According to the Great Eastern Trail Association, who is working with the American Hiking Society and local trail partners in the United States, the next long distance hiking trail is under construction. The route, which lies west of the Appalachian Trail, will run through the states of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and New York, in the more remote parts of Appalachia. The Great Eastern Trail (GET) will be 1,800 miles long. Experts hope the trail will take stress off of the much-used Appalachian Trail (AT), which receives over 4 million section and thru-hikers annually.
The GET will be compiled of a series of already-existing trails that are being linked together. According to the Great Eastern Trail Association, while sections of the trail are still gapped, efforts are underway to find suitable routes. Like the AT, this trail will be closed to motorized vehicles and will be maintained by the volunteers of the various organizations. However, sections of the trail currently used by horseback riders and mountain bikers will remain open to those activities.
Here are a list of a few of the various volunteer organizations geared towards the completion of the Great Eastern Trail. Join today and GET hiking!
- Great Eastern Trail Association (www.greateasterntrail.net)
- Alabama Hiking Trail Society (www.hikealabama.org)
- Alabama Trails Association (www.alabamatrailsasso.org)
- Georgia Pinhoti Trails Association (www.georgiapinhoti.org)
- Cumberland Trail Conference (www.cumberlandtrail.org)
- Pine Mountain Trail Conference (www.pinemountaintrail.org)
- West Virginia Scenic Trails Association (www.wvscenictrail.org)
- Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (www.patc.net)
- Standing Stone Trail Club (www.hike-sst.org)
- Mid-State Trail Association (www.hike-mst.org)
- Finger Lakes Trail Conference (www.fltconference.org/trails)
Photos courtesy of the Great Eastern Trail Association