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When you begin planning a vacation, one of the most important steps is to book a hotel room for your stay. After you have made your arrangements to take off work and get to your destination, you will have to figure out an affordable place to stay. There are many ways to approach hotel booking, the most tried and true being purchasing a vacation package through a travel agent. However, travel agents are becoming more expensive and less practical as Internet travel booking becomes the norm.


The Thrill of Appalachian Trail by: Abel Wanderner

Hiking the Apalachian Trail

More than four million hikers venture out on the Appalachian Trail every year. This long stretch of 2,168 miles going through 14 states is an excellent opportunity for hiking on the East Coast. The Appalachian Trail excites hikers from all parts of the world because it runs from Katahdin mountain in Maine to Springer mountain in Georgia. Only one tenth of the hikers go right up to the end. Appalachian Trail appeals to a day hiker as much as it appeals to a seasoned hiker because of its steep climbs and huge distance. Its natural beauty is the main attraction.

With the majority of the trail being within a day's drive of many major cities on the East Coast, the trail's proximity is a main draw for many hikers. Whether you decide to spend a weekend or the entire summer on the trail, getting there is the easy part. Approximately 99 percent of the trail is public land, therefore the hike will be free of charge and permission is not necessary for hiking. Several places along the trail require registration for overnight camping and some fees may apply. Shelters and lean-tos dot the trail and are generally places approximately a day's walking distance apart. Additionally, the trail passes through several small towns that may have accommodations. If you plan on tackling the trail, you are strongly suggested to invest in a guide that marks the trail and the rest stops along the way.

You should not fear about getting lost in the trail, as you will be finding white rectangles on you trail. These rectangles can be seen painted on trees, fence posts, buildings, etc. When you go on to hike Appalachian Trail, plan your hiking schedule carefully. If you wish to go for a day then figure out when will you have to start your return hike. If you wish to stay overnight then also make you calculations right. Do not forget to carry the right amount of food with you. Carry nutritious food, food rich in protein, health drinks and water. If you plan to stay overnight, decide beforehand where you would like to set the camp. This is important, as the buildings are a fair distance apart on the trail. Also check out if you need to register yourself or make payments beforehand. Contact your friends or colleagues who may have gone hiking before.

For those interested in tackling the entire length of this magnificent trail let it be known it will be a great deal of work. The trail can be difficult in certain places and may involve more climbing than hiking. Contact organizations such as the Appalachian Trail Conference to learn more about the details of the trail. Speak with other hikers who have hiked the trail to learn about their experiences. The internet is an excellent tool for meeting other hikers who may have great tips for hiking the trail. Finally, know your limits. The trail is 2,160 miles long and you will not be able to complete it within a week. Plan how far you plan to hike each day and make changes as situations arise. If you push yourself to the point of exhaustion, you will only open the door for injury or illness. Remember, the trail is secluded so certain arrangements should be made. Never hike the trail alone. Always notify someone of your plans to hike the trail and your expected return time. Checking in with a friend or family member periodically will protect you in the case of unforeseeable events. Stay hydrated and carry plenty of water, especially in the warm summer months. Taking precautions before and while you hike will ensure your safety and enjoyment. The Appalachian Trail is an integral piece of America's natural beauty and serves as the perfect hiking opportunity for hikers of all skill levels. Regardless of your goals, hiking the Appalachian Trail will certainly prove to be an enjoyable and memorable experience.

The Appalachian Trail is an ideal opportunity for hikers of all skill levels. Whatever your reason for hiking, you will certainly enjoy your experience of hiking the Appalachian Trail, and will carry its memeory for the rest of your life.

Abel Wanderner is the administrator and delegator of " which is a premier resource for hiking information. For questions or comments, go to: Hiking Adventure, Inc.



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