October 7, 1923: First Miles of the Appalachian Trail Opens in New York State

Harpers Ferry

On October 7, 1923, the first miles of the Appalachian Trail were opened in New York state. Within 14 years, the trail would stretch some 2,200 miles—from Maine to Georgia.

The Appalachian Trail crosses into West Virginia in two places. In southeastern West Virginia, the trail crosses Peters Mountain a few miles east of Peterstown in Monroe County. Here, it zigzags along the state line for close to 13 miles. This stretch offers commanding views of Allegheny Mountain before dropping off into Virginia.

In the eastern panhandle, the Appalachian Trail again weaves along the West Virginia-Virginia border, this time east of Charles Town. About four miles of the trail are located entirely in West Virginia. Hikers can see stone remnants of Civil War fortifications and pits and ditches from the charcoal-producing days of the 1800s. The trail crosses the Shenandoah River and enters Harpers Ferry, headquarters of the Appalachian Trail Conference. It then crosses the Potomac River, leaving West Virginia and entering Maryland.

Various organizations, environmental advocacy groups, governmental agencies, and thousands of volunteers maintain the Appalachian Trail.