Bill Buck on Mount Katahdin, Maine

The author near the top of the Appalachian Trail, Mount Katahdin, Maine.

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail extends over 2,000 miles from Georgia’s Springer Mountain to Maine’s Mount Katahdin, passing 14 states along the way.


The concept for the trail originally came from forester Benton MacKaye, who in 1921 envisioned the route as a way for urban residents to commune with wild places. The Appalachian Trail is known worldwide as one of the great trails of the United States, and is considered the most popular hiking route among the National Trails.  In fact, it was one of the original inspirations for the entire National Trails System.


Today, the route is maintained by a large network of organizations throughout the Appalachian Mountain states, where clubs and volunteers provide assistance to the National Park Service. The northern trailhead of the Appalachain Trail is the top of Maine’s 5,270 foot Mount Katahdin.