AT Hikers Must Now Purchase a Permit To Hike Through Shenandoah National Park
Visitors wishing to camp backcountry in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park will now have to purchase a permit online at Recreation.gov in order to do so. The new online permit rule goes into effect January 11 20204 (today), while the park’s former system of obtaining a free paper permit online or in-person was phased out on January 1o.
The online permit costs $9 per person plus a flat $6 reservation fee per permit. For example, a two-person permit would cost $24: $6 reservation + $9 + $9.
All overnight backcountry visitors, including AT thru-hikers, will be subject to the new rule. Thru-hikers will not need to indicate where they plan to camp each night and can instead indicate a 14-day window in which to hike through the park. Approximately 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail are inside park boundaries.
According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, permits can be obtained up to 90 days in advance. Hikers will need to carry a printed or digital copy of their permit while in the park.
Along with Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Shenandoah is now one of only two spots on the Appalachian Trail in which thru-hikers must pay for a permit to hike. The thru-hiker permit in the Smoky Mountains, which covers approximately 70 miles o the AT, costs $40. In Maine, thru-hikers must also acquire a free AT Hiker permit in Baxter State Park before summiting Katahdin.
Further Reading on AT Thru-Hiker Permits
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