The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail is about 2,200 miles (3,500 km) long, though the precise length changes over time as parts are modified or rerouted. The trail passes through the states of Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
The Appalachian Trail was completed in 1937 after more than a decade of work, although improvements and changes continue. It is maintained by 31 trail clubs and multiple partnerships, and managed by the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, and the nonprofit Appalachian Trail Conservancy. The majority of the trail is in forest or wild lands, although some portions traverse towns, roads and farms. The trail conservancy claims that the Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only trail in the world.
At least 2 million people are said to do at least one day-hike on the trail each year. Thru-hikers attempt to hike it in its entirety in a single season — more than 2,700 people thru-hiked the trail in 2014 — and some hike from one end to the other, then turn around and thru-hike the trail the other way, known as a "yo-yo". Many books, memoirs, web sites, and fan organizations are dedicated to these pursuits.
An extension known as the International Appalachian Trail continues northeast, crossing Maine, New Brunswick, and southern Quebec. Branches cross Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island before resuming in Newfoundland. Sections then continue in Greenland, Europe, and Morocco. Other separate extensions continue the southern end of the Appalachian range in Alabama and continue south into Florida, creating what is known as the Eastern Continental Trail.
The Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail form what is known as the Triple Crown of long–distance hiking in the United States.
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