The old (and young) AT: The Appalachian Trail is 40 years old—or 86, depending on how you count such things. Wilderness advocate Benton MacKaye came up with the idea of creating the trail: In 1925 in Washington, D.C., he convened the first AT “conference”—a gathering of hikers, foresters and members of the public. Six years later, these folks formed a private nonprofit, the Appalachian Trail Conference, and started working on the 2,175-mile trail (the group became the AT Conservancy in 2005). It wasn’t until 1968, however, that Congress passed the National Trails System Act, ensuring that the Georgia-to-Maine AT will forever remain a simple footpath within a protected greenway along the Appalachian Mountains.
However you tell a trail’s age, on Friday, Oct. 3, the ATC and its Asheville affiliates are hosting a fundraising event for the ageless path.
Tickets are $25 (RSVP before Oct. 3, and get $5 off). The event will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. at Pack Place in downtown Asheville; sign up at RSVP@appalachiantrail.org.
Lighten up already: Local experts Corey Hadden and Jack Igleman—the co-authors of Trekking the Southern Appalachians—will show you how to make backpacking fun, simple, light, inexpensive and safe on Friday, Oct. 3. The pair will share their know-how from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Second Gear (in the Ace Appliance Building at 444 Haywood Road in West Asheville). The workshop is free, and participants receive a 10-percent discount on shop merchandise. Reserve a spot at Second Gear or call 258-0757.