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Appalachian Trail

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Appalachian Trail

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The Appalachian trail is a hiking trail that runs over 2100 miles through 14 states in the eastern United States, following various ranges of the Appalachian mountains.

It is the longest (and narrowest) national park in America, and one of the most popular. Every year, thousands of people try to hike the whole trail in a single journey (known as "thru-hiking"), typically starting from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia. About 3 in 20 of those who try make it all the way to Mount Katahdin in Maine, the northern terminus.

But most of the hikers on the Appalachian Trail are just there for a day hike, or a shorter multi-day journey. The trail's popularity is due in part to its fame and scenic vistas, and in part to its easy accessibility to major population centers. Most people in the dense northeastern section of the country live within a 3 hour drive of the trail. This density has sometimes made the trail a bit too "civilized" in some areas, especially in a few locations where development has forced the trail onto roads. However, in recent years the federal government has established a protected corridor along much of the trail, preserving the "natural" experience for many trail hikers. And in some segments, such as in northern Maine, you can hike for 100 miles without ever crossing a paved road -- prepare accordingly!

More information on the trail can be found at the Appalachian Trail Conference website.