The Appalachian Trail, also known as 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.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||You can find additional Appalachian Trail status updates at https://appalachiantrail.org/trail-updates/.|
|Open Season:||All year|
|Best Season:||Spring & September to Early November|
|Closest Towns:||Damascus, 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:
General InformationGeneral Notes:
Check current weather conditions from the National Weather Service based on section of A.T.:
- Mount Rogers National Recreation Area (Smyth County)
- Eastern Divide Ranger District (Montgomery County)
- Glenwood-Pedlar Ranger District (Rockbridge County)
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.
Additional resources for information on the A.T.:
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.