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.