- Associated Press - Monday, March 9, 2015

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (AP) - The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has launched a voluntary registration system for people attempting to hike the entire trail.

The conservancy says the goal is to protect the 2,185-mile-long trail from overcrowding. Overcrowding can result in trampled vegetation, an accumulation of trash and unsanitary conditions.

Regional director Morgan Sommerville says in a recent news release that hikers need to spread out along the trail.

Sommerville says the conservancy hopes the registration system will allow thru-hikers to know in advance when overcrowding will occur and then adjust the start date of their hike.

Thru-hikers can register online at www.appalachiantrail.org/thruhikeregistration . The conservancy says the system doesn’t guarantee spaces along the trail and it’s not a substitute for any required permits.



The trail runs from Georgia to Maine.

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