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AT hikers celebrate milestone

Happy anniversary to everyone involved in managing, maintaining and walking the Appalachian Trail.

This 2,180 mile-long hiking and camping trail, which runs from Maine to Georgia, cuts through our region and brings many hikers down the mountain to Front Royal for relaxation and a good meal.

Hikers are celebrating this year - and especially today - the trail's 75th anniversary. This trail was completed on Aug. 14, 1937, and draws day hikers, section hikers and thru-hikers - those who walk the entire trail in one long journey.

Benton MacKaye, a newspaper editor turned regional planner, proposed the idea of a trail back in the 1920s and over the years many activists have worked to make it happen.

If you haven't hiked the AT, check it out next time you drive up to Shenandoah National Park or visit Harpers Ferry, W.Va., which is the location of the headquarters of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (www.appalachiantrail.org).

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