Appalachian Trail Turns 75

Aug 16, 2012

The Appalachian Trail turns 75 this week. The nearly 2,200-mile route runs from Georgia to Maine.

Steve Paradis is the Chief Operating Officer of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. He says the trail serves much the same purpose today as it did when it was completed in 1937.

Steve Paradis: It was proposed as a footpath that would connect small working communities and provide an opportunity for people to essentially escape the, if you will, the rat race along the east coast and to rejuvenate their spirit and refresh their souls.

The North Carolina section of the route runs through the Smoky Mountains. An anniversary celebration Tuesday in Asheville brought out some of the thousands of volunteers who help take care of the trail.

Paradis says the anniversary isn't only a celebration of the trail but the people who make it special: the volunteers, and the people one meets while hiking.