Outdoor Journal

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.

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About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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