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Firearms Information

New Firearm Regulations for the National Park Service

As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms on portions of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

This applies to:

This only applies to lands owned by the U.S. Government and managed by the National Park Service, Appalachian Trail Park Office. This includes 428 miles of trail, 25 % of the trail’s length in 9 of the 14 trail states.

This does not apply to:

This does not apply to the Appalachian Trail located on lands owned and managed by the more than 90 other federal, state and local agencies. This includes 1747 miles of trail, 80 % of the trails length across all 14 states. Rules and regulations on these lands are determined by the individual agencies.

Please note:

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a unit of the national park system, is administered by the National Park Service, Appalachian Trail Park Office. The Appalachian Trail spans 2,179 miles across lands administered by 6 other national parks, 8 National Forests, 1 National Wildlife Refuge, and 75 other federal, state, and local agencies. Each one of these agencies has their own rules and regulations which contributes to the complexity of legally carrying a firearm on the Appalachian Trail.

It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before visiting the Appalachian Trail.

What has not changed:

  • The use of weapons are still prohibited on Appalachian Trail National Park Service lands
  • Hunting is still prohibited on Appalachian Trail National Park Service lands
  • Firearms are still prohibited inside National Park Service federal facilities

Did You Know?


The longest footbridge on the Appalachian Trail is the James River Foot Bridge located in Virginia. The total length is 623 feet.