The most difficult part of making a detailed guide and map of the Appalachian Trail is being able to keep the trail info up to date. Especially since I live in Maine, while most of the changes to the trail happen in the southern states. People will often email to tell me there’s a new shelter here, or a new set of switchbacks there, but with the level of detail in the apps I need a lot more than most people can give– GPS coordinates, detailed information, a track file, photos.
Last year, I spent a good chunk of time and energy mapping the trail through Virginia, and figured I might go down south for a month every year to update a section of the trail, but that’s not entirely realistic. So this year I’m trying a new experiment. I’m going to try hiring a few section hikers (or maybe through-hikers) to do detailed data gathering for a few of the most outdated sections in the AT Hiker app.
This year, the priorities are the Smokey Mountains, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania, since those are the sections with the oldest data sets so far. I’m hoping to find a few section-hikers to do this, since section hikers are generally less Katahdin-focused than through-hikers, and can take the time to explore side trails. Also, if I can get a section-hiker to update the trail data before most through-hikers hit the area, the through-hikers will have updated trail info by the time they get there.
So please check out this page if you’re interested, and share this post with any experienced section-hikers you may know who could use a few bucks to fund their hiking adventure.