- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2015

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (AP) - The Appalachian Trail Conservancy says a record number of thru-hikers have stopped at its visitor center in Harpers Ferry this year.

Thru-hikers are those who walk the entire trail, which runs 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine.

As of December, the conservancy says 1,385 northbound thru-hikers and 192 southbound thru-hikers passed through the center. The number of northbound hikers was up 9 percent from 2014, while the number of southbound hikers increased by 14 percent.

The conservancy says in a news release that the increase in thru-hikers is partially because of two recent movies depicting hikes on the trail, “A Walk in the Woods” and “Wild.”

Hikers stop in Harpers Ferry to be photographed in front of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s sign outside the visitor center.

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