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Mitigating The Spread Of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) On The Appalachian Trail
From:
Appalachian Trail Conservancy Appalachian Trail Conservancy
Harpers Ferry , WV
Monday, March 23, 2020

 

Alerts and trailwide updates

Backcountry conditions change constantly. It is your responsibility

to be prepared for the unexpected.

MITIGATING THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) ON THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL

We are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 to ensure we are taking the appropriate actions, not only for our staff, but also for the community of volunteers and hikers who actively use and work on the Trail.

In order to minimize risks of hikers contracting or spreading COVID-19, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy recommends that all hikers postpone any section or thru-hikes

Learn more guidelines for hikers and volunteers to reduce their risks and how we are working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on the Appalachian Trail.  www.appalachiantrail.org/covid-19.

ALERT: PENNSYLVANIA - SHELTERS ON PENNSYLVANIA DCNR LANDS CLOSED

3/20/2020) See Pennsylvania section below fore more info.

ALERT: MARYLAND - CLOSED TO ALL CAMPING

3/20/20) See Maryland section below for more information.

ALERT: NEW JERSEY - SHELTERS AND PRIVIES CLOSED

3/20/20) See New Jersey section below for more information.

ALERT: WEST VIRGINIA - ATC VISITOR CENTER IN HARPERS FERRY CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Due to public health concerns, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Center in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, will be closed until further notice as we assess the best methods to ensure all visitors, staff members and volunteers are kept as safe and healthy as possible.

ALERT: WEST VIRGINIA - 2020 FLIP FLOP FESTIVAL IN HARPERS FERRY CANCELED

Due to public health concerns, the 6th Annual Flip Flop Festival has been canceled.

ATC'S STEPS TO HELP MINIMIZE THE RISK OF SPREADING COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS

The ATC is actively monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 virus. Based on a desire to be a responsible partner in public health, ATC staff decided earlier this week that all Spring Regional Partnership Committee Meetings will be held online instead of in-person over the next two weekends. We will continue to respond to the virus guided by the best available information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and The World Health Organization. As we continue to assess this risk, volunteers and visitors will find the most up-to-date information on this page.

ALERT: WEST VIRGINIA - FOOTBRIDGE CLOSURE AT HARPERS FERRY

3/2/2019) The National Park Service released an update on the status of the Goodloe E. Byron Memorial Pedestrian Walkway (footbridge) across the Potomac River. Planning efforts are underway and NPS is currently considering options for a shuttle service that would transport hikers and visitors around the footbridge closure until repairs can be completed. Until this shuttle system is in place, A.T. visitors should still secure their own transportation across the Potomac River using the links found on appalachiantrail.org/transportation.

(12/21/19) The footbridge crossing the Potomac River in Harpers Ferry National Historical Park is closed until further notice due to a train that occurred on Dec. 21, 2019. For more information, see the West Virginia section below.

VERMONT - NEW FOOD STORAGE REQUIREMENT

7/28/2019) A new forest order by the Green Mountain National Forest requires hikers to store food and refuse in a canister or hang it following prescribed specifications. See the Vermont section below for more information.

BEAR WARNINGS

Improper food storage can lead to human/bear conflicts on the A.T.  Carry a bear-resistant personal food storage container to reduce negative human/bear interactions and keep you, your food, and bears safe when camping on the A.T. For more information, visit our black bear page. Please use the Bear Incident Report Form form to report any bear incidents. Your report will help reduce human/bear conflicts on the A.T.  

Current overnight site closures, warnings and cautions (See state-by-state sections below for more detail):

Georgia (Multiple Campsite Caution)

Southwest Virginia (Mt. Rogers High Country Warning)

New York (Fingerboard Shelter Warning)

Massachusetts (Sherman Brook Primitive Camping Caution)

Vermont (Kid Gore, Story Spring, and Stratton Pond shelter Cautions)

TO REPORT AN INCIDENT

To report incidents or something suspicious, visit our Reporting Incidents page.

Report any notable trail conditions to trailconditions@appalachiantrail.org. Photos are helpful. 

DAMAGED TREES FROM MULTIPLE RECENT STORMS MAY PRESENT CAMPING HAZARDS

Recent storms and hurricanes that included ice, high winds, or heavy and prolonged rains have created hazards from damaged or unstable trees due to saturated soils. These will remain a concern in many areas for some time. Dead and diseased trees and limbs can be present under any conditions. Campers need to be extremely vigilant about inspecting overnight sites for trees and limbs around and above them that could fall, even in completely still conditions. Be vigilant about your surroundings and stay safe.

TRAILHEAD VANDALISM REPORTS

Although trailhead areas are generally safe, vandalism or car break-ins can potentially occur at any remote trailhead. Never leave valuables visible in your vehicle. Recent incidents and areas with ongoing problems are noted below. For more tips and a list of areas with known incidents for the last several years, visit the vandalism section of our Transportation & Parking page.

HIKER SERVICES UPDATES 

This link provides listing of changed or new services for hikers along the Trail or in A.T. communities since the 2019 A.T. Thru-Hikers' Companion was published.

See below for a state-by-state listing for more details and updates.

 

 
Brian B. King
Associate Director of Communications
Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC)
Harpers Ferry, WV
304-535-6331
304-535-2667