Community News

 Ambassadors at Work
What have they been doing, you may ask? Well, impossible to summarize - as there has been so much work going on!
But here is an attempt:
  • Leading Fun Hikes
  • Taking students onto the Trail
  • Supporting local festivals
  • Organizing countless volunteer projects on the A.T.!
  • Creating video projects
  • Planning 75th Anniversary celebrations
  • Supporting A.T. Community designation ceremonies
  • Providing brown bag luncheon presentations
  • Attending community meetings, events, festivals and providing information about all that the A.T. emcompasses!
  • Teaching classes about the Trail
Click for bios and photos of these amazing Ambassadors! 
 Designation Celebrations
, NY
The Warwick, NY designation was kicked off with a pancake breakfast run by local volunteers then lead directly into the ceremony, right outside Bellvale Creamery.  The ceremony was attended by officials from surrounding towns, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and local volunteers who have made the designation a possibility.  Hikes were ongoing throughout the day, giving attendees a taste of the A.T. right in their own backyards.  All leading up to an evening of live music and fireworks! - Mike Fraatz, Ambassador    
Monson, ME
Monson's ceremony brought out approximately 100 people, and many many more as a part of the town's Summer Fest.  Inspiring remarks from local owner of Shaw's famous hostel Dawn, stating "Monson's been taking care of hikers since the 50's".  Maine Appalachian Trail Club President Lester Kenway celebrated his own experience in Monson, 
telling the crowd, "one-half of the A.T. in Maine is in Piscatiques County".  The letter from Senator Snow was welcoming, and there was wonderful media coverage throughout the state. 
Coming Soon...
Abingdon, VA Sept 11
Ellijay, GA Sept 14
Rangeley, ME Sept  15
Nelson County, VA Oct 17 (tentative)

75th Anniversary
Two thousand twelve marks a major milestone for the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). 75 years ago, on Aug 14, 1937, the A.T. was first completed. This task of building the original trail took more than 15 years and involved a few hundred volunteers, state and federal agency partners, local Trail-maintaining clubs, workers from the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

The A.T. is the longest continuously marked footpath in the world, measuring roughly 2,180 miles in length. The Trail goes through 14 states along the crests and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range from the southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Georgia, to the Trail's northern terminus at Katahdin, Maine.

For more information about the 75th anniversary of the completion of the A.T., including ways to give back and local celebrations, visit here.
The Blog

A.T. Communities finally has its own blog! Check it out, tell your friends to check it out, and send me anything you'd like to have shared on this great communication space: 

Best Mountain Town

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Let's make sure Blue Ridge Outdoors makes one of our A.T. Communities a Best Mountain Town!
Vote for your favorite: Blairsville, GA; Ellijay, GA; Franklin, NC; Hot Springs, NC; Damascus, VA; Pembroke (Giles County), VA; Harrisonburg, VA. here:

Family Hiking Day!

This is a great opportunity for you to lead a hike and show off the A.T. and all its wonder to your community! Please let Julie know if you plan on leading a hike, providing the following information: 
Hike Difficulty Rating Key  
Easy [very little elevation gain, under 200’ under 2 miles]
• Easy to moderate [some elevation gain, approx. 200’-400’ appropriate for youth]
• Moderate [some significant elevation gain, approx. 400- 700’, and steeper ascents and descents]
• Moderate to strenuous [approx. 700’-1000’ elevation gain, may have challenging terrain in parts of the trail, may have steeper ascents/descents]
• Strenuous [at least 1,000’elevation gain, and/or a particularly steep ascent or descent that an average hiker might find extremely difficult]
Hike Name: Spice up your hike name to draw folks in! 
Closest Town: Don't forget to include your state
Difficulty Level** : See above
Elevation Gain: This should be cumulative over the entire hike
Distance: in miles - make note if it is out and back, round trip, a loop, etc...
Features: What is exciting about your hike? Waterfalls, views, special plants, etc...
Description: Be as detailed as possible here. What do you want everyone to bring, where will you stop for lunch, where will you meet and at what time? What time do you estimate you'll be back?
Directions: Will you be meeting at the trailhead, or carpooling from a nearby grocery?
Contact: Make sure and have a name and phone number or email so folks can RSVP

This information will be placed on our website.  Be sure and check out the other resources there, like activities to do with kids on the Trail. 

Balancing Nature and Commerce

Is your community interested in attending this workshop? Let Julie know!
During this 3-day course ‘teams’ will focus on the economics, natural resources and community character of their area and learn valuable partnership building skills. At the end of the course, teams will leave with a specific action plan for implementing a collaborative project in their community.
Read more here. 

Got Events?

ATC now has an events page up for A.T. Communities to post local events and happenings.  Please send description, link, contact and picture to Julie to get your event posted. 
Jan Stansell talks to hikers Blairsville's Green Bean Festival was posted there - and look at the great reaction:

I think our presence at the festival was quite positive!  One nice visitor:  he was from Florida and had just hiked a portion of the AT with his son.  It had been such a positive experience for them both that he was almost in tears as he described it.  He’d gotten the email from ATC which mentioned the Green Bean Festival, and made a point of coming to the festival and visiting our booth.  And it gets  better:  he gave me a small donation to pass on to the Club.  A plus for Blairsville, the A.T., the A.T. Community concept, and the club.
Jan Stansell

Poll Proves It- Kids Need to Be Outside!

Taken from National Wildlife Federation

 Voters across the politial spectrum agree! A national poll of voters from a wide variety of regions, backgrounds and political leanings has indicated that 82 % of the electorate, conservatives, liberals and moderates alike, believes that the phenomenon of the plugged-in, sedentary, indoor childhood is a “serious” problem.  Those who believe it to be an “extremely or very serious” problem make up 50%.Read More Here  

Signs and Such

The Planning Guide to Designing a Designated A.T. Community Kiosk (LINK: has been drafted and reviewed by members of a sub-committee working on this project.  Their recommendations and suggetions have been incorporated into a near-final draft that will be refined with the addition of a template currently being developed by a designer.  Your review of the document is appreciated, and comments are invited to be sent to
The template can be used by communities, either working in concert with our designer, or using the template with your graphic designer to create a panel specific to your community. 
We can help ONE community with the design through our template development process. You can apply to be the community who gets this service by emailing with the subject "Template Design." This offer is first come, first served for an existing A.T. Community who has plans to install an A.T. Community kiosk in town (not a trailhead kiosk) within the next two years. 

Upcoming Events

ATC Visitor Center Events

Event Page

Check out all A.T. Community events happening along the Trail in 2012 on our Virtual Map!
(You'll need Google Earth to view)

Volunteer of the Month

“To exercise, to learn something new every day, and to be with other people who have similar interests,” are some of the reasons Eleanor Grasselli volunteers for the Appalachian Trail. Those interests include protecting the special plants along the Trail, reaching out to the local community, and serving as a club leader. Read MORE
Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. To become a member, volunteer, or learn more, visit

Our mailing address is:
ATC Headquaters
799 Washington St, HArpers Ferry, WV 25425

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