Appalachian Trail, at 75, is a portal to the natural world
The Appalachian Trail is now such a fixture of the New England landscape that it’s easy to forget how improbable it once seemed. When Connecticut-born Benton MacKaye first sketched out a proposal for a 2,000-mile footpath along the spine of the Appalachian mountains in 1921, nobody had ever built such a thing. Why would they? The trail MacKaye envisioned would connect nowhere in particular, serve no commercial purpose, and require a massive effort in some of the most inaccessible reaches of the Eastern wilderness.