For one week only, the Appalachian Trail (AT) travelled through the heart of the nation’s capital when a photo exhibit featuring the 2,190-mile A.T. was on display from September 17-21 in the U.S. Senate’s Russell Rotunda.
Titled “United by the Appalachian Trail” and presented by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), the exhibit celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act, which inducted the AT into the National Park System. Today the Act protects over 100,000 miles of trail that traverse some of America’s most scenic and culturally significant areas, providing recreational opportunities for millions each year.
The exhibit showcases seventeen striking images from photographers of varying backgrounds. From iconic views from the Trail’s tallest mountains to the daily tribulations of long-distance hikers, “United by the Appalachian Trail” seeks to showcase the unique character and unparalleled beauty that draws millions of people to the AT each year.
“This exhibit is designed to showcase the Appalachian Trail’s importance in the eastern United States,” said ATC President & CEO Suzanne Dixon. “More than half of America’s population resides within a day’s drive of an access point to the Trail, providing vital recreational open space to millions of Americans and supporting healthy recreation-driven economies in nearby communities. Moreover, the AT shelters migratory wildlife populations and showcases historical moments in our nation’s progression.”
Following its showing on Capitol Hill, the exhibit is expected to tour in locations from Maine to Georgia, over the next two years. Places and dates remain to be announced.
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the AT ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,190 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. On October 2, 2018, the ATC will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act, which protects the A.T. and other scenic trails as part of the National Park System. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, visit www.appalachiantrail.org.