Times, they are a’changing and the AT is not missing out on the passing of time. 2014 brought along the AT Passport. 2015 introduced the Registration Process. And in 2016, with record numbers hitting the trail, that registration process is becoming more and more important!
What is the Thru Hiker Registration?
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has long been concerned with the well fare of the trail. Their constant management of the trail and many trail maintenance groups play a large role in the health of the AT today. The Thru Hiker Registration process is just a step further in helping maintain and preserve the AT for years to come. By attempting to record and limit the amount of thru hikers starting each day at Amicalola and Springer, the ATC is aiming to lessen the impact of the mass amounts of north bound hikers on the trail through registration.
Why to Register?
Besides the warm fuzzy feelings of knowing that you are playing a role in helping support a healthy practice for the Appalachian Trail, you also a receive a year long membership to the ATC for FREE! This includes a discount at their online store and a subscription to AT Journeys Magazine. You also receive an AT hangtag dated with your thru hike year when you register for you hike. You are not required to register to thru hike and the ATC is not looking to micromanage the act of thru hiking. They are simply asking thru hikers to voluntarily register and be thoughtful of the trail when choosing start dates. The calendar will assist you in choosing a start date that will place you in less crowds that you may otherwise find on the AT in Georgia in the Spring.
How to Register?
To register your thru hike with the ATC and receive all the awesome benefits, follow this link. It is as simple as checking the availability of your desired start date and filling out a short online form. If you would like to know more about the Thru Hiker Registration Process please read these Frequently Asked Questions.