National A.T. gathering making the trek to Cullowhee this summer

A large Appalachian Trail gathering is coming to Western Carolina University this summer, and local trail clubs hosting the week-long conference are recruiting volunteers to help during the event

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy will hold is biennial meeting in Cullowhee from July 19 through 26. The Carolina Mountain Club and Nantahala Hiking Club — along with three other hiking clubs from Tennessee and Georgia that maintain designated sections of the A.T. — are organizing and putting it on. Volunteers are needed to lead hikes, register guests, support workshops, distribute information, and assist with parking, camping and reception activities.

Volunteer can help out in shifts that range from four hours to a full day, anytime during the week. The event will feature hundreds of organized hikes on the Appalachian Trail and other WNC trails. Attendees will also have the chance to learn about hiking, gear, history, and trail maintenance techniques, as well as have the opportunity to meet new people who are passionate about the A.T. and its management.

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