Show Your AT Pride…By Driving

Tennessee residents may be able to show their Appalachian Trail pride with a special license plate. It seems that an all-important 1000 applicant threshold has been met and the final decision is now up to the state Department of Revenue.

Design by Matt Montgomery and subject to approval from TN DMV

The plates could be available as soon as early November, but if you live in Tennessee, you can apply for yours now and support the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

The Conservancy will receive $15.56 annually for each AT plate purchased or renewed. They’re also offering a free, one-time annual membership for each plate.

This is a sure-fire fundraising model for a great organization, but does anyone else think it’s odd to show your hiking enthusiasm by driving? Isn’t it kind of like “Love Your Mother Earth” bumper stickers?


  • tom kirchofer

    hi mark
    yes that is pretty ironic. i thru-hiked in 2002; it was a pretty amazing experience in a lot of ways, but the least expected was that I suddenly had very much of a pedestrian’s eye view of a good chunk of america. When you hit a road crossing and needed food, you’d normally stick your thumb out and try to snag a ride. All well and good, but when you got to town, you’d sometimes find yourself wandering the sprawl on foot, in an area made for cars – think about running across 6 lines of traffic to get from a Food Lion to a Wal Mart without a car; not always pretty.

  • marklynn

    Tom, are you trying to provoke one of my anti-sprawl rants? It’s really troubling how we deserted city planning 60+ years ago. It has had this ripple effect that the original proponents of the suburbs probably never imagined–increased CO2, rampant obesity, and the loss of countryside, which will never be recovered. As much as I adore my homeland, one of the deficits in the Appalachian South is that it has embraced a develop wherever/whenever approach. Outside of designated parks, there are virtually no limits. I think it’s rooted in the region’s independent, hard scrabble, make your own future, pseudo-libertarian ethic. Sometimes it serves us well. In this case, I think it bites us in the butt.

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