Come See the Appalachian Trail Museum at The Appy Lodge in Gatlinburg
As you may know, The Appy Lodge in Gatlinburg, TN takes its name from the Appalachian Trail, the longest marked footpath in the United States. Since the Appalachian Trail runs through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for 71 miles, our charming hotel is the perfect place for hikers to stay when they’re in town to conquer the A.T.
In addition to our great location near the national park, The Appy Lodge also features a mini-museum dedicated to the Appalachian Trail for our guests and visitors to enjoy! Read on to learn all about the A.T. museum at our hotel.
The Appalachian Trail Museum
Located in the lobby of our hotel, the mini-museum was created in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, a nonprofit that helps preserve and maintain the A.T. The museum features a variety of fascinating photographs, murals, and maps, along with replicas of iconic trail signs. Additionally, guests can peruse exhibits with information on the history of the trail, hiking the trail, famous hikers, and more.
David Ogle, the developer behind The Appy Lodge, talked with Brenna McDermott of the Knoxville News Sentinel about the inspiration for our museum:
“One of the reasons for doing this is to be able to educate the guests about the trail and more importantly about the outdoors. So that we can connect, hopefully, this next generation with the outdoors and sort of create a fire that might burn within them to learn more and be able to experience the great outdoors.”
Visitors to the museum will be encouraged to choose a “trail name,” a special nickname given to hikers on the Appalachian Trail. This fun tradition has resulted in thousands of silly names over the years like “The Old Gray Goose,” “Mountain Dew,” “Gonzo!” or “The Wild Turkey.”
In addition to the mini-museum in the lobby, The Appy Lodge celebrates the heritage of the Appalachian Trail with A.T.-themed artwork, old hickory furniture, and decorations incorporating tree bark and red and black plaid. Reflecting on The Appy Lodge’s unique theme, David Ogle told the News Sentinel, “Doing a project like this that actually means something — instead of a hotel that’s got generic art — and (is) intrinsic to the region, this has been … it’s just been a very rewarding, fulfilling project to work on.”
Giving Back to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
As noted above, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy provided the information for the displays at our mini-museum. In return, we have made a contribution to the ATC and will offer a “round up” program for gift shop purchases. The Appy Lodge will also hold an annual fundraiser to benefit the Conservancy.
Morgan Sommerville, the Southern regional director of the ATC, told the Knoxville News Sentinel that our mini-museum is “a great way to educate more people about the Appalachian Trail and hopefully get them interested in both hiking on the A.T. and potentially volunteering on the A.T.”
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy is the only nonprofit involved with every foot of the Appalachian Trail. The organization educates hikers, encourages volunteers, and helps protect the unique experience of hiking the A.T.
Staying at The Appy Lodge
When you stay at The Appy Lodge, you will have the perfect home base for your Smoky Mountain vacation. Offering free parking, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, walk-in showers, and complimentary breakfast, The Appy Lodge has everything you need for an awesome getaway. To start planning your trip, browse our selection of amazing hotel rooms!