Appalachian Trail launches voluntary thru-hiker registration

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has launched a voluntary registration system for people attempting to hike the entire trail.

The conservancy says the goal is to protect the 2,185-mile-long trail from overcrowding and keep hikers spread out along the trail. Overcrowding can result in an accumulation of trash, trampled vegetation, and unsanitary conditions.

The new registration system will allow thru-hikers to know in advance when overcrowding will occur and then adjust the start date of their hike.

Thru-hikers can register online at