Blazing a New Trail

Over the course of nearly two decades, the Fund worked with numerous partners to link the Pinhoti Trail in Alabama to the Appalachian Trail in north Georgia. By conserving key properties and extending the Pinhoti Trail, we linked the two trails and extended the reach of the Appalachian Trail into Alabama.

Our efforts began back in 1985 when the Alabama Trails Association approached us to engage private landowners and negotiate the acquisition of properties that were key to completing the trail. We helped acquire nearly 10 properties, protecting more than 7,000 acres and adding more than 20 miles to the Pinhoti Trail across Alabama and Georgia. Finally, in 2006, the purchase of three miles of trail corridor culminated the effort to link the Pinhoti Trail to the Appalachian Trail.

Even after linking the trails, our work continued: In 2009, we protected the eight-mile crest of Rebecca Mountain, a major ridge in the Appalachian Mountains. This land allows the U.S. Forest Service to complete a portion of the Pinhoti Trail that connects Rebecca Mountain to the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. This property is open to visitors for hiking, camping and recreation.

Why This Project Matters

With three million people hiking a portion each year, the Appalachian Trail is one of the most well-known places to experience the outdoors. The Conservation Fund has protected land around the iconic trail in Alabama, Tennessee, Vermont and New Hampshire. Our efforts continue, ensuring that one of America’s favorite places is protected for future generations.

"When I was 16 and 17 years old I took my first long hikes on the Appalachian Trail and developed the dream of linking the mountains of Alabama to the Appalachian Trail. Today that dream is a reality. It is an extraordinary achievement born from hundreds of volunteer hours and decades of work to link the trail between Alabama and Georgia.”
— Mike Leonard, founder of the Alabama Trails Association

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