The 2016 Gathering will return to one of our favorite spots: Williamstown, Mass., smack dab in the middle of peak fall foliage season. Sessions will be held at Williams College, and camping will be on the outskirts of town with an unimpeded view of the Greylock Reservation. (Photo by H. Dean Clark)

Gathering registration

Sign up for the Gathering and pay your dues all in one swoop by following this link to the digital registration form.

presenters form

Would you like to put on a workshop at this year's Gathering about a trail you've hiked, or a trail-related subject you feel strongly about? Fill out this online form and send it electronically to the Gathering coordinator.

Hikers Fair
presenters form

If your trail club or hiker-related cause or business would like to set up a table at our Gathering Hiker Fair, fill out this digital form and send it to us electronically.

Gathering programs
from the past

Follow this link (click here) to see archives of past Gathering programs, from 2003 to the present, all in PDF format.




































































































































































The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association

An off-trail family of hikers, dreamers and friends of the trail working

to preserve, protect and promote the long-distance hiking community.

 The Gathering

2016 Gathering dedicated to Jack

This year's Gathering of the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association will be dedicated to the memory of "Baltimore Jack" Tarlin, who passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, May 4, in Franklin, N.C.

Jack never missed a Gathering since he started coming in the late 1990s. Having hiked the A.T. eight times, it had become a fun tradition at the Gathering's Friday night roll call of class years to see Jack stay standing year after year after year. He could be seen before, during and after the Gathering, greeting old friends and new, pitching in where needed, imparting his trail wisdom at his well-attended workshops on how to prepare for a thru-hike, and standing up to voice his views at meetings and other venues, including, of course, the nightly campfire, a Gathering tradition that just won't feel the same for years to come.

For his loyalty, passion and dedication to ALDHA, the 35th annual Gathering of hikers, dreamers and friends of the trail will be dedicated to him. Plans are still in the works but count on there being some recognition, reflection and reminiscences of Jack when the Gathering convenes on Friday, Oct. 7, in Williamstown, Mass.

In the mean time, if anyone wishes to write a remembrance of Jack for the summer newsletter, by all means send it to We plan to devote a decent chunk of space to Jack, but we need your contributions including photos. We'll help ourselves to what's been posted online but if you have other pictures, send them along. Many thanks. /bill o'brien

(P.S. Thanks to Yahoola for the use of the above photo of Jack on the A.T. in Maine in 1997. She tells us it was one of his favorites.)

Summer newsletter will have more info

The summer newsletter will have a spread of information on this year's Gathering, from workshops to meals to camping. The e-edition will likely be another 44 pages, perhaps even 48! Look for it sometime in late June, with the smaller print version following sometime afterward.

Critiques and comments

If you'd like to tell us what you thought was good, bad or indifferent about the last Gathering, write to us at ALDHA, 10 Benning St. PMB 224, West Lebanon, NH 03784. Or email us at

2015 group photo

Many thanks to "Crooked Sticks," aka H. Dean Clark, for once again providing a bevy of professional photos of the Gathering, including our family portrait taken on Sunday morning. Click on the image below for the high-resolution version that you can download to your computer and use at will. (The original image is about 2.5 MB in size, so download time may take a minute.) If posting elsewhere online, please credit Dean.

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Gathering History

The first Gathering was held before ALDHA was even officially created. In the fall of 1982, Warren Doyle gathered together long-distance hikers and friends of the trail for a weekend retreat in southern West Virginia, and it was during that time of fellowship and renewal in the community of the Appalachian Trail that the seed of an idea for ALDHA was planted.

Six months later, at a meeting in Harpers Ferry on March 5, 1983, attendees voted to formally establish an organization of hikers, maintainers, friends of the trail and folks who dream of someday hiking the A.T., and they christened their newborn group the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association.

ALDHA has held an annual Gathering ever since, with locations varying from north to south to accommodate our ever-growing membership.


Walkin' Jim

The Gathering Song

At the 2000 Gathering in Pipestem, W.Va., Walkin' Jim Stoltz was asked if he would compose a song for ALDHA to help mark the 20th Gathering the following year. He readily agreed, then admitted later that it proved to be a lot harder than he thought it would be. When he stood up to perform it that next year at the 2001 Gathering in Hanover, N.H., we think he hit it out of the park.

A few years later, he sat down and recorded it for Weathercarrot's video documentary on the 25th anniversary of ALDHA. Click the link below to listen. Feel free to download it, too. After his untimely passing in 2010, Jim's former wife gave ALDHA the rights to it, and we offer it to you all in hopes that it'll stir fond memories of the Gathering and that you'll always remember Walkin' Jim.

"To the Gathering Again"
by Walkin' Jim Stoltz, 2001