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Appalachian Trail on-the-air October 2, 2021

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail in the eastern United States by activating a SOTA summit or a POTA park along the 2,190 mile-long path. The date is Saturday, October 2, 2021, from 1200-2100 UTC (8 am-5 pm EDT). Activators work other activators and chasers, while chasers work AT activators.

The A.T. crosses more than 40 SOTA summits and passes thru 6 national parks, 8 national forests and more than 65 state parks and forests with POTA designations. The national trail itself has a POTA National Trail designation K-4556. This is not a contest and there are no awards. In addition to posting your usual SOTA Alerts and/or POTA Schedules, the website www.ATontheair.com will have a list of activators arranged by STATE updated weekly. See the Guidelines page. Please choose your location and send your activation alert to me before September 29th at ATontheair@gmail.com

A list of SOTA summits in the vicinity of the AT is posted on www.ATontheair.com. There is also a link to an on-line interactive map of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail together with other information. This activity day is impromptu and not sanctioned by any national organization.

After the event, I plan to post a Summary Report listing the activators, chasers, SOTA summits and POTA parks, number of contacts, etc. Thanks for participating in Appalachian Trail on-the-air.

Stay well & 73!
Mike, WB2FUV



Hiking the Appalachian Trail must be a wonderful experience.

I remember… I read Bill Bryson’s wonderful book in just one weekend…
a good writer at all

73 Armin


I am told that Steve Weber’s ATS series of compact transceivers are named after the Appalachian Trail…

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Then you would really enjoy “Three Hundred Zeros” by Dennis Blanchard, K1YPP which combines the Appalachian Trail, ham radio and an inspiring personal story.


Thanks for this Mike. I will plan to plant my little station on an AT summit on 10/2. This will be fun. Scott kw4jm

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Two activators for Springer Mountain, GA, at the southerly end of the AT. N1RBD on CW 20/30/40M, KN4VSI on SSB 20/40M. Anyone planning to be on Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park, ME, at the north end? 73! Mike, WB2FUV


Thanks for this event Mike! I plan to be on a SOTA summit October 2nd that is on the AT. Will put in an advance alert. Also, not sure if you know this, but Nimblewill Nomad only has a relatively few miles to complete a thru hike of the AT and if completed, will be the oldest person to thru hike the AT at 84! I had the pleasure to meet him on a SOTA summit earlier this year. See nimblewillnomad.com


If I have time to get my 60m antenna tuned, I’ll also be on 60m CW with my QCX mini.

KN4VSI will have an IC705. If be brings a tuner and I can talk him into it, I may hit a couple of other bands on CW as well.

Here’s hoping for good weather!

I wonder if anyone has activated many or all of the SOTA summits whilst walking the entire length of the trail. I would think not. Walking it must be a significant achievement. Given the remoteness of the trail I doubt that many of the SOTA’s en route could be activated with a 2m HT and carrying HF radio would be a burden to an already big backpack.

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Yes, I plan to spend some time on 60M CW to work AC1Z and other activators here in the Northeast and New England. From previous experience, my best HF band from New York to the Appalachian summits in Virginia and further south is either 40M or 30M CW. Hopefully one of those bands will get me into Springer Mtn, GA. Ordinarily I don’t work VHF, but maybe I’ll give 2M a try for this event.

I am a SOTA day hiker. I don’t know how many (if any) thru-hikers have activated SOTA summits along the AT. Keep in mind, however, that many hikers do the trail in 3-5 day segments. I am sure there have been multiple SOTA summits activated during those trips.

Stay well & 73!
Mike, WB2FUV

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I’ve activated over 50 AT summits in GA, NC, TN & VA and one day hope to activate them all but as a section hiker. My orthopedic issues would keep me from being out on the trail for weeks/months at a time. Dean~ K2JB


Well done, Dean.

Wow! I didn’t realize it at the time, but we met him, too. On 30 Aug 2021 we climbed Saddleback Mountain, W1/AM-007, to activate it, hiking up the ski slope to reach the AT, which crosses the summit. It was a rainy day with a cloud deck that covered the summit ridge. As we climbed along the AT through the fog, out of the mists emerged a white-bearded hiker whose shorts displayed a pair of bloody, skinned knees. Since I had a first aid kit in my pack, I asked if he needed help with his knees. He declined, saying he would attend to them himself, and continued down into the mist.

As he walked away I thought, “That looks like Nimblewill Nomad,” whose face I knew from his book Ten Million Steps (which is a good read). Not knowing he was on the trail again, I thought it was a coincidental resemblance-- you meet a lot of long-bearded through hikers on the AT. But his blog confirms the date. Wish I’d asked him.

BTW, I hope to be on the air from an AT summit in Georgia, which one specifically yet to be determined.

SOTA activators please note a clarification to Guidelines for this event. SOTA activators should be within the Appalachian Trail corridor, as shown on the official Trail Map See *[Interactive Map | Appalachian Trail Conservancy . This certainly meets the spirit of our event. Any SOTA activators who plan to also submit their log to POTA should try to conform to the stricter POTA rule which requires the station to be within 100 feet of the trail (footpath). In some cases, a short spur trail leaves the centerline AT to reach a summit.

Let’s not get too specific here. If your summit is NEAR the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, that’s good enough!! It’s the spirit of the event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the AT.
73! Mike, WB2FUV

I agree that near should be good enough. Here’s a working definition of how big the Appalachian National ScenicTrail is: “The Appalachian Trail’s protected corridor (a swath of land averaging about 1,000 feet in width) encompasses more than 250,000 acres, making it one of the largest units of the National Park System in the eastern United States.” (from https://www.nps.gov/appa/learn/management/upload/AT-report-web.pdf). That gives us plenty of room to include summits close to the trail.

Weather permitting, WK2Y, Bob, and I (WB8ICQ) will be activating Big Cedar Mountain W4G/NG-023 along the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. Maybe we can S2S with the group on Springer! If we get ambitious we may also move over to Sassafras Mountain W4G/NG-040 to give folks another Georgia A.T. summit.

Hopefully you did not see the movie, too. Despite acting from Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson, it was extremely disappointing as a film and worse for those who knew the book. I’ve read that Redford bought the movie rights and hoped to film the story with his old buddy Paul Newman, but Newman’s unfortunate passing put an end to that idea.

Sounds like fun. I’ll be out there, trail is not far from me.

Thanks Richard. Drop me a note at ATontheair@gmail.com to let me know the details and I’ll add your call to the list of planned participants. So far the most planned activations are in GA near the southern end of the AT. Go to www.ATontheair.com for more details.

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