If you’re thinking about thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail this year, you might want to think again.
阿巴拉契亚步道保护区 (空中交通管制) is discouraging people from attempting to hike the entire 2,190-mile trail — 叫 thru-hiking — and has said it will not recognize attempted thru-hikes until the 新冠病毒 pandemic is “under control.”
群组 — which manages the multi-state trail — also said it will not distribute hangtags, the plastic tags given to aspiring thru-hikers to promote sustainable hiking practices and celebrate their attempt.
“Due to the pandemic and the risk that interstate 旅行 could spread COVID-19 (including the emerging variants that could be even more contagious), the ATC has been advising hikers to postpone their hikes until the CDC has deemed the pandemic ‘under control’ or a COVID-19 vaccine or effective treatment is widely available and distributed,” 的 ATC said on its website.
“We do not feel it is appropriate to provide what could be perceived as a reward for long-distance hiking, which we are actively discouraging until one of the above conditions is met,” the group added.
The group said it hasn’t distributed hangtags since March 2020 因为大流行.
Those who want to be considered thru-hikers have to complete the entire 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one trip within 12 月 — though it typically takes between five and seven months, the ATC 网站 说.
Despite the group’s discouragement of thru-hiking this year, Morgan Sommerville, an ATC regional director, 告诉 Asheville Citizen-Times 那 2,000 thru-hikers have already registered to attempt the journey.
“We’re concerned about the safety of AT volunteers, AT hikers, of the members of AT communities and of course ATC staff and staff of our federal partners,” Sommerville told the newspaper.
On its website, the ATC did say that if the coronavirus is deemed “控制下” by the CDC later this year, it could change its policy regarding hangtags and thru-hiker recognition.
“Although we don’t know when the pandemic will be declared ‘under control’ and we can resume distribution of A.T. hangtags and 2000 miler recognition, we hope for all concerned it will be soon,” the group said on its website.