Appalachian Trail

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

A trail winds through a summer forest

The Appalachian Trail, aka the A.T., is America’s footpath and first National Scenic Trail. The trail traverses 14 states and is marked with two-inch by six-inch white vertical paint blazes. Virginia hosts more A.T. miles than any other state with the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests home to 325 of the trail’s 2,190 total miles. The Virginia section of the A.T. passes through a variety of ecosystems, including the “high country” of the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, the ridge and valley area of the Eastern Divide Ranger District, and atop the Blue Ridge of the Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger District. Elevation ranges from 265’ at the James River Footbridge to 5500’ at Pine Mountain.

Trail Open To:

Trail Hiking

At a Glance

Current Conditions: You can find Appalachian Trail status updates at  The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) is open. Trail shelters located in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are available. Hikers are advised to bring a personal tent and face coverings. Shelters might not be frequently maintained at all locations. Dispersed camping is also available. Not all privies are open or maintained. Guidance is available on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) website for trip planning, hiking safety and COVID-19 precautions.
Fees No Fee
Open Season: All year
Best Season: Spring & September to Early November
  • The Appalachian Trail is a foot trail. Travel by horse, bicycle, or motorized vehicle is prohibited per Forest Order.
  • Visitors are limited to 3 days within a 30 day period at a single shelter per the Southern Region Closure Order.
  • Hunting is permitted on sections of the A.T. that pass through National Forest System Lands.  Additional resources and safety information on hunting on or near the A.T. can be found at   
Closest Towns: Damascus, VA
Roanoke, VA
Natural Bridge, VA
Water: No drinking water available. All water taken from natural sources should be purified before use.
Restroom: Many trail shelters have privies. Where privies are not available, please follow Leave No Trace.
Information Center: For more information, contact one of the District Offices that manages the Forest Service sections of trail in Virginia: 
  • Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, Marion, VA. - (276) 783-5196
  • Eastern Divide Ranger Districts, Blacksburg, VA. – (540) 552-4641
  • Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger District, Natural Bridge Station, VA. – (540) 291-2188
More information about the A.T. in Virginia can be found on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website.  

General Information

General Notes:

Check current weather conditions from the National Weather Service based on section of A.T.:


Trail Etiquette:

Millions of people hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail every year, for an hour, a day, a weekend, or more. Hikers should be considerate of others:

  • Respect nature’s quiet and others’ wilderness experience by keeping loud voices and noise to a minimum.
  • Refrain from using cell phones or audio equipment around others.
  • Share scenic vistas and shelters. Be welcoming and limit how long you stay.
  • Ask before bringing a dog into the shelter. Bury your dog’s waste as your own, or pack it out.
  • Step off on a durable surface when resting or allowing others to pass. 

Brochure - Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace on the Appalachian Trail website 

Hiking with Dogs on the A.T.

Trail Shelters on the AT 


Additional resources for information on the A.T.:

Appalachian Trail Conservancy Website

NPS Interactive A.T. Map

NPS Appalachian National Scenic Trail Website

Nearby Sections of the Appalachian Trail:

Annually, more than 550 volunteers from eight local Appalachian Trail Clubs contribute more than 25,700 hours of effort to the maintenance and management of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. To get involved, see the ATC volunteer page. 



Show detail SHOW

Related Information

Areas & Activities


  • Recreation Fee Dollars Make A Difference Link opens in a Pdf Document
    Recreation fee dollars are an investment in outdoor recreation. View how your dollars make a difference in the Fiscal Year 2019 George Washington and Jefferson National Forests Recreation Fee Accomplishment Hghlights.


  Elevation : 
700'- 4225'


Tread Lightly on land and water

Tread Lightly! to conserve the areas you love visiting Link opens in a new window

Scan & Pay

Scan & Pay coming to family campgrounds Spring 2022 Link opens in a new window

Black Bear

Be Bear Wise

Woman rides a bike and a banner reads Ebike use on National Forests

E-Bike use on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

Do Your Part Poster

Please Do Your Part - slow the spread of germs Link opens in a Pdf Document