62 Center at Williams College
The beautiful 62 Center at Williams College will be the venue for both our Friday and Saturday evening programs at this year's ALDHA Gathering in Williamstown, Mass., Oct. 10-12.

Click here to go to a special 8-page spread on this year's Gathering culled from ALDHA's 40-page summer newsletter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALDHA

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

See you in Williamstown this fall!

The Mohawk Trail, Taconic Trail, Appalachian Trail, Long Trail. . . All of these "trails" lead to Williamstown, Mass., in one way or another, and following them will take you to this fall's 33rd annual ALDHA Gathering on Columbus Day Weekend, Oct. 10-12.

We are working to bring you an innovative, fun and inspiring weekend, all in an exiciting new location thanks to our sponsorship by the Williams Outing Club. The feature presentation will be the debut of a new film about the Appalachian Trail by Chris Gallaway, a 2013 thru-hiker who has been working hard to create the best movie ever made about the trail. The venue for this film will be the stunningly beautiful '62 Center on the Williams campus, where many will recall hearing Andrew Skurka deliver his feature presentation at the 2011 ALDHA Gathering.

There are two ways you can help us out a lot. First, click on the image of the poster at right and print out a copy of the PDF that will pop up. Please put this poster where hikers are likely to see it, particularly if you are in the New York - New England area. Second, register now for the Gathering. You can literally do it right now, online, by visiting the registration page. These two tasks are a tremendous help. Thanks! (Note: The poster is about 5 megs in size, so it may take a minute.)

For a fast rundown of what we have in store for you at the Gathering, visit the link below to an 8-page compilation of Gathering-related stuff culled from the e-edition of ALDHA's 40-page summer newsletter:

Here you will find directions on how to get to Williamstown, a look at some of the buildings and classrooms we'll be using, information about meals and meal tickets for the campus dining hall, details about some of the workshops we have planned for you, and other Gathering-related fixtures like the photo contest, apple contest and elections.

If you have anything about the Gathering you want to ask, email gathering@aldha.org. Thanks!

 

Want to do a workshop?

ALDHA has always prided itself on the general quality of its workshops at Gatherings, and this year will be no exception. We already have a great lineup of presentations, but we still have room in our schedule for more. Perhaps you have hiked an interesting trail that you want to tell about and show some photos, or you have some helpful information for fellow hikers. Workshops range from about an hour to an hour and a half in length. The rooms are equipped with computer systems with projection capability, so you only need to bring your presentation on a thumb drive or a CD (bring both as a backup). If you are interested in presenting a workshop, please complete the online form here or email a note with what you'd like to do to Randy Anderson at randyandluanne@hotmail.com by Aug. 10.

Group photo from 2013 Gathering

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 3 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