National Geographic Showcases The Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy hosts a film screening of National Geographic's "America's Wild Spaces: Appalachian Trail" in Shepherdstown.


Lush forests, high altitudes, extreme physical exhaustion, and hours away from any civilization. Hikers brave these conditions every year to complete the estimated 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail (AT). While their reasons may vary from conquering the sheer challenge to needing an escape from their hectic urban lives, people from around the world have been making the journey for decades.

Although part of the Appalachian Trail traverses through West Virginia, many have not been privileged enough to experience the true wonder of the trail for themselves. In National Geographic’s most recent film America’s Wild Spaces: Appalachian Trail, viewers travel along with hikers as they journey through some of the country’s most uninhibited places and witness the infinite beauty that the AT’s wilderness offers. As part of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) 2011 membership drive, the film will be shown in theaters along the East Coast throughout the fall. The Conservancy expects a total audience in the thousands.

“This event provides the public an excellent opportunity to learn more about the Appalachian Trail and how to get involved with the conservancy through our membership and volunteer programs,” says ATC Chief Operating Officer Steve Paradis.

Home to the ATC, a nonprofit organization focused on preserving nature for future generations, West Virginia has been selected to host one of the film’s screenings in Shepherdstown on Thursday, November 17, 2011, at the National Conservation Training Center. Audience members are invited to enjoy the show as the Mountain State is represented throughout the film at sites such as Harper’s Ferry.

“We are thrilled to be showing the National Geographic film right here in Shepherdstown, West Virginia—just a few minutes away from ATC Headquarters in Harpers Ferry! This film features some breathtaking views of the AT along with some beautiful stories,” says Javier Folger, ATC marketing and communications manager.

The Shepherdstown viewing will be extra special as it is one of the few screenings hosting a guest speaker from the documentary. Laurie Potteiger, an experienced AT hiker and featured person from the film, will answer questions regarding the hike and her experiences on the trail.

With a suggested donation of $30 to reserve a seat, viewers will also receive a one-year subscription to ATC’s A.T. Journeys Magazine, up to a 20% discount at The Ultimate Appalachian Trail Store, an ATC decal and patch, and an ATC member card.

If there is one thing National Geographic does best, it’s bringing the wild and uncharted parts of the world to audiences everywhere. Don’t miss out! Reserve your spot at the Shepherdstown screening or make a donation to the ATC by visiting the Appalachian Trail online.

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