Cool Facts About Hiking the Appalachian Trail Hardly Anyone Knows

The Appalachian Trail is a hiker’s paradise, stretching more than 2,000 miles across 14 states. It’s a journey that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, physical challenge, and a sense of history.

The Trail’s Length Changes Every Year

Believe it or not, the Appalachian Trail isn’t a fixed length. Changes in the trail’s layout, reroutes for environmental reasons, and other modifications mean that the trail’s official length changes almost every year.

It’s Home to a Wide Variety of Wildlife

The Appalachian Trail is a haven for wildlife. As you hike, you might encounter animals ranging from black bears and white-tailed deer to salamanders and over 200 species of birds.

The Trail’s Highest Point Isn’t What You Think

Many people assume that the trail’s highest point would be in the rugged White Mountains of New Hampshire. However, it’s actually Clingmans Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, standing at 6,643 feet.

The Trail Wasn’t Built for Scenic Views

While the Appalachian Trail offers some breathtaking views, that wasn’t its primary purpose. Benton MacKaye, the trail’s founder, envisioned it as a place for people to escape from industrial society and reconnect with nature.

The Trail’s Oldest Hiker Was 82

Age is just a number on the Appalachian Trail. The oldest person to thru-hike the trail in one season was Lee Barry, who completed his journey at the age of 82.

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