New signs paid for by the Mountain Club of Maryland provide history and information about the Appalachian Trail in Duncannon. Be sure to stop by the Old Sled Works to check them out. The text on the signs is as follows:
across the Susquehanna River
The Appalachian Trail is a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains stretching over 2180 miles (approximately 5 million steps) from Georgia to Maine. It was conceived in 1921, completed in 1937, and designated as the first National Scenic Trail in 1968. It is the nation’s longest, most accessible National Park, passing through or near more than 100 communities along the eastern seaboard, including the Borough of Duncannon, and serving nearly 3 million hikers a year. The A.T. is marked in both directions by white-paint blazes on trees, posts, and rocks. Following more than 3 decades of land protection by state and Federal agencies and private land conservancies, the Appalachian Trail corridor now forms a slender greenway that connects more than 75 public land areas in 14 states. It is a haven for biological diversity, protecting more than 2200 occurrences of rare plant and animal species.
Who maintains the Appalachian Trail?
To preserve this wilderness heritage and experience, a unique cooperative management effort exists between the National Park Service, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and the 31 trail clubs that maintain the 2180 miles of the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Volunteers from these clubs are responsible for most of the day-to-day work of keeping the Trail open. In addition to trail maintenance, club volunteers build and repair shelters and other structures, monitor and protect the Trail corridor, monitor and manage rare plants and invasive species, and develop management plans for their Trail sections.
Club volunteers participate in and support the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) outreach and education programs; Appalachian Trail Communities, such as the community of Duncannon; and the Trail to Every Classroom program involving local teachers and students. The ATC supports the maintaining trail clubs by providing Trail and land-management programs, funding, and training. The Mountain Club of Maryland maintains the Trail in Duncannon and nearby Cove Mountain. Other nearby sections of the Trail are maintained by the Susquehanna Appalachian Trail Club, York Hiking Club, and the Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club.
Duncannon as an Appalachian Trail Community
Duncannon is one of several communities along the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) that have earned the designation of Appalachian Trail Community. The Appalachian Trail Community program is designed to recognize communities that promote and protect the A.T. Towns, counties, and communities along the A.T.’s corridor are considered assets by A.T. hikers, and many of these towns act as good friends and neighbors to the Trail. This program serves to assist communities with sustainable economic development through tourism and outdoor recreation, while preserving and protecting the A.T. and its associated natural and cultural resources. Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community and participation in the program is aimed to engage community citizens. Trail visitors, and stewards; recognize and thank communities for their service to the Trail and hikers: and act as a catalyst for enhancing sustainable economic development. Each year hundreds of hikers pass through Duncannon enjoying the Boroughs hospitality and hiker services. The Doyle Hotel is well-known to hikers as a friendly place to rest, eat, and refresh along their journey.