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2015 Family Hiking Day set for Saturday, Sept. 26

September 12th, 2015 7:55 am by Javier Folgar, Community contributor

2015 Family Hiking Day set for Saturday, Sept. 26

2015 Guided Hikes List/Information

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, its Appalachian Trail Community partners and 31 AT maintaining clubs invite families to take a hike on the AT during the fifth annual Family Hiking Day on Saturday, Sept. 26. Held trail-wide on National Public Lands Day, Family Hiking Day is a program developed by the ATC to introduce and welcome families of all ages and abilities to the AT.

“The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to host Family Hiking Day for the fifth year,” Julie Judkins, the ATC’s director of education and outreach, said in a release. “Family Hiking Day is a great way to promote physical activity, entice friends and families to go outdoors, and encourage exploration of the Appalachian Trail’s natural beauty.”

Families from Maine to Georgia are invited to enjoy the outdoors with volunteer-led hikes or to plan an adventure on their own utilizing a list of family friendly hikes in their local area as well as trail-related games and activities. Planned events vary based on location and include a wide range of activities and guided hikes led by AT club volunteers. RSVPs are required for guided hikes, and carpooling is encouraged.

In our region, there will be guided hikes from Indian Grave Gap to Beauty Gap (near Unicoi, Tenn.; contact Mike Watts at (423) 963-1593 for more information) and from Boulders and Waterfalls (near Volney Va.; contact Judith Foster at or (276) 623-2408, or Carol Broderson at or (276) 773-3513).

As a partnering organization celebrating National Public Lands Day, the ATC will offer fee-free passes to all participants in registered Family Hiking Day events. The fee-free pass is good for one day of free entry to any participating federal public land, no matter the agency, and is valid for one year.

Click here for more information about Family Hiking Day, including guided hikes, a list of suggested hikes by state and activities.

(About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy: The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the AT ranges from Maine to Georgia and is about 2,190 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail, ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow and for centuries to come.)

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