What constitutes a 2,000-miler?The Appalachian Trail Conservancy
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy confers the designation of “2,000-miler” on any individual who claims completion of the entire length of the Appalachian Trail. We use the term “2,000-miler” as a matter of tradition (the original estimated length of the A.T.) and for convenience (rather than changing the designation each year).
Our policy gives equal recognition to thru-hikers and section-hikers alike. Operating on the honor system, ATC assumes that those who apply for 2,000-miler status have hiked every mile of the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia, not just 2,000 miles.
Blue-blazed trails are considered viable substitutions for the official, white-blazed route only in the event of an emergency, such as when flooding makes a high-water route prudent or when storm conditions on an exposed summit require using a bad-weather route. Alternate trails or parallel roads may be substituted only when a portion of the Trail has been closed due to a fire or natural disaster which temporarily obliterates the Trail or puts the hiker in peril.
The sequence, direction, speed, or length of time in which each section is traversed and whether one carries a pack are not issues we consider. Respect for these standards by all applicants is essential to the continuation of ATC's practice of recognizing end-to-end hikers in any fashion.