Hiking Around Midstate PA: A community blog

Explore hiking trails, environmental issues, recreational funding challenges and trail maintenance in Central Pennsylvania with Jim Foster.

A Long Thin Green Strip Turns 75

Written by Jim Foster, Community blogger | Jul 2, 2012 3:49 PM

In 1921, Benton MacKaye’s article entitled “An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning” sparked a movement to build what we now know as The Appalachian Trail.  But, it wasn’t until August, 1937 that an army of trail builders, led by Myron Avery, completed the last section of the A.T.  Extending from Maine to Georgia, the A.T. is now the best known and most heavily used long distance hiking trail in the U.S., and our country’s longest fully blazed footpath.

Next month, the entire Trail community will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the A.T.’s completion.  Trail organizations from Maine to Georgia are planning grand celebrations.  Here is information on a few of them.

Boiling Springs, PA is the home of the Mid-Atlantic Regional office of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the primary steward of the A.T.  There will be a series of Anniversary events in the Boiling Springs area from August 1 through 4.  Events will include a series of hikes sponsored by the ATC and the local Trail clubs, including family oriented hikes, full moon evening hikes, and an education based hike geared toward getting people familiar with native plants and animals. The office will also host an open house on Friday, August 4. The main goal of the festivities is to celebrate the A.T.’s 75th anniversary by increasing awareness of the Trail in the area — as well as awareness of the volunteers and Trail clubs who maintain it — and bring new people to the Trail and the clubs by offering unique hiking opportunities.  Follow THIS LINK for more information.

As part of the Boiling Springs celebration, the Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club will hold a Full Moon (almost) Hike Friday evening, August 3, beginning at 7:30 pm.  It will be a six mile night hike two days after the full moon at a moderate pace on the Darlington and Appalachian Trails.  Follow THIS LINK for complete information.

The Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club will host a Bring a Friend/Family Member Hike on Thursday, August 2, beginning at 5:30 pm.  This will be a four mile hike at a moderate pace in northern Dauphin county, on portions of the Victoria Trail, Whitetail Trail, and, of course, the A.T.  It is designed to introduce new people to the trail, and will be led by Trisha Sanders, an experienced hike leader.  Follow THIS LINK for complete information.

The biggest celebration of all will occur during the weekend of August 11 and 12 in Harpers Ferry, WV, the headquarters of the ATC.  ATC will offer a weekend of fun and educational events for the whole family.  Offerings include nature programs and Leave No Trace activities, a parade, music, and opportunities to hear from and about notable people in A.T. history. You can also learn about day-hikes around Harpers Ferry, how you can volunteer on the A.T., or what to expect on a thru-hike. Highacre House, the premier rental property in the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC) cabin system, will have a special open house from 12pm - 4pm both days.  Follow THIS LINK for complete information on the Harpers Ferry celebration.

For many of us, this long thin green strip has changed our lives and become very dear to us.  I hope you’ll take the opportunity to participate in one or more of the 75th Anniversary celebrations.

Published in Hiking Around Midstate PA and Beyond: A community blog

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