Trail Connections is where you’ll find out how to get onto the Appalachian Trail, and to know what services and attractions are nearby. The “trail connections” include both the road crossings and side trails (blue-blazes) that will get you onto the trail.
Simply put, we want to be the most comprehensive and up-to-date guide to get you to the trail and tell you about everything nearby (well, almost everything). We keep track of over 70 categories, everything from activities to veterinarians, and we do this on a 20 mile wide corridor along the AT’s route. If you want to check out these categories, go to the Trail Connections listed on our site. If you’re curious about any town within ten miles of the AT, go to Trail Towns. The shelters and campsites along the AT are listed in the Shelters, Huts and Campsites section.
Let us also tell you a couple of other things that we’re not. We’re not a trail guide. There are a lot of trail guides out there, and we didn’t see any reason to reinvent the wheel. For the AT, we’re particularly fond of the guides and maps that the Appalachian Trail Conservancy has published. However, there are several others as well. For other trails, we’ve provided links to trail guides when we’ve been able to find ones that are fairly detailed. We can’t vouch for the accuracy of any of these guides, so use them at your own risk. If you find that a guide is not accurate, please tell us so that we can let others know.
The other thing that we’re not is a thru-hikers guide. That’s not because we don’t like thru-hikers (we’re actually kind of fond of them) or that we don’t want them to use this site (we sincerely hope that they do). However, we wanted to create a site that would be useful to hikers who are going onto or coming off the trail at any point along the way.
We especially have in mind the casual hikers who will hike for a day or two or seven, and then get off the trail because they have a day job or other responsibilities. We also have thought about the long suffering friends and family who drop hikers off in the morning, and then have to wait all day before they pick them up in the afternoon. Therefore, we’ve written this from the perspective of someone coming onto the trail connection as opposed to from that of someone who is already on the trail.