Appalachian Trail - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 82 Old 06-25-2012, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Appalachian Trail

Anyone ever ridden the Appalachian Trail from one end to the other? I was curious I assume you could do it in phases. I am thinking it is a Bucket List Item Id Like to do one of these days.
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post #2 of 82 Old 06-25-2012, 12:26 AM
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this is a good question I would like to know also

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post #3 of 82 Old 06-25-2012, 08:45 AM
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I'm not sure horses are allowed on the Appalachian trail.

http://www.appalachiantrail.org/hiki...ations-permits

Can people ride or drive the Trail?

No, with a few exceptions. The Appalachian Trail is designed, built, and maintained by hikers for foot travel. Motor vehicles are illegal on all off-road sections of the Appalachian Trail. Bicycles and mountain bikes are not permitted except where the A.T. Is co-aligned with the C&O Canal towpath in Maryland and the Virginia Creeper Trail in Virginia. Pack animals, including horses, mules, donkeys, goats, and llamas, are not allowed on the A.T. (whether they are packing anything or not), except that horses are permitted along the C&O Canal towpath in Maryland and in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (where, by law, about 50 percent of the A.T. In the park is open for horses as a historical use).

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Last edited by gunslinger; 06-25-2012 at 08:50 AM.
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post #4 of 82 Old 06-25-2012, 10:13 AM
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I've heard that there are sections of the Appalachian Trail open to horse use, but other areas where they are not permitted at all. It's really intended for hikers, and there are some parts that simply are not safe or suitable for horses at all.

You could probably find other trails/rides that are open to horses along the entire length AND of equal or greater distance than the AT.

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post #5 of 82 Old 06-25-2012, 03:32 PM
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I always hate to be told it's not safe or suitable for horses by those who don't own horses or don't really trail ride the horses they do have. I also really hate being told it's for hikers only just because it's for hikers only. I do see seperating out wheeled traffic from foot/hoof traffic on some trails.

Basically I guess I hate being told to stay off a trail just because I said so when it's on public property.
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post #6 of 82 Old 06-25-2012, 04:00 PM
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There are parts of the AT that are completely unsuitable for horses, I do trail ride and do know what's suitable to horses. A two foot ledge over a valley full of cut off trees and the entire pathway is big loose rock is not safe for a horse and rider.. I know that there are areas of the AT you can trail ride but I don't think you can ride the entire trail..

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post #7 of 82 Old 06-25-2012, 08:29 PM
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There are parts of the AT that are completely unsuitable for horses, I do trail ride and do know what's suitable to horses. A two foot ledge over a valley full of cut off trees and the entire pathway is big loose rock is not safe for a horse and rider.. I know that there are areas of the AT you can trail ride but I don't think you can ride the entire trail..
I've ridden with pack horses over trails that were less than a foot wide, crumbling edges and steep drops with no stumps to slow you down. All a matter of perspective and experience. Basically, let me decide when a trail gets to be to much instead of trying to nanny me.

Last edited by Darrin; 06-25-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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post #8 of 82 Old 06-25-2012, 08:35 PM
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I've ridden with pack horses over trails that were less than a foot wide, crumbling edges and steep drops with no stumps to slow you down. All a matter of perspective and experience. Basically, let me decide when a trail gets to be to much instead of trying to nanny me.

Most horses are not going to be exposed to that type of terrain to be reliably safe on it. Not everyone has enough common sense to know this beforehand. You're not necessarily going to be able to just turn around and go back the way you came, either. Nevermind trying to traverse narrow terrain with hikers/bikers/dogs all around. It's just a disaster waiting to happen.
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post #9 of 82 Old 06-25-2012, 08:49 PM
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I've ridden with pack horses over trails that were less than a foot wide, crumbling edges and steep drops with no stumps to slow you down. All a matter of perspective and experience. Basically, let me decide when a trail gets to be to much instead of trying to nanny me.
You may be able to handle it, but I guarantee that 90% of the people who just think "Oh hey, this will be cool, we'll play pioneer for a few days" will end up getting hurt.. There is enough to have to worry about on the AT already with stupid people, much less stupid people who have no business there on a horse. The game wardens and park service members have enough to deal with besides having to baby sit irresponsible horse owners.. There are designated areas for people to go to ride, if you think you can handle more, take it to someone who can give you permission to ride the harder parts of the trail. My family camp and hike the AT almost every summer throughout north GA, TN, and NC.. There are people there that don't have much business on a bicycle, much less a horse.

If anything, it's a smart safety precaution for those people who don't know any better.

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post #10 of 82 Old 06-25-2012, 09:06 PM
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If anything, it's a smart safety precaution for those people who don't know any better.
Like I said, don't want or need a nanny telling me what I can and can't do. As for those to stupid to know better, I heartily believe in Darwinism. This line of thought is what has brought around such things as Bloomberg outlawing Big Gulps. People do not need to be protected from themselves.
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