A national convergence of Appalachian Trail fans and hiking enthusiasts will descend on Western Carolina University this summer for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Biennial conference.
This year, the large gathering will be held July 19 through July 26 in Cullowhee. The event only occurs only once every eight years in the Southeast and will be hosted by the five southern Appalachian Trail maintaining clubs. It is expected to draw more than 1,000 trail managers, hikers and conservationists together for the common goal of celebrating and conserving the AT.
This year’s program includes 137 organized hikes, 70 workshops, live music, dancing and trips to some of the region’s best spots. Hikes are planned on the AT and other regional trails. Workshop topics cover hiking, trail maintenance, natural wonders, cultural history and volunteer leadership development. Activities include rafting, zip-lining, touring Asheville’s booming art scene and visiting the Carl Sandburg Home and the Biltmore Estate.