An Interactive Map Of The Appalachian Trail And Its Important Sites

Explore the historic Appalachian Trail and important sites along its path with this interactive map.

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Thousands of hikers traverse the Appalachian Trail in a calendar year, and the number of hikers trekking along its path has steadily increased since 2010. As the trail provides some of the most beautiful vistas and hiking opportunities in the continental United States, it’s no wonder so many who love the great outdoors make a pilgrimage to hike even modest portions of the trail.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the histories of the majestic landscape and identify some significant landmarks along the Appalachian Trail map and other sites hikers and adventurers can visit on their journeys.

The Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,190-mile-long trail that meanders through the Appalachian Mountain range, traversing numerous states along the coast of the Eastern United States. In total, the trail passes through 14 states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and Georgia.

According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), many thru-hikers take between five and seven months to hike the entirety of the trail. ATC also estimates that only a quarter of the more than 3,000 yearly attempts to hike the entire trail are successful. Still, tens of thousands of others may visit and hike only small portions of the trail, and there’s no shortage of sights or activities from the trail’s northernmost point in Maine to its southernmost point amid the peachy hills of the Georgia countryside. The ATC also claims that the Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only trail in the world and regularly sees millions of hikers each year.

While planning for the trail dates back to the early 1920s, the National Park Service estimates that the Appalachian Mountains themselves were formed as a result of colliding continents between 500 to 300 million years ago. This makes the Appalachians one of the oldest mountain ranges on earth, and in their prime, they likely rivaled the size and magnitude of the modern-day Himalayas or European Alps.

In addition to its rich history and tumultuous geologic origins, there are a number of landmarks and sites of historical significance that are peppered liberally along its path down the coast of the Eastern United States.

Significant Landmarks

Because of the sheer immensity of the scale of the Appalachian Trail, there are dozens of important landmarks hikers can visit while traversing its path. While there are too many to list here comprehensively, here are some of the main highlights:

Bear Mountain State Park, New York

This park, which envelopes the gentle mountainous landscape emerging from the western banks of the Hudson River, offers nature lovers a wide range of outdoor activities year-round. Visitors can enjoy a large playing field, shaded picnicking areas, access to both the river and lake for fishing, as well as numerous biking, hiking, and even cross-country skiing trails.

While this patch of nature offers a welcome reprieve for many New York City residents, its proximity to the Appalachian Trail makes it an attractive destination for tourists from all over.

Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennslyvania

Located near the tip of the charming Blue Ridge Mountain range, Pine Grove Furnace State Park offers ample hiking and biking opportunities for adventurous dendrophiles. The park itself is generally open year-round from sunrise to sunset, and visitors can make reservations and arrangements prior to arriving.

In addition to hiking and biking, visitors may also check out the Appalachian Trail Museum which hosts an annual week-long festival in June with a banquet, guest speakers, and lots of activities for people of all ages and backgrounds.

McAfee Knob, Virginia

Even if you aren’t familiar with the McAfee Knob by name, chances are you’ve seen a photograph of it in your life – after all, it’s one of the most photographed spots along the entirety of the Appalachian Trail, according to Visit Virginia. Its most stunning landmark is a stone that juts from the earth and creates a natural pedestal for viewers to climb and absorb the surrounding splendor with a 270-degree panoramic view.

To reach the summit (which peaks at 3,197 feet), hikers must endure a steady climb of 1,700 feet that can take between four and six hours. Because of the location’s immense beauty and spectacular views, the area is often crowded on weekends and when weather conditions are ideal.

Clingmans Dome, Tennessee

As the highest point of elevation in Tennessee, and the third-highest mountain east of the Mississippi, Clingmans Dome is a popular destination for many hikers traversing the Appalachian Trail. There’s also an observation tower located at the summit of Clingmans Dome which provides breathtaking 360-degree views of the Smoky Mountains and beyond. On clear days, viewers can see over 100 miles in all directions (weather conditions and air pollution permitting).

The summit is at such a high elevation (6,643 feet), that temperatures can range from 10 to 20 degrees cooler than temperatures in the nearby lowlands. Because of this and the often cloudy or rainy conditions, hikers are advised to dress in layers and bring a comfortable jacket to wear, even in the summer months.

Blood Mountain, Georgia

Don’t be frightened by this mountain’s sanguine namesake – the summit of Blood Mountain offers hikers immaculate views of the surrounding valleys and rolling terrain. Due to the vibrant foliage, trails around Blood Mountain are generally busiest during early autumn, but the trailheads offer enjoyable hikes and stunning scenes regardless of the time of year.

From the summit, hikers can continue to follow the Appalachian Trail to the Freeman trail, hiking the entirety of the Blood Mountain loop, which provides ample gorgeous views of the North Georgia wilderness.

Map Trails in Your City Using Proxi

Ready to get started planning your trip to hike the Appalachian Trail? Or perhaps you would prefer to map trails in your local area using Proxi – a free-to-use, no-code tool that allows people to make their own custom, interactive maps that are ideal for travelers and adventurers. If you’re interested in mapping out your next adventure, visit our website today.

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