Thank you for your great article about Gary Sizer’s thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail, or AT for short [Tales From the Trail, Feb. 18, Xpress]. I’d like to add a few points:
Not all 2,000-milers are thru-hikers. If your life doesn’t allow you to spend five to six months hiking the trail, you can become a “2,000-miler” by hiking the AT in sections. My wife and I did this over the course of 24 years and had a different, but equally enriching, experience as thru-hikers.
The AT is not just for thru- and other long-distance hikers. An estimated 2 million people visit the AT each year. It’s also there for day hikes, short backpacks and longer stretches.
Your article contained a link to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Website on volunteering, but you can also volunteer locally. The Carolina Mountain Club is the Asheville area’s AT-maintaining club. We are responsible for 93 miles of the AT — and for over 300 miles of other trails in our area. We also lead 200 hikes per year. Everyone is welcome to participate in our activities. For more information, see our website (www.carolinamountaincub.org).
Hope to see you on the trail.
— Lenny Bernstein
President, Carolina Mountain Club, 2014-2015