appalachian trail

What Makes the Appalachian Trail So Special?

The Appalachian Trail, more formally known as the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, is approximately 2,200 miles long. It’s an incredibly beautiful piece of land and so popular that around two million people hike on all or part of this trail every single year. For some people, it’s almost a spiritual experience to walk the Appalachian Trail. Here, you can commune with Nature and maybe even find out more about yourself. Are you ready for an eye-opening adventure surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty? You may be ready to take your own hike on the Appalachian Trail.


What to Expect on the Appalachian Trail


The Appalachian Trail was completed in 1937 after about a decade of work. Today, it’s maintained by 31 different trail clubs. The U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service both work to maintain the trail, along with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Most of the trail is rugged wilderness and jaw-dropping natural wonders. However, some parts of the trail do go through or very close to farms, roads, and towns. The trail crosses through more than a dozen different states from Georgia to Maine!


People hike on the trail during every season of the year, but spring and summer will provide the best weather and the most amazing scenery. This is the time of year when the trees and plants will all be in bloom. You’ll also have a good chance of seeing a lot of wildlife during this time of year as well.


The Appalachian Trail is one of the jewels of the Triple Crown of Hiking in the U.S. Serious hikers know about the Triple Crown. If you complete all three trails then you are truly a champion hiker. Along with the Appalachian Trail, the Triple Crown of Hiking includes the Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail.


The Appalachian Trail is home to the American black bear. This is the largest animal on the trail. However, black bears very rarely confront humans so you don’t have to be frightened. It is not common to encounter one of these bears on the trail, as they typically try to avoid people. Ther are some venomous snakes on the trail, however, so you will want to remain vigilant. It’s more likely that you’ll see deer, elk, and maybe even moose as you get farther north on the Appalachian Trail. You’ll see bobcats, foxes, woodchucks, otters, and beavers on the trail as well, and perhaps wild turkeys, eagles, owls, and hawks, among others.


There’s a huge range of different plant life along the Appalachian Trail as well, including evergreens and many types of large, impressive trees. There are all sorts of great opportunities for photos along the Appalachian Trail in case you want to share your outdoor adventure on social media!


Where to Find Lodging


If you’re going to hike on a significant portion of the Appalachian Trail, you’re going to need to find local lodging that’s close to where you are on the trail. There are multiple spots to find cabin rentals, hotels, and retreats that are on or near the trail itself. You can even find a healing retreat or some other type of specialty lodgings, like hot springs cabin rentals. Look for local cabin rentals and other types of lodging along the Appalachian Trail and you’ll find it without much trouble.


If you prefer to rough it, bring your camping gear. There are many great campsites all along the Appalachian Trail where you can spend a night out under the stars. No matter where you lodge or how you hike the trail, it’s definitely a great experience to see the Appalachian Trail and experience the amazing natural beauty here.

The History Of Lodging Options On The Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail has long been a historical hiking spot and travel destination for adventure-seekers everywhere. While most people know it today as a popular backpacking trail and almost even a rite of passage for hikers, the Trail has a surprisingly long history, as do the cabins, hotels, and other forms of local lodging nearby. Learn more about the history behind this popular outdoor adventure destination and the accommodations that have grown around it.


Built For Connections


Originally, the Appalachian Trail was constructed as a way to connect various farms and camps along the Appalachian Mountains. The concept was originally written about by Benton MacKaye, an American forester and conservationist, who envisioned a great trail stretching through the region. Hiking wasn’t even part of the original plan and only was involved as an afterthought. The first stretch of the trail was opened in 1923 and continued to grow over the course of several decades.


Hiking Popularity


As the trail continued to grow in length, it became a popular spot for hikers and travelers. While the original goal was connection and conservation, its trail length and difficulty made it a popular challenge among hikers. The entire trail today extends for roughly 2,200 miles and runs through most of the states along the U.S. east coast. While most hikers do not attempt the full length of the trail, many will need accommodations during their trip, however long it lasts.


Lodging Locations


The trail was originally designed to connect various farms and camps, but also included many other forms of local lodging. Laughing Heart Lodge, for example, was built in 1892 and, for over 50 years, was a Jesuit Retreat Center. As Laughing Heart Lodge sits along the Appalachian Trail, it and other accommodations often host hikers attempting to hike the length of the trail, either alone or in groups.


The Appalachian Trail is one of America’s most well-known and longest hiking trails, and it has a wonderfully detailed history of connection and conservation. Those attempting the hike will benefit from local lodging options, even if you’re not attempting the full length of the trail. For more information on the trail or on local lodging and accommodations, contact Laughing Heart Lodge today.

3 Expert Tips That Will Help You Have a Good Hike in North Carolina

Did you know The Appalachian Trail crosses 14 states? One of those states is North Carolina. If you’re looking to go on hikes in the Tar Heel State, it’s important to know some helpful tips on hiking. Before you look for local lodging or hotels, here are some tips on hiking that will help make your experience enjoyable.


1. Plan where you’re going to hike


Certain factors can help you decide on where you’re going to hike. One of the first factors you should consider is the amount of time you’ll have. If you have the whole day, you can be pretty flexible in your options. If you only have a few hours, then you need to know how long your hiking route will take so you can be done on time.


Another important factor in choosing a hiking route is distance. If you’re a beginner or haven’t hiked in a while, your physical fitness might not be up to the task of a long hike. There are short hikes that are available for people of all levels of fitness. The weather may also factor into your decision depending on the season. In the fall, be aware that the sun sets early. It’s important to plan a route that will prevent you from having to hike in the dark. In the early spring, know if a route isn’t accessible due to snow before you go hiking on it.


2. Prepare what to bring along


Preparing what you’ll take with you will partially depend on how long your route will be. If you’re hiking a short route, you probably won’t have to take much with you. Pack some snacks and at least 15 liters of water. You should also have some extra clothing layers packed if you get cold. If you’re hiking route will be long, this will mean you’ll have to pack more. Whether your hike is short or long, it’s always a good idea to take a little more than you think you’ll need. You never know if there might be a situation that makes your hike longer than you expected. In case of any emergencies, be sure to carry a first aid kit as well. Lastly, it’s also good to have a map with you in case you get lost.


3. Decide what you need to wear


Needless to say, you shouldn’t wear your regular clothes and shoes when you go hiking. The better option is to wear workout clothes. They’re designed specifically for the purpose of physical activities such as hiking. Workout clothes will be light on you and help to reduce your sweat. The weather will also determine what you should wear. In cooler seasons wear long sleeves, and in warmer seasons wear short sleeves. Your shoe choice will depend on what you prefer. Hiking boots, sneakers, or trail-running shoes are all acceptable options.


Following all of these tips will help you have an enjoyable time hiking. In some cases, people choose to stay in cabin rentals to get a full outdoor adventure. Whatever you choose to do, it’s important to be prepared. Make sure you have what you need for a safe and happy hiking experience.

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