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Appalachian Trail Celebrates 75 Years

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A sign along the Appalachian Trail.
A sign along the Appalachian Trail.

Tuesday marks the 75th anniversary of the completion of the Appalachian Trail, but the path from Georgia to Maine is never really finished. In the decades since the more than 2,000-mile path was built, 99 percent has been relocated or rebuilt, and transferred to public ownership.

That means the trail and 250,000 contiguous acres are better protected from development.

Mark Wenger, executive director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in Harpers Ferry, W.V., says as desirable land becomes available, it will continue to shift. Wenger says the relocations and rebuilding have also made the path itself more sustainable. In the beginning, it went straight up and down many mountains, which made erosion worse, and make hiking much harder.

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