ATC’s first and foremost responsibility is to ensure the proper management and maintenance of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which is possible only with the critical involvement of the Trail’s 31 maintaining clubs and 6,000 volunteers. The National Trail System Act, which established the A.T. as a national park, enabled the Secretary of the Interior to empower non-governmental organizations to oversee the Trail. It’s our experience in the nearly 100 years since the Trail was first envisioned and our more than 50 years since the Trails Act was passed that gives us our unique experience in public lands maintenance and management.
The Trail’s 6,000 volunteers, 31 maintaining clubs, and ATC are directly responsible for taking care of the Trail—when we advocate for policies relating to access, care, and funding for public lands, we base our decisions on our personal experience. Our Trail’s maintenance doesn’t just impact our 2,192 miles from Georgia to Maine, either. The A.T. runs through 7 National Forests (~40% of the Trail), 7 other National Park units (~40% of the Trail), 1 U.S. Wildlife Refuge, and State-administered public lands in nearly every State it crosses through (~20% of the Trail). We see every day how broader public lands management decisions impact different sections of the Trail, communities along it, and the ability of people to hike it.
Learn More About Deferred Maintenance