Looking for a place to take in all the grandeur of the Appalachian Trail without actually hiking it or getting one of of those silly trail names? You're in luck: The Appalachian Trail Museum will hold its Grand Opening on June 5th at the Old Mill in Pine Grove Furnace State Park. (That's National Trails day.)
The museum will house historical displays and exhibits, as well as artifacts from pioneer thru-hikers like Grandma Gatewood, Gene Espy, and Ed Garvey (Espy and Gatewood are expected to be in attendance for the opening). The museum also features a discovery center, where kids can engage in outdoor activities and play with camping equipment. I think they can do that at REI, but I suppose this setting near a 200-year-old mill is a little bit cooler.
A photo exhibit will house over 12,000 mid-point photos from AT hikers at Harper's Ferry, and the Appalachian Trail Museum Society hopes to provide inside and outdoor welcoming areas where current thru-hikers cans top and share tales from the trail. (Given the musky scent of your average thru-hiker, maybe they'd better keep storytime outside.)
No museum for a long trail could be complete without a commemorative hike: 150 hikers can reserve a spot on the Hike to History, a 6-miler that ends at the museum. Find out how you can join in on opening festivities at the Appalachian Trail Museum's site.
Planning on hiking the AT yourself? We've got everything you need to get started at our Appalachian Trail Center.
Appalachian Trail Museum