Appalachian Trail is still evolving after 75 years
by Vicki Smith, Associated Press
August 13, 2012 12:30 PM | 1151 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this Aug. 1, 2012 photo, two women walk from the town of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., onto the Appalachian Trail. Like the people who hike it, the Appalachian Trail is always moving. Tech-nically, Tuesday marks the 75th anniversary of its completion. But the 2,180-mile path stretching across 14 states from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Katahdin, Maine, is never really finished. (AP Photo/Vicki Smith)
In this Aug. 1, 2012 photo, two women walk from the town of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., onto the Appalachian Trail. Like the people who hike it, the Appalachian Trail is always moving. Tech-nically, Tuesday marks the 75th anniversary of its completion. But the 2,180-mile path stretching across 14 states from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Katahdin, Maine, is never really finished. (AP Photo/Vicki Smith)
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Appalachian Trail Slideshow
In an Aug. 1, 2012 photo, Crystal Stroud, 26, of Mississippi, rests and re-supplies with her 3-year-old Dachsund, Polly, in Harpers Ferry, W.Va. Stroud is hiking the Appalachian Trail north-ward from Georgia to Maine this summer. Like the people who hike it, the Appalachian Trail is always moving. Technically, Tuesday marks the 75th anniversary of its completion. But the 2,180-mile path stretching across 14 states from Springer Mountain, Ga., to Katahdin, Maine, is never really finished. (AP Photo/Vicki Smith)
view slideshow (3 images)
HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (AP) _ Like the people who hike it, the Appalachian Trail is always moving.

Although Tuesday marks the 75th anniversary of its completion, the nearly 2,200-mile path from Georgia to Maine is never really finished.

In the decades since the original path was built, 99 percent has been relocated or rebuilt, and transferred to public ownership. That means the trail and some 250,000 contiguous acres are better protected from development.

Mark Wenger is executive director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Harpers Ferry. He says that as desirable land becomes available, it will continue to shift.

Wenger says the relocations and rebuilding have also made the path itself more sustainable.

It was originally routed straight up and down many mountains, which worsened erosion and made hiking much harder.

___ Online: ATC.
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