COVID-19 Pandemic is Impacting the Appalachian Trail in New York
The COVID-19 pandemic is really impacting the Appalachian Trail.
The Appalachian Trail crosses 14 states from Maine to Georgia. Thousands hoped to hike the trail this spring, but only a few hundred remain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Times reports.
The Appalachian Trail wasn't officially ever closed but the Appalachian Trail Conservancy urged hikers to stay off the trail.
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"You can't hike the trail for more than a day or two before you're walking into towns, roads, businesses and people," Appalachian Trail Conservancy President Sandra Marra told the New York Times. "Normally 3,000 to 4,000 people attempt to thru-hike and three million people visit part of the trail every year."
Officials say as infections increased across the country, trail employees were infected with COVID-19, volunteers who clean the trail didn't have PPE and there were growing concerns hikers could bring the virus to towns.
The New York Times reports some hikers started receiving hate and "threats of violence" for being a "spreader."