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Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Centers, shelters, privies closed

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy Visitor Centers are closed until further notice, to ensure all visitors, staff members and volunteers are kept as safe and healthy as possible.  The National Park Service has closed all 56 overnight shelters and 75 privies on land administered by the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Park Office. 

Appalachian National Scenic Trail Connecticut shelters covered by this order include ones in Sherman, Kent, Sharon in Connecticut, and ones in Wingdale and Union Vale in New York among others. 

Appalachian Trail Conservancy President & CEO Sandra Marra issued an unprecedented request to hikers saying that in these unprecedented times: stay away from the Appalachian Trail.  In a time when social distancing is necessary to minimize the spread and contraction of coronavirus, many have escaped to nature, but they’ve found trailhead parking lots exceeding their maximum capacities, shelters full of overnight hikers, day hikers using picnic tables and group trips continuing as planned. 

Marra cautioned that the rural communities adjacent to the Trail may not have the healthcare resources to help a sick hiker or volunteer or manage a COVID-19 outbreak, should a hiker transport the virus in from the Trail. Marra closed by saying the unfortunate truth about this virus is that unless everyone is safe, no one is safe.

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Todd Schnitt

Local Headlines