Some people assume that hunting is not allowed on the Appalachian Trail. It’s a dangerous assumption to make.

The fact is that hunting is only forbidden on the 600 or so miles of the Trail that cross National Park Service land.

Wherever you are hiking, it’s easy to imagine that you will be safe if you stay on the Trail. However, hunters on lands adjacent to the trail may be unaware of exactly where the trail is located. The Trail corridor is also often narrow. This means that hunting may occur in proximity to the trail even in areas where hunting is prohibited on the AT or within its corridor.

As with hiking in any season, awareness is your ally. My advice? Always wear blaze orange when hiking during hunting season. (A hat, vest and a piece of blaze orange fabric draped over your pack are prudent precautions.) Knowing the seasons and regulations in the area you’ll be hiking is also paramount. The ATC kindly lists both on their website.

You’ll note that many states prohibit hunting on Sundays. If you are planning a day hike, Sunday may be your best choice. Stay safe and see you on the trail!