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  1. #1

    Default Appalachian Trail Extension

    So I have been reading a lot lately about some conservation groups wanting to extend the AT to Alabama by route of the Pinhoti trail. I have mixed emotions about this but I wanted to hear everyone's opinion on the matter.

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    The Mountain range of the Appalachians does in fact stretch down into Alabama, so it would make sense if the AT started in Alabama and course it's way through the entire length of the Appalachian mountains from Alabama to Maine, I am 100% for it, But of course we would have a larger drop out rate if the AT was longer.

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    Registered User FarmerChef's Avatar
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    I tend not to think of the AT as a "fixed" trail and so do not mind lengthening/shortening. However, I do favor expanding it to encompass as much of the Appalachian range north/south as possible. I don't, for example, think we need to arbitrarily try to hit adjacent states or swing the full width of the range, etc. I'd be all for this addition.
    2,000 miler. Still keepin' on keepin' on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RED-DOG View Post
    The Mountain range of the Appalachians does in fact stretch down into Alabama, so it would make sense if the AT started in Alabama and course it's way through the entire length of the Appalachian mountains from Alabama to Maine, I am 100% for it, But of course we would have a larger drop out rate if the AT was longer.
    But it doesn't end in Maine, so by that reasoning why not keep it going past its current northern point of today?


    BTW, this issue keeps coming up. The AT ain't going to change.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    But it doesn't end in Maine, so by that reasoning why not keep it going past its current northern point of today?


    BTW, this issue keeps coming up. The AT ain't going to change.
    I don't really care either way on this subject, I tend to look more at geologic strikes and dips rather than geograpgocal lines.....and to my way of thinking it's all the same trail man...[Janis Jopin~"it's all the same day man!"] but the history of the Trails will never change...and that's what makes them unique and stand alone, again that won't even change so what the difference really.jm2c nobody looses here.

    dosen't the AT extend Northward to become the International AT ??? or does that start somewhere else?
    Last edited by rocketsocks; 06-25-2013 at 15:50.

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    I'm all for more trails, and I'm all for finding ways to connect different trails together. I see plenty of upside and no downside. However, I don't support moving either the northern or southern termini for the AT. Minor reroutes and changes are expected, but changing the start and end changes the traditions, and it changes where the bulk of support services are needed for hikers at the start. A lot of people are involved in supporting hikers in Georgia, and it would be a shame to cut them out of the loop by moving the start a hundred miles south.
    "Waning Gibbous" would be a great trail name.

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    The Pinhoti Trail is an absolutely stunning trail. Hiking in Alabama was one of the highlights of my year. That being said, the AT has too much culture and tradition built up around Georgia and Springer to change the terminus, plus the Georgia Pinhoti in particular has a multi-use tradition that the ATC wouldn't go for. The Pinhoti Trail hosts part of the Great Eastern Trail. It would be great to get Alabama folks excited about the GET & being the southern terminus of that trail.

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    Registered User Tennessee Viking's Avatar
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    This story is fairly old and discussed several times. The AT will never be extended to Alabama. For one reason, several long stretches of road walking.

    Though many with the Pinhoti Trail would like the AT to be part of it so they can get addition funding. But its never going to happen. Its going to be GA to ME for a long time.

    In fact, the Pinhoti Trail will become part of the Great Eastern Trail.
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    I don't really care either way on this subject, I tend to look more at geologic strikes and dips rather than geograpgocal lines.....and to my way of thinking it's all the same trail man...[Janis Jopin~"it's all the same day man!"] but the history of the Trails will never change...and that's what makes them unique and stand alone, again that won't even change so what the difference really.jm2c nobody looses here.

    dosen't the AT extend Northward to become the International AT ??? or does that start somewhere else?
    I don't care either; I have no affection towards most forms of tradition. Change is good, but in this case I don't see it happening, that's all I'm saying.

    WRT the international AT, that is completely different than the AT managed by the ATC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interna...alachian_Trail

    And they're [Internation AT] talking about going to Europe and north Africa to connect with the appalachian range, which is fine, I don't care.

    But it'll never be complete without connecting to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Range in Alabama; all that work and it'll still be incomplete: suckers

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    We already have the IAT to Cap Gaspe. Very few do it as part of their AT attempted thru-hikes though. Even that's currently being planned on being extended to Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Greenland and into Scotland. Yes, the Appalachian Mt range supposedly, according to geologists, extends to Europe!

    A few enterprising AT thrus did start at the PT southern termius this yr. I read about their AT extensions in AL PT trail shelter books when I did the PT this Feb. What's nice about starting that far south is the weather is milder and the elevs aren't as lofty so you can start in Jan or Feb on a AT nobo thru. By the time you got to Springer some 400 miles north(335 PT + about 70 BMT(east) to Springer OR 335 PT + about 220 BMT (north) to Big Creek/Davenport Gap) you would be trail tough and be flying along. If I did this I would make it a IAT going from AL to Cap Gaspe.

    While I know the AL folks would LOVE for the AT to start in AL the GA PT section isn't totally on par with the AL PT section IMHO. Too much busy paved road walking through a highly commercialized area on the GA PT IMHO. Plus there's no organized GA PT shelter system.

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    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Right-o.

    One big reason the Alabama Pinhoti will never connect to the AT is because the Georgia Pinhoti is in the middle.

    The GA Pinhoti is a trail you just have to accept for it being what it is - which is really a patchwork of trails connected by roads. Nothing more, nothing less. They are working on it and Richard Moon, the pres of the association is doing all he can to move it off the roads - it'll just take time.

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    10-k finished the ST? Got maps? I can borrow? Pretty please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pedaling Fool View Post
    I don't care either; I have no affection towards most forms of tradition. Change is good, but in this case I don't see it happening, that's all I'm saying.

    WRT the international AT, that is completely different than the AT managed by the ATC. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interna...alachian_Trail

    And they're [Internation AT] talking about going to Europe and north Africa to connect with the appalachian range, which is fine, I don't care.

    But it'll never be complete without connecting to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Range in Alabama; all that work and it'll still be incomplete: suckers
    ah, thanks PD

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    Registered User FatMan's Avatar
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    As someone who lives at milepost 16.5 on the AT I strongly support moving the southern terminus to Alabama.

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    i took an environmental science class a couple of years ago and we lightly touched on the trail for some reason. our professor was a thru-hiker, i believe, and i remember him saying that they're working on extending the trail up into canada. i haven't heard that from anywhere else, though.

  16. #16

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    I don't think there's any special significance to bringing the southern terminus into Alabama, since Springer is not the first location anyway. But I can't see the northern terminus being anywhere other than Myron Avery's beloved Katahdin. There's probably something "written in stone" to fix that location (Ironic that, since the Katahdin sign is wood and the Springer is in fact stone).
    ...the maddest of all is to see life as it is, and not as it should be. Cervantes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nedrian View Post
    i took an environmental science class ... saying that they're working on extending the trail up into canada. i haven't heard that from anywhere else, though.
    See post #10, and also Nimblewill Nomad's book of his 4,000-mile thru-hike of the IAT, which already is extended into Canada.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    We already have the IAT to Cap Gaspe. Very few do it as part of their AT attempted thru-hikes though. Even that's currently being planned on being extended to Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Greenland and into Scotland. Yes, the Appalachian Mt range supposedly, according to geologists, extends to Europe! ...
    Yep.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Mills View Post
    ... I wanted to hear everyone's opinion on the matter.
    My opinion is that anyone who wants already can hike from some place in Alabama ... or even Florida, as Nimblewill Nomad did and others have. So, it's somewhat a moot point or false premise.

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    And, as Tennessee Viking said now we have the Great Eastern Trail in the making too.

    I think Nimblewill Nomad connected the Florida, Pinhoti, Benton Mckaye, and then went to Cap Gaspe on his 4000 mile walk about. He may have even gotten over to Price Edward Island too. It think it's his desire to do all the National Scenic/Historic Trails that still reasonably were hikable. He was still missing about two, one in Hawaii, last time I talked to him. From a hiking stand pt sure you can do what NW did but possibly from a conservation, recognition, and funding perepective it would help some of those other trails if they had the status of the AT

  19. #19

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    I would hate to see the Pinhoti in Alabama become part of the AT. Last things it needs are more crowds, more shelters, more trail magic, more entitled hikers and some organization headquartered in WV to screw it up.

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    I would be curious to know how many of the people cheer-leading the effort to extend the Appalachian Trail presently do any volunteer/maintenance work on the already existing one.

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