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A.T. Hiker Photos

The tradition of taking hiker photographs began as a lark. A Polaroid camera was given to ATC staff member Jean Cashin in 1979, (known to legions of hikers as "Trail Mom,") and she started taking pictures of hikers for fun.

Hiking the entire A.T.?

Having your photo taken at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) headquarters in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, has become a standard ritual for those hikers intending on walking the entire A.T. One of the functions of the ATC, as the lead organization in managing and protecting the A.T., is to maintain the official 2,000-miler registry of all those who have completed the A.T. Therefore, having a photo taken here makes many hikers start to feel as though their hikes have gained official recognition.

Until now, if hikers wanted to view the photos of themselves or their fellow hikers, they had to make a trip to the ATC Headquarters in Harpers Ferry. When the A.T. Museum opened in Pennsylvania’s Pine Grove Furnace State Park in 2010, scanned versions of the photos became available there too.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Quimby Family Foundation and the work of dedicated volunteers of the A.T. Museum Society under the leadership of Terry Harley Wilson, the Polaroid photos can now be viewed online from anywhere in the world.

Search the Hiker Photo Archive


The archive can be searched by date, trail name, first name, and/or last name. Click here for additional directions. If you have trouble viewing the photos on this page, you can try the Hiker Photo Archive website.

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