Jeff Ryan, Author & Speaker

Tips for hiking on the Appalachian Trail During Hunting Season

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!

See also  National Park Service Guest Blog

Jeffrey H Ryan is an author, adventurer, photographer and historian. He has written several books about his outdoor exploits, his fascination with hiking trails and the people and places found just off the beaten path. His debut book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America's trail was hailed by the former Executive Editor of National Geographic as "a classic of nature and travel writing" and set off a national tour (in a 1985 VW camper, no less). His books are known for weaving a deep appreciation for history into walks across contemporary landscapes that give readers the feeling they are hiking right alongside. When Jeff isn't trekking, chasing down a great story or spinning yarns from his keyboard, he enjoys sharing his adventures with audiences who love the outdoors. He spends much of his time in his beloved native state of Maine.


  • November 2, 2017

    Hi, Jeff! Yet another great post about the very important topic. Many people enjoy nature in a different way, so it`s very important to respect each other and stay safe. Hopefully, tips like these will help reduce injuries and danger out there.


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