Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Planning Your Visit



In general, the A.T. is not accessible to persons with disabilities. Some short sections are fully accessible. The Trail has been enjoyed by hikers with a variety of disabilities, including the blind, hearing-impaired, and hikers with a range of mobility limitations.

Operating Hours & Seasons

In general, the A.T. is open continuouly year-round. The northern terminus at Katahdin is within Baxter State Park, which may be closed in winter months, depending on weather conditions. Particular sections of the Trail, and less-developed roads accessing the Trail, may be closed temporarily for a number of reasons. Detailed information is available from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Fees & Reservations

You do not need a permit to walk the A.T., but overnight camping permits are required in some areas. There are no fees required to hike the A.T., and generally, no reservations are required or accepted at trail shelters or overnight sites. However, there are fees for vehicle parking in some areas and there are fees at some overnight sites. Specific information is available from ATC.


More than 500 public roads cross the Appalachian Trail, and there are trailhead parking areas at or near many of these crossings. The map of the A.T. provides information on the location of the Trail. More detailed information, including maps and trail guidebooks, is available from ATC at (304) 535-6331 or


Direct access by bus is available at several points in the Mid-Atlantic and New England states. Train service is available at two points - Harpers Ferry, WV (70 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.), and Pawling, NY (80 miles north of New York City). Detailed information is available from ATC.

Getting Around


The A.T. is open to walkers, hikers, and backpackers. It is closed to motor vehicles and bicycles. It is closed to horses, except in certain limited sections where they are expressly allowed. Dogs are prohibited on the sections of the Trail within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (NC & TN) and Baxter State Park (ME), and must be on a leash on all national-park lands and most other Trail sections. Dogs are excluded from the zoo section of Bear Mountain State Park in New York.


The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is the primary source of, and clearinghouse for, information about the Appalachian Trail. Please contact them at 304-535-6331 or visit