Hike the Appalachian Trail in Four States!

Explore pristine stretches of the Appalachian Trail on daily hikes in four states and learn about the region’s history as you visit the Trail Museum, Conservancy HQ and Harpers Ferry.
Rating (4.91)
Program No. 18537RJ
6 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Perhaps the most famous hiking trail in the world, the Appalachian Trail runs for 2,174 miles, from Maine to Georgia, over mountains, valleys and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the east. On daily hikes of six to ten miles, sample gorgeous stretches of the trail in Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia. Your base will be the Shepherd’s Spring Retreat Center, whose unique location provides convenient access to all four states.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Challenging
Hiking 6-10 miles daily over varied terrain. Some hiking requires a lengthy van ride to trailheads. Program appropriate for seasoned hikers.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Daily hikes take you across the beautiful Appalachia mountains while bringing you into several state and national parks as well as historic areas.
  • Naturalists, "AT" thru-hikers and others lead the discovery of your inspiring natural surroundings.
  • After a day on the trail, relax in comfort as you learn about the journey that is the Appalachian Trail and the people who call Appalachia home.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room.
Featured Expert
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Ben Skroban
Ben Skroban is the camp coordinator at Shepherd's Spring Outdoor Ministry Center. He has led multiple hikes on the Appalachian Trail and bike trips on the C&O Canal Towpath. Ben has a strong passion for leading outdoor adventure trips and experience working with people of all ages.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Ben Skroban
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George Michael
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Lacy Walker
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
In Beauty May She Walk, Hiking the AT at 60
by Leslie Mass
In 2001, Leslie Mass turns a lifelong fantasy into reality. She began a grueling journey - a thru-hike of the 2,000 mile Appalachian Trail. A wife, mother, and suburban college administrator, Leslie is just like any other woman you might pass on a grocery aisle. Her story is an inspiring physical and mental journey to reach the goal of a lifetime.
Walking with Spring, the first thru-hike of the AT
by Earl V Shaffer
It was the spring of 1948, and a young man from Pennsylvania had to work out of his psyche the sights, sounds and losses of WWII; he took a hike- for four months! On August 5 of that year, Earl Shaffer became the first person to hike uninterrupted the entire length of the AT. Written soon after the first of his three thru hikes and including photos from 1948, this book chronicles Shaffer's adventures along a path that at the time was showing the neglect of the war years and has since been rerouted significantly to its semi-permanent location. His simply stated story has served as inspiriation for more than 9,000 men and women who have since followed in his footsteps... and many thousands more who have tried.

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