Appalachian Trail Sees Record Number of Thru-Hikers
I just returned from doing a three-week section on the famed Appalachian Trail. The news is all good. The trail is well maintained and blazed, as well as teeming with hikers. According to ATC (Appalachian Trail Conservancy) figures, the number of thru-hikers for the Class of 2018 may reach 4,000–the most ever, and double the number of my Class of 20005.
Interestingly, the number of foreigners has surged with Germans (always game travelers) leading the way. Apparently, German public television showed a documentary that got wide exposure, leading to increased interest. Indeed, when I have walked El Camino de Santiago, the wildly popular European religious pilgrimage I have met many hikers who yearned for a greater challenge. It appears they have found it. Happy trails!
Bill Walker is author of the popular Skywalker hiking series, including the books Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail and Skywalker–Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail.