The United States Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine. It’s one of the largest destination gardens in the world. There is nothing more beautiful than hiking through Nature’s own wild woodland gardens in her Autumn Splendor. Breathe in the fresh mountain air! See rare and intriguing wildlife along the way. And get in your annual dose of exercise all at one time!
Hikers from all over the world come to the Appalachian Trail to walk along its 2180 miles of beauty. Hundreds of hikers have walked the entire trail from start to finish each year. You can hike the entire trail or just a portion of it depending on your available time and interest. Start at the north end or the south end or somewhere in the middle — it’s up to you.
Experienced gardeners know that visiting a woodland garden can provide ideas about what native woodland plants may grow in their areas. Take along a journal and camera to capture your trek. Also, late Spring/Early Summer is a lovely time to hike the Appalachian trail as plants will be emerging and flowering. If you can’t hike the trail this fall season, then plan your trip for next year.
You may want to take along a GPS device if you don’t already have one.
You can reach the Appalachian Trail from a number of locations although a number of them are quite rural. In New York state, you can take the train to the Appalachian Trail platform on the Metro-North railroad line. There is no covering over the platform making it a pretty rustic start to your journey.
You can also reach a number of entry points to the Appalachian Trail by bus or car. Parking areas are available along the Trail, some for an extended period and some for a fee. For more information on planning your hike, you can check out the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. See below for their recommended list of nearby airports — we added the airport codes for your convenience.
Airports along the trail include:
BGR – Bangor International Airport – Bangor, Maine
PWM – Portland International Jetport – Portland, Maine
MHT – Manchester Airport – Manchester, New Hampshire
BTV – Burlington International Airport – Burlington, Vermont
ALB – Albany International Airport – Albany, New York
BDL – Bradley International Airport – Springfield, Massachusetts/Hartford, Connecticut
MDT – Harrisburg International Airport – Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
BWI – Baltimore/Washington International Airport – Washington, D.C.
DCA – Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport – Washington, D.C.
IAD – Washington Dulles International Airport – Washington, D.C.
CHO – Charlottesville-Albermarle Airport – Charlottesville, Virginia
SHD – Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport – Weyers Cave, Virginia
ROA – Roanoke Regional Airport – Roanoke, Virginia
TRI – Tri-Cities Airport – Bristol, Tennessee/Virginia
AVL – Asheville Regional Airport – Asheville, North Carolina
TYS – McGhee Tyson Airport – Knoxville, Tennessee
ATL – Hartsfield International Airport – Atlanta, Georgia