HARRISBURG (TNS) – The Appalachian Trail, which traverses 14 eastern states, is 1.2 miles longer for 2022, including a half-mile increase in Pennsylvania.
According to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, hikers who have completed the entire trail this year will have completed 2,194.3 miles on the trail that traces the Appalachians.
The mileage increase in Pennsylvania is the result of a major AT rerouting to Palmerton in eastern Pennsylvania.
“The AT resumed its original route along the North Trail near Palmerton,” ATC noted. “The Keystone Trails Association and ATC have converted the blue flames of the North Trail to white AT flames.”
While the AT is marked with 6 by 2 inch white paint marks on the trees, known as white blazes, the side or spur trails and other trails that connect to the AT are usually marked with 6 by 2 inch blue blazes.
Although part of the original AT route, the North Trail is a spur trail from an AT diversion decades ago to allow Superfund to clean up the “lunar landscape” on the hillside. mountain which had been created by the pollution of the zinc factories in Palmerton.
What was the AT in white since this rerouting was restarted in blue and will serve as an alternate route.
But, along the new official TA section, “hikers will once again be able to enjoy the incredible views of Lehigh Gorge,” according to ATC.
Noting that “the total length of the AT generally changes slightly each year due to trail shifts and more precise measurement techniques,” ATC noted that “the increase of 1.2 miles for 2022 was due to 3 major relocations in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and on the Connecticut / New York border.
The Connecticut / New York border relocation to Schaghticoke Mountain added 0.4 miles, while the Loudoun Heights, West Virginia rerouting added 0.3 miles.
Located halfway near Pine Grove Furnace State Park in Cumberland County, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail is the longest hiking trail in the world.
It travels nearly 230 miles through Pennsylvania, which trail users often refer to as “Rocksylvania” because of the rocky mountain-top terrain it traverses across much of the state.