The 2190 mile long Appalachian Trail, starting in Georgia and ending in Maine, stretches through 14 states on the eastern United States. It is the longest hiking trail in the world and welcomes over 3 million hikers every year. Hikers can do parts of the trail (called section hiking) or hike the whole trail – called a thru hike – an adventure of the lifetime that could take five to six months. It is undoubtedly on the bucket list of most hikers in the world.
There's a huge amount of literature and videos out there to look at, but we thought we put together our collection of favourites to get you excited about hiking the Appalachian Trail!
First up is a whirlwind, predominantly first person, 3.5 minute thru hike of the AT. Not too much commentary, but great visuals, time lapses and walk along soundtrack!
And here's the somewhat shorter 3 minute thru-hike of Appalachian Trail by Stephen Outten. What I really enjoyed about this video is the first minute of selfies from the start of the trail to the end at Mount Katahdin, Maine, which shows the hiker starting off clean shaven. You get a good idea of what six months without shaving looks like.
This one by Reptar hikes is my favourite of all the AT videos I've watched so far – and probably the one most likely to get you hiking the AT! At just on four minutes you get an invigorating soundtrack and diverse footage of the wildlife, scenery and people you can expect to come across on the trail. Watch out for the footage of the deer at 2min. Unbelievable!
Few people do an outdoor video as well as National Geographic. This one is a lot longer than the videos above, but gives you some beautiful aerial footage of the AT, a lot of detailed information, background history and some really, really good advice. I reckon this is the closest you could come to armchair hiking (is that even a real term?) the Appalachian Trail and includes numerous interviews with hikers while on the trail. It also highlights some of the environmental challenges being faced by the Appalachian Trail and will perhaps make you appreciaite it a little more when you're walking the trail.