Cleveland , TN 37312
The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) has been called the longest continual footpath in the world, crossing ridgetops of the Appalachian Mountain range through 14 states. Of the 2,150 trail miles from Georgia to Maine, more than 150 cross through the northern districts of Cherokee National Forest.
The A.T. began as a grand vision in 1921, proposed by planner-forester Benton McKaye as "an experiment in regional planning.” Existing trails were linked and new sections were carved from rhododendron thickets, grassy balds and forests. In 1968, with the passage of the National Trails System Act, the A.T. became the first National Scenic Trail.
Trail management is coordinated through the Appalachian Trail Conference with federal land management agencies and other partners. Volunteers from local trail clubs provide most of the trail maintenance. Portions of the A.T. pass through designated Wilderness, and are maintained for a more primitive recreation experience than the rest of the Trail.