IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING HURRICANE IRMA
(9/19/2017) POST-HURRICANE ALERTS STILL IN EFFECT
ATC and the National Park Service encourage hikers to avoid the A.T. in Georgia and North Carolina sections closest to Georgia (Nantahala National Forest). Hikers have also reported damage as far north as Tennessee sections north of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
For those who are hiking in areas affected by the hurricane (Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee), be very careful in choosing places to camp, including at or in shelters. Look up and around out to a couple of tree lengths in distance to be sure your shelter or campsite is not threatened by broken limbs, widow makers or leaning or damaged trees.
Please report any significant damage to Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s office in Asheville at [email protected], providing detailed information about location and date. Photos of damage (with location identified) are also requested.
(9/13/2017) USFS STRONGLY ENCOURAGES VISITORS TO AVOID CHATTAHOOCHEE NF IN GEORGIA DUE TO LIFE-THREATENING RISKS
The US Forest Service, along with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and National Park Service, are strongly encouraging folks to stay off roads, trails and backcountry areas of the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests to give crews time to do their work. Down and damaged trees are everywhere, and pose a serious, life-threatening risk to visitors. Along with many roads, most trails are blocked, and trees continue to fall. We have crews assisting trapped visitors, sawing out roads, and assessing damage. We need you to keep yourself and our personnel safe by making smart choices and avoiding the national forest at this time.
(9/12/2017) TROPICAL STORM IRMA UPDATE
Tropical Storm Irma passed by the southern parts of the Appalachian Trail late last night and into the early morning hours. As the weather clears, please be very careful as you venture back out onto the A. T. In the coming days, the trail will be assessed for damage by volunteers and staff. Be aware that trees that have fallen during high winds may have significant strains and binds that may not be readily apparent and can be very dangerous. Also be aware of slippery footing, potential landslides, and trees that may still have fall potential. Closures still may exist on lands adjacent to the trail.
Please report any significant damage to Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s office in Asheville at 828-254-3708
(9/11/2017) TROPICAL STORM IRMA UPDATE
The National Park Service and Appalachian Trail Conservancy continue to strongly discourage hikers from visiting or staying on the Appalachian Trail in the southern region from September 11 at least to September 14.
The Trail may not be considered safe in portions of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee until assessments are conducted and possible clean-up operations are completed. Please continue to check for updates.
(9/10/2017) HURRICANE IRMA UPDATE
Predictions from the National Weather Service continue to indicate Irma could reach tropical storm wind speeds when she reaches portions of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee beginning as early as Monday afternoon. Officials anticipate sustained winds Monday night into Tuesday could exceed 40 mph with higher gusts likely. Rainfall amounts of 2-6 inches Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning are predicted. The Appalachian Trail continues to strongly discourage hikers from staying on the trail in the southern region September 11 - 14.
Due to the potential for these conditions to cause downed trees, flooding, and landslides, additional closures may occur. Certain areas and access points are already closed per the surrounding land managers. Please see Great Smoky Mountains National Park release below and the US Forest Service (USFS) websites for updated information on closures and current conditions.
Cherokee National Forest
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Nantahala National Forest
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests
ATC strongly recommends a bear canister for storing food on your A.T. hike (and so does the Nantahala National Forest)
The ATC and Nantahala Ranger District strongly recommend carrying a bear canister—constructed with solid, non-pliable material and designed to resist bears—to store your food and smellables on the A.T. Bear canisters provide an effective alternative to hanging food bags.
An excellent resource for black bear related information can be found at http://www.sierrawild.gov/. Examples of recommended bear canisters can be found here
Recent bear activity in:
Nantahala Ranger District (8/24/17), See NC section, below, for details.
New York (5/23/17), (8/16/17) See NY section, below, for details.
Shenandoah National Park (9/13/17)
Massachusetts (6/29/17) See MA section, below, for details.
Vermont (6/29/17) See VT section, below, for details.
Southwest Virginia (7/12/17) See Southwest Virginia section, below, for details.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) (8/9/17) See GSMNP section, below, for details.
Georgia (8/16/17) See GA section, below, for details.