Each year there are many people that around this time of the year make their way to Springer Mountain in North Georgia to begin the 2,184 mile hike that is the Appalachian Trial. The trail cuts up the east coast to the state of Maine and on its way passes through 14 states. It is mostly wilderness but there are times when the trail cuts through towns and involves roads. There are many structures that one will come to when they are hiking the Appalachian Trial such as shelters and privies (outdoor bathrooms).
|The plaque at the Southern Terminus of the Appalachian Trail|
Early Development Years
The trail was thought up by a man by the name of Benton MacKaye who was a forester that decided to put the trail together shortly after the passing of his wife in 1921. The trail over the course of time was built and walked section by section by various adventurous people.
|On the left is MacKaye and the right is Avery. They are the Godfathers of the Appalachian Trail.|
Ned Avery was the first person to walk the trail from end-to-end. His efforts were not in a thru-hike but was still an accomplishment all in itself. He completed this task in 1937. The ATC then focused on protecting the trail land and mapping the blazes for the hikers. In 1948, a man by the name of Earl Shaffer from Pennsylvania brought some very needed attention to the trail and the work that so many had done to try a preserve this magnificent project. He hiked the trail from start to finish at one time, also referred to as thru-hiking, hiking from Georgia to Maine.
He later, also, became the first person to complete the reverse thru-hike hiking from Maine back down to Georgia. Lastly, but definitely not the least, at the ripe age of 80 years old in 1998 Mr. Shaffer completed the trail one more time, thus making him the oldest thru-hiker ever. Since, these accomplishments it is the dream of many hikers to complete the thru-hike of the trail. Many people to year complete the trail from beginning to end.
|This is a picture of Shaffer when he complete the Trail with the first thru-hike.|
|Shaffer on the hike when he is hiking the trail at the ripe young age of 80 years old.|
|A map of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine|