Like the cycle created following every winter Olympics, when hoards of people take up ice skating for a few months, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy is expecting a mad influx of inexperienced and ill prepared hikers to descend on Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. Hundreds of hikers will begin the march northward, crowding every campsite or shelter in the southern states.
Many will drop out after a few days, but there will be a tremendous impact on the environment includes soil erosion, litter, fouling water sources and other humans.
Why this made rush to hike the world's premier long distance hiking trail? Well, blame it partially on media and the recent release of Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon and "(a) chronicle of one woman's 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent catastrophe." And soon, coming to your neighborhood movie theatre (remember those) will be A Walk in the Woods and starring Robert Redford!
For more info on the AT, see this link.