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Classic American hiking trails

By: Josh Lew on May 30, 2012, 5:48 p.m.
view from Max Patch bald mountain

Photo: ccho/Flickr

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Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail (simply the "AT" to those who are familiar with it) is the most famous walking path in the U.S. It stretches from Georgia to Maine, measuring more than 2,000 miles from trailhead to terminus. It is, unarguably, the most famous hiking trail in America, and it draws walkers from around the world. Yes, people do hike on the trail for mere bragging rights, but the rural beauty of the low mountains and forests that surround the AT make it more than a tourist attraction. It is also a wonderful place to connect with nature. A majority of trekkers do not take on the entire Georgia-to-Maine journey, choosing instead to travel shorter sections of the trail. Since the path crosses numerous roadways and skirts many towns in each of the 14 states that it cuts through, it is easy for more-casual AT walkers to access these sections. Volunteer workers tend to the trail throughout the year and also maintain a series of campsites and lean-to style shelters that hikers can use for camping along the trail.