Hiker Focus

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2020 Appalachian Trail

vLogs & Thru Hikers


Many hikers have resumed thru hiking the trail. Ramdino, who maintains a list of thru hikers and gives video updates, details in his latest video how much the trail has changed this year. Thru hikers cannot find trail families and are frustrated at the lack of fellowship this year. The huts in the White Mountains are going to be closed this year, possibly through the fall. Harper's Ferry is closed as are many of the places that thru hikers like to stop.

The ATC Website has a list of closures, trail conditions, and COVID-19 restrictions and updates. Anyone entering New Jersey from Pennsylvania might have to quarantine for 14 days if Pennsylvania met certain COVID-19 conditions (PA does not at the time of this writing 8-10-20). Shelters, privies, and campsites on Massachusetts State lands are closed. Even with the shelters that remain open, hikers have to consider whether it makes sense to stay in a shelter with other hikers under these conditions. There is a great deal of turmoil surrounding thru hiking this year.

But, watching hikers who are putting out videos, it still seems possible to thru hike and have a positive experience. Colonel Clothesline and Sunset (Frank & Lindsey - F&L on the AT - An Appalachian Trail Adventure) are attempting a Flip Flop and are hiking NOBO from Harper's Ferry. They report getting to towns and are almost to the Whites.

As Ramdino explains in his recent video, hikers are starting to return to the trail. But closures and regulations vary state by state. It appears many of the trailheads near Springer are blocked off.

Ramdino explains that while NC is opening parks and trails, they are not opening the Appalachian Trail trailheads. This may be at the request of the ATC, he speculates. (Note: Ramdino says that some trailheads in NC that are not easily accessible are open).

The Fontana Visitors Center is closed, but the "Fontana Hilton" (the Fontana Dam Shelter, mm 165.7) is open. He says Tennessee state parks are also opening as well.

Ramdino is considering making his hiker list pubic again. If and when he does, we will restore the 2020 list here at Hiker Focus as well. Any hiker who does not want to be listed may contact me, and I will remove them.

Check out Ramdino's video for details. Happy hiking!