Observe plants and animals on the Appalachian Trail



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The A.T. Seasons project is intended to engage a diverse public audience, and promote science literacy through hands-on citizen-science opportunities. The partners of the A.T. Seasons project are working to establish monitoring sites along the A.T. that are accessible and of interest to key audiences.  Volunteers can contribute to the project by visiting established sites and monitoring selected species. 

Project Goals and Objectives

Why the A.T.?

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is a simple footpath that spans roughly 2,180 miles through 14 states.  From its northern terminus at Mt. Katahdin in Maine, the Trail follows the hills and valleys of the Appalachian mountain range in the eastern United States to its southern terminus at Springer Mountain in Georgia.  The A.T. was completed in 1937 and was designated as a unit of the National Park System and the first National Scenic Trail in 1968.

The Trail connects significant state and federal protected lands – as well as communities of people who live and work among them – making it one of the most important natural and cultural corridors in the United States. The Trail and its surrounding land protects a wide range of habitats, species, watersheds, views, and historic sites.  For generations, people who live nearby or visit from afar have valued it as a place for recreation, solitude, biological diversity, clean air and water, nature study, and connection to the land and one another.    

Because the Trail spans 11° of latitude in the temperate zone and over 6,500 feet of elevation, it is also an excellent area for understanding how species’ phenology is related to climate and how phenological change is related to climate change.