I recently read the Summer 2017 issue of AT Journeys magazine from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC). One article included the official ATC policy on the AT experience. I found these policies interesting to ponder…especially as they relate to the therapeutic value of hiking the Appalachian Trail with my daughter “Andowen.” (Read more about how hiking helps her HERE and HERE.)
“Integral to the trail experience are:
–Opportunities for observation, contemplation, enjoyment, and exploration of the natural world.
–A sense of remoteness and detachment from civilization.
–Opportunities to experience solitude, freedom, personal accomplishment, self-reliance and self-discovery.
–A sense of being on the height of the land.
–Opportunities to experience the historic and pastoral elements of the surrounding countryside.
–A feeling of being part of the natural environment.
–Opportunities for travel on foot, including opportunities for long distance hiking.”
I’m sure many of these experiences can be found in other places in nature…but they certainly are part of why we continue to return to the Appalachian Trail for more backpacking adventures!