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Appalachian Trail

In 1911 the Dartmouth Outing Club proposed creating a chain of cabins extending northwards from Hanover to the White Mountains of New Hampshire for ski touring. The first DOC cabin was completed in 1913 on Moose Mountain, fewer than ten miles from Hanover, and dozens more have been built in the years since, mostly by student volunteers and with the help of generous friends.

The original chain of DOC cabins and trails became a founding link in the Appalachian Trail, started in 1923. The Trail was completed as a continuous marked trail from Georgia to Maine for a short period in 1937, but the 1938 hurricane in New England damaged major sections of the trail and then World War II delayed the trail’s re-completion until 1951. In 1968 the U.S. Congress passed the National Trails System Act which provided for the acquisition of land to ensure the protection of the Appalachian Trail and others like it. The next two decades would see major relocations of the trail off of public roads and private properties and onto newly purchased and protected public lands. The DOC completed the relocation of its section of the Trail onto the protected corridor in 1993.

Today, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail stretches over 2,100 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, Maine. The trail and its shelters are overseen by the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, and maintained by thirty-one volunteer organizations overseen by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

The Dartmouth Outing Club is responsible for the maintenance of over fifty miles of the Appalachian Trail, from the Ledyard Bridge over the Connecticut River, to Route 112 in Woodstock, New Hampshire. The DOC is assisted in its maintenance by local community members: Trail Adopters each maintain a few miles of trail and Corridor Monitors steward the land the trail runs through. Larger projects, such as trail relocations, improvements, and new shelter constructions, are undertaken by the members of Cabin and Trail, one of the DOC’s member clubs. We always need help with this work! If you are interested in becoming a trail adopter, please contact Sam Brakeley, our fantastic Adopter Coordinator; if you are interesting in stewarding the land that surrounds the AT, please contact Rory Gawler. For more information about these projects, please see the DOC Wiki. If you would like to hear about opportunities to work on individual projects or specific trips to do work, contact Cabin and Trail.

Recent times have seen a renewed local interest in the trail and hikers. Hanover, NH was recently granted status as an official AT Trailside Community and an application from Norwich, VT is pending.

Questions about the Appalachian Trail should be addressed to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in West Virginia: (304) 535-6331, or to its New England Regional Office in Lyme, New Hampshire: (603) 676-4102. The Dartmouth Outing Club can answer questions specific to the DOC section of the trail: (603) 646-2429. Also, numerous books and websites on hiking the AT are available in bookstores and online.

Last Updated: 3/6/17