Here’s a few teasers for the event, which is sponsored by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy: Encounters of the wildlife kind; hiking the A.T. and staying married; extreme weather conditions; and historical features of this iconic trail, proposed by hiking advocate Benton MacKaye in 1921 (and the Conservancy celebrated its 40th anniversary last year).
Jack of the Wood will turn into an interpretive version of the Appalachian Trail, including a lifesize replica of the Katahdin sign on the northern terminus of Mount Katahdin in Maine. Bring your own cameras and “summit” the “A.T.” with a stout in your hands.
The Conservancy will also have information on hand for hiking the AT near Asheville or taking on a long-distance hike of the famous Trail. Hear about the increased number of thru-hikers making their way north this year.
Incidentally, audience responses to each 5-minute presentation will help judges pick the evening's "winner," who will receive an Eagle’s Nest Outfitters Day Tripper hammock. For any lingering questions attendees may have, a question and answer session will follow the award ceremony.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to the preservation and management of the natural, scenic, historic, and cultural resources associated with the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in order to provide primitive outdoor-recreation and educational opportunities for Trail visitors. For more information, please visit www.appalachiantrail.org.
-- Margaret Williams, contributing editor