Plan and Prepare

Hiker Resource Library

A collection of resources for planning a safe, healthy, and responsible experience on the Appalachian Trail.


Register Your Hike

Planning an overnight, multi-day, or thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail? Register your hike using our ATCamp system to help choose a date and starting location that will help you avoid crowded trailheads and campsites.

Visit ATCamp Page

View Current Thru-Hike
Registration Numbers


Plan and Prepare


Trail Updates

Keep up-to-date with the latest alerts and conditions on the Appalachian Trail.


Photo courtesy of “Weathercarrot”


Bear Canister Lending Program

Bear canisters are the food storage method that provides the most flexibility and surety for camping anywhere along the A.T. – no trees required. To try a bear canister and stay safe during your backpacking trip, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and BearVault have partnered with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest (C-ONF), Amicalola Falls State Park and four North Georgia outfitters to create a free program that makes borrowing a bear canister simple.


Hiking Basics

Get the information you need to help ensure your next A.T. adventure is safe and enjoyable.


View Our Hiker Prep Webinar Series

View conversations with seasoned A.T. thru-hikers and ATC staff that will equip you with the skills needed for safe, fun A.T. adventures!



Alternate Trails

The Appalachian Trail can be a crowded place during certain times of the year, making it difficult to minimize your impact on fragile Trail environments and find the solitude you may be seeking. This list highlights alternative trails that typically offer less-crowded campsites and hiking conditions.

View a List of Alternate Trails


Report a Successful Hike of the Entire Appalachian Trail

Section hikers and thru-hikers who complete the entire A.T. can report their journeys to us by filling out the 2,000-miler application. Those who submit their applications will be added to our roster of 2,000-milers and will receive a certificate of recognition, an A.T. patch, an accompanying 2,000-miler “rocker” patch, and be featured in the Spring issue of A.T. Journeys magazine. Click below to view our 2,000-miler recognition policy and submit your application today.

Learn More


Report an Incident

While the Appalachian Trail is a relatively safe place to visit, that does not mean that there are not potential dangers while you are hiking or camping. If you see something, say something — this will help us keep the A.T. as safe as possible for our visitors.


COVID-19 Safety

Important tips for ensuring you and other hikers minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 on the Appalachian Trail or in trailside communities.