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The Appalachian Trail expands and contracts in tiny increments every year owing to shifting footpath locations and measurement techniques, but in 2022, the O.G. East Coast thru-hike will grow a whopping 1.2 miles to a full length of 2,194.3 miles.
That’s due to three big reroutes that have finally been completed this year. The first, near the New York/Connecticut border, is a relocation on Schaghticoke Mountain that adds .4 miles and moves the trail from privately owned lands to permanently-protected NPS lands.
The second, near Palmerton, Pennsylvania, reroutes the A.T. back to its original path along the North Trail, adding a half mile and granting new views of Lehigh Gorge. (That’s the section Bill Bryson scorned in his “A Walk in the Woods” for essentially being a viewless slog.)
The last major addition, near Loudoun Heights, West Virginia, is a 7-year effort to prevent erosion from thru-hikers heading in and out of Harpers Ferry.
It might not seem like much, but for a trail as well-travelled and symbolic as the AT, even a single new vantage point is a big deal.