Google's Salute to the Appalachian Trail
Here is what is included with this Doodle that was created by Nate Swinehart.
Today’s slideshow Doodle celebrates the Appalachian Trail — click the Doodle to explore the 2,190-mile footpath that spans across 14 U.S. states! The Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world and has served sightseeing hikers for nearly 100 years. It traverses through dense forests, across rushing rivers, and over mountain summits along the east coast. On this day in 1968, The National Trails System Act established the Appalachian Trail as one of the country’s first National Scenic Trails.
Benton MacKaye, a forester, conservationist, and lifelong outdoorsman, first proposed the idea in 1921. His original plan, titled An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning, outlined a stretch of several self-sustaining agricultural camps along the way. Many like-minded people started joining his cause, and the community eventually became known as the Appalachian Trail Conference.
In 1937, thanks to the combined efforts of many trailblazers, the Appalachian Trail became fully connected from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Ten years later, a hiker named Earl Shaffer reported the first thru-hike from end-to-end and ignited a wave of interest. Over fourteen thousand people have completed the trek since.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the National Trails System Act in 1968, which declared the Appalachian Trail as one of the first national scenic trails and recognized it as federal land. Finally, in 2014, the last major stretch of land was acquired, turning initial dreams for the trail into reality.
Nowadays, in a collaborative effort to conserve its natural glory, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and many volunteers maintain and manage the historic footpath. Thousands of pathfinders visit the route each year with the intention of completing the four- to six-month-long thru-hike.