Harpers Ferry, WV (PressExposure) September 09, 2011 -- On September 18, 2011, the city of Norwich, Vermont will be officially dedicated as an Appalachian Trail Community. The town has planned a group hike, rain or shine as well as several other activities for the day.
The Appalachian Trail Community designation is a new program of the ATC, the non-profit manager of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.). Launched in 2010, this program recognizes communities for their part in promoting awareness of the A.T. as an important national and local resource. Towns, counties and communities along the A.T. corridor are considered assets by A.T. hikers, and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail.
"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is proud to celebrate communities that are helping to protect and promote the Appalachian Trail," stated Julie Judkins, Community Program Manager of the ATC. "These new partnerships will increase local stewardship of public lands, support community initiatives for sustainable economic development and conservation planning, as well as support healthy lifestyles for community citizens."
The town has scheduled the following events for the designation:
2 p.m. / A group hike on a 2.7 mile section of the A.T.
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. / Hiking exhibits, local business displays and events for children
4 p.m. / Designation ceremony on the town green
5 p.m. / Montshire's Norwich Night at the Museum, including free barbeque
In the event of rain, the designation will take place at Tracy Hall Multi-Purpose room, in the basement of Tracy Hall.
"The Appalachian Trail is a natural resource that we in Norwich are privileged to experience..." said Betsy Maislen, head of Norwich friends of the A.T. committee. "Our goal is to change the world, one hiker at a time through our hospitality. The town of Norwich only asks that hikers "pay it forward" and provide this kindness to someone along their journey."
The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials who were working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. The A.T. is approximately 2,181 miles in length from Maine to Georgia, making it one of the longest, continuously marked footpaths in the world. Volunteers typically donate more than 200,000 hours a year on trail-related work. About 2 to 3 million visitors walk a portion of the A.T. each year. The ATC is focused solely on preserving and managing the A.T. to ensure that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come.