The mountains don’t accept our passivity; they aren’t there to be viewed from afar. They call to us to come and experience them first-hand. So we answer their invitation.
People backpack, hike, and camp on or by trails. Some use trails to get close to rivers for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. These trails have always been popular, even if some have been less-well-known than, say, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
The Backcountry Calls
The Appalachian mountains, the oldest mountain chain on the North American continent, have called to all who have lived here, and we’re no exception. We flock to them in the fall for the kaleidoscope the offer; we run off to them in the spring for the varied blooms they bring forth. We escape to them in the summer, seeking cooler and less humid air. And we look upon them in awe, wrapped under a blanket of new-fallen snow that’s not tainted by the dirt and grit thrown up from the paved roads below.
And Trails Beckon
Today, ever greater numbers of visitors hike the trails, a result of rapidly expanding urban and exurban populations and increasingly encroaching development. Add to this expanded use the work of natural forces—rain, ice, and snow storms, hurricanes, and the occasional nor’easter—and you’ll understand the need for increased maintenance of our public hiking trails.
Members of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club maintain over 1,000 miles of hiking trails for the public on private and public lands.
There are far too many miles of hiking trails the public uses for the few federal, state, and local governments to maintain. That’s why volunteer organizations, such as the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, are so involved. Every active member has hiked or gone backpacking and understands the need to become involved, if for no other reason than to help assure that a favorite trail will continued to be available. Many get involved who have very limited or no experience with the deep forest and hiking trails, but they like the challenge and want to learn.
The Acme Treadway Company is individuals who volunteer our time and efforts to construct and reconstruct public hiking trails maintained or planned by PATC. We come from varied backgrounds and have experiences. Whatever our background and wherever our social and cultural roots, we meet, work, and enjoy together their time in the forest. We meet new people on each project we work, and we establish friendships with people who live nearby the trails we build.