In 1921, Benton MacKaye, a Harvard-educated forester and self-styled philosopher, came up with a revolutionary idea: a linear park, extending from Georgia to Maine. Thousands of volunteers and many legislators helped make it happen. With the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps, the trail became a reality by 1937.
Trail users of all types enjoy the A.T. -- most just for short day hikes or an overnight backpacking trip. Others set out for weeks or months on the trail. Hundreds of people each year "thru-hike" the trail -- hike the entire length of the trail in one season. This takes four to