Lonely Planet Writer

Hikers decry crowded and dirty Appalachian Trail

With a growing interest in outdoor activities, hikers seeking solitude along the Appalachian Trail – a Georgia-to-Maine hiking trail – have instead found crowded sleeping areas, trash and drug use.

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania from the Appalachian Trail.
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania from the Appalachian Trail. Image by Nicholas A. Tonelli / CC BY 2.0

Hikers say people are ignoring park rules and camping wherever they want and bringing dogs where they aren’t allowed. Experts say last year’s release of  Wild has increased interest in outdoor activities, and this week’s release of the adaptation of Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods will increase interest further. A spokesperson for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which protects and maintains the trail, said they are establishing policies to deal with the surge of interest. Read more: nytimes.com