. National park rangers are seeking volunteers to monitor designated plots thro[Read More >>]
Appalachian Bear Rescue's Mardi Bear Event
Appalachian Bear Rescue's Mardi Bear Event...
Appalachian Bear Rescue's Mardi Bear Event will be a fun way to celebrate Mardi Gras in the Smokies! This Smoky Mountain event is scheduled f[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Life Insurance
Smoky Mountain Life Insurance...
Smoky Mountain Life Insurance. A Smart Planning Tool for Your Life Life insurance can feel complicated and overwhelming, but at its core, it's[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts 12.5 Million Visitors
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts 12.5 Million Visitors...
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Hosts 12.5 Million Visitors. Great Smoky Mountains National Park broke it's all time annual attendance re[Read More >>]
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains!
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains!...
Take a Scenic Drive on Moonshiner 28 near the Great Smoky Mountains! Perhaps no image is more stereotypical of the rural South than that of the [Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Winter Experience
Smoky Mountain Winter Experience...
Smoky Mountain Winter Experience event is scheduled for January 27 -29, 2020 at the Ramsey Hotel in Pigeon Forge. This inaugural event will offe[Read More >>]
5 Awesome Winter Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains
5 Awesome Winter Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains...
5 Awesome Winter Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains! We love winter in the Smoky Mountains. The crowds thin out and the traffic slows down. Cle[Read More >>]
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Hunter Hills Theater
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Hunter Hills Theater...
Remember When, Lost Smoky Mountain Attractions - Hunter Hills Theater. Gatlinburg is widely known as a national vacation destination offering[Read More >>]