The Appy Lodge in Gatlinburg Hosts AT Museum

The Appy Lodge, a new hotel in Gatlinburg, TN, will include a mini Appalachian Trail museum in its lobby, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. Officially named the Appalachian Lodge (but rolling with an adorable nickname), the hotel opened in September. Developer David Ogle was assisted by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in creating the museum. He also looked to the trail for inspiration in the design of the entire 101-room hotel, with recreations of iconic AT signage and other outdoor paraphernalia being used as decor.

The AT connection won’t end with the decor. The Appy Lodge is looking at a long-term partnership with the ATC, which includes proceeds from some purchases at their gift shop going to the ATC and  holding an annual fundraiser on the nonprofit’s behalf. They’ve made a contribution to the ATC themselves, and are looking to create a “round-up” program in their gift shop to facilitate their customers doing the same.

The Appy is also looking to educate the hordes of tourists that visit Gatlinburg every year about the trail, hopefully encouraging those tourists to hike and volunteer on the trail. In the heart of the Smokies, Gatlinburg is the most heavily touristed city the AT travels near, meaning the hotel’s attempts to raise awareness could have a huge influence on tourists whose knowledge of the AT may be minimal. It’s also an option for any thru-hikers looking to splurge on a mini trail-cation in Gatlinburg and get a little bit of trail history to boot.

The lodge is at 168 Parkway in the site of the old Fairfield Inn. Rates start at $99 a night.

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