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:

No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Fire Ant Invasion...
Fire ants have marched into Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Smoky Mountain Fire Ant Invasion is underway. This small intruder may pose [Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Virtual Campout...
Smoky Mountain virtual campout will be fun for the entire family! Great Smoky Mountains National Park will co-host the National Park Service[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Clingmans Dome Opens...
Clingmans Dome Opens to the public for 2020 season. Clingmans Dome Opens. Clingmans Dome is one of the most popular destinations in the Grea[Read More >>]
No thumbnail available
Smoky Mountain Attractions Open...
Smoky Mountain attractions open after COVID-19 closures. Smoky Mountain attractions open after two months of covid-19 fears. Smoky Mount[Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Opens
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Opens...
Great Smoky Mountains National Park opens with much anticipation. The Covid-19 virus pandemic forced the closure of Great Smoky Mountain[Read More >>]
Karen Pence Gets Outside Smoky Mountain Style
Karen Pence Gets Outside Smoky Mountain Style...
GSMNP Superintendent Cassius Cash welcomes dignitariies. Photo credit - GSMNP Karen Pence gets outside Smoky Mountain Style. Second Lady Kar[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe
Smoky Mountain Tamale Recipe...
Smoky Mountain Tamale recipe. Homemade tamales are always a Smoky Mountain special event! Did you know that the Smoky Mountains are on the [Read More >>]
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Phased Opening
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Announces Phased Opening...
Wildlife braces for the return of humans to GSMNP. Photo credit - myvetcandy Great Smoky Mountains National Park announces phased opening. B[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Dandelions
Smoky Mountain Dandelions...
Smoky Mountain dandelions (whose Botanical name is Taraxacum officinale) considered by many to be an obnoxious, stubborn, persistent weed are an[Read More >>]
Merle Fest Virtual Concert
Merle Fest Virtual Concert...
Merle Fest Virtual Concert scheduled. Music fans can view 2012 broadcast of MerleFest from Wilkesboro, NC. this weekend. The current pandemic ca[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event Cancelled
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event Cancelled...
Smoky Mountain Synchronous Firefly Event Cancelled. National Park officials announced the cancellation of the popular synchronous firefly ev[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Eastern Spotted Skunk
Smoky Mountain Eastern Spotted Skunk...
Smoky Mountain Eastern Spotted Skunks give fair warning and provide some interesting acrobatics just before sending out a cloud of noxious spra[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Plane Crash
Smoky Mountain Plane Crash...
Smoky Mountain Plane Crash. National park officials have identified the pilot who survived after making an emergency landing in Great Smoky Moun[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail Mushrooms
Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail Mushrooms...
Smoky Mountain Turkey Tail mushrooms are always in season! Trametes versicolor (common name Turkey Tail mushroom) is a decomposing polypore mush[Read More >>]
Smoky Mountain Pink Moon
Smoky Mountain Pink Moon...
Smoky Mountain Pink Moon. The Pink Moon or "Fools Moon" will not be turning pink despite the name. April’s full Moon arrives on Tuesday, April 7[Read More >>]
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories...
Dolly Parton Reads Imagination Library Stories. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to childre[Read More >>]
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 >>]