ASHEVILLE, N.C. (March 28, 2018) – Aspiring Appalachian Trail (A.T.) hikers now have an opportunity to hone their backcountry skills by participating in “How to Hike the A.T.” backpacking courses. Developed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), these courses are designed to enhance participants’ understanding of important backpacking practices and lead to a lifelong love of hiking.
Designed for novice hikers, each course will cost $375 and include all meals and snacks. Participating hikers will be taught by expert ATC staff members and former thru-hikers, exploring important topics such as gear selection, choosing and setting up campsites, and Leave No Trace backcountry principles. Participants will gain first-hand experience in sleeping, cooking, packing efficiently and other important backpacking skills. Course graduates should leave as competent, responsible hikers and have an increased confidence to prepare for future hiking adventures.
"How to Hike the A.T. Courses" are designed to help novice hikers develop the skills needed to prepare for and enjoy A.T. backpacking adventures.
“These courses will help aspiring thru-hikers move one step closer to achieving their dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail while gaining a new sense of appreciation for the A.T. as a public resource, as well as the work that goes into managing it,” said Chloë de Camara, course instructor and trail education specialist for the ATC.
Each course is an intensive three-day, two-night backpacking trip — rain, snow or shine. Courses will be held once monthly at the following locations:
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park – June 8-10
- Pisgah National Forest – July 27-29
- Nantahala National Forest – August 17-19
- Great Smoky Mountains National Park – September 14-16
- Pisgah National Forest – October 5-7
To submit your application and view additional information, including course agendas and gear lists, visit appalachiantrail.org/HikingCourses.
About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
Media Contact: Jordan Bowman
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Email: [email protected]