The Appalachian Trail

Hiking the Appalachian Trail--White MountainsBackpacking and camping on the Appalachian TrailTaking a Long Hike on the Appalachian Trail 

The Appalachian Trail is, perhaps, the most famous hiking trail in the world. Right now, late march, is the peak time for A.T. thru-hikers (those doing it in one complete go) to begin their quest. 

A great way to learn about the A.T.  is to read the journals of hikers currently on the trail, or the journals of those who finished in a prior year. Go to and make a selection. I can go back to ’03, for example, and read journals of A.T. hikers I met that year. Or, I can follow someone this year, post by post.

Whether you plan to thru-hike, or hike the A.T. in sections, you will want to study the offerings on the official website:  Here, you can also purchase maps, books, and guides, to suit your needs.

One book that is particularly helpful is The A.T. Guide by David Miller–get the most recent edition. Another book I like is How to Hike the A.T. by Michelle Ray.

One regret I had, was not learning about flora and fauna before I thru-hiked; I would have known more about the pretty wildflowers in the picture above. The Appalachian Trail: A Visitor’s Companion by Leonard Adkins would have served me nicely. An extended hike is less tiring and more enjoyable if you are in tune with your surroundings.

Here’s to all A.T. hikers in 2011.

Published by Ray Anderson

Hiker and writer. Have hiked the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, The Long Trail (Vermont), and some of the Continental Divide Trail. My trail name is "HAMLET." Have written three hiking novels (thrillers). The first one, "THE TRAIL," was traditionally published in 2015. My second hiking thriller, "SIERRA," released Oct 2016. Book three in my AWOL hiking-thriller series, "THE DIVIDE" releases from Turner Publishing 8/18/2020.

6 thoughts on “The Appalachian Trail

  1. I am really enjoying your blog, Ray, even though my hiking experience is limited to some boy scout overnights with my son (quite a few years ago…). You obviously enjoy hiking and have a very engaging writing style. Keep up the good work!

  2. Ray, I notice that you recommend The A.T. Guide by David Miller and not Thru Hikers’ Companion and A.T. Data Book published by the ATC. Is it eaze of use or some other reason. Thanks


    1. Those books are also very good. David Miller did a thru-hike the same year I did (2003), so that may be one reason I’m partial to his book. That said, I do find Miller’s book to be more comprehensive, and it really is my favorite.

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