AT Thru-Hikers Who Left the Trail Can Take 12 Months to Have ATC Certify Hike

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy announced Tuesday, March 31, that it would recognize all thru-hikers who left the trail because of COVID-19 to be recognized as a thru-hiker and 2,000-miler if they complete their trip within 12 months.

The ATC said it would not recognize thru-hikers who continued after March 31, or those who traveled through any areas that were posted as closed when the hikers entered.

The ATC also said it paused thru-hiker registrations at, and the handout of 2020 hangtags at all locations. The program will resume when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it is safe to resume normal activities.

“In short, we will recognize all 2020 thru-hikers who began their hikes this year and left the Trail prior to March 31, 2020, postponing until after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance stating it is safe to return to resume normal activities,” the ATC said here. “Once the CDC issues this guidance, thru-hikers can pick up where they left off—whether at mile 5 or 500—and have twelve months from the date they choose to resume their hikes to complete the remainder of their journeys and still be recognized by the ATC as a thru-hiker and 2,000-miler.”

Featured image courtesy Maggie Slepian

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