“The Appalachian Trail is thought of as a trail for thru hikers but it’s just not true. Three to four million people will hike on the Appalachian Trail this year. A couple thousand of those will be thru hikers. They’re less than one half of one percent. Thru hiking 2,198 miles is an amazing accomplishment and so they kind of suck up all the media attention. The real story of the trail is not the story of the thru hikers, it’s the story of the person who does a five-mile loop hike on a Saturday.” – Mills Kelly, Historian and Host of The Green Tunnel Podcast
Referred to by hikers as “The Green Tunnel,” the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is the oldest and most iconic multi-state, long-distance footpath, but the trail that we know today is not the trail that originally traversed Southwest Virginia. Historian and lifelong hiker, Mills Kelly, tells the story of Virginia’s lost Appalachian Trail and the communities impacted by the trail’s relocation. Mills also shares the contributions hikers make to the towns along the trail, surprising facts about trail use today and how it has changed over the last century, and advice for any thru hiker, section hiker, or day hiker planning to join the 3 to 4 million users who set foot on the Appalachian Trail each year. Let’s Go!
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