Did you know that the average person drinks one quart of water per hour while hiking on a hot day? It's important to plan ahead and bring plenty of water whenever you plan on being outside in order to avoid dehydration. While you may use the water fountains during the warmer months in some of the developed areas of the Park, you'll need to plan ahead if you will be spending any time on a trail or in the backcountry, or if you plan on visiting the Park in the winter.
Although the Park may have natural sources of clean, potable water, most springs and water sources along the trails are unprotected and susceptible to contamination by disease-causing organisms. These organisms include bacteria, viruses, and parasites which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. People with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, infants, young children, and older adults are at increased risk of illness.. For this reason, with the exception of developed water fountains and marked water spigots within the Park, all water should be purified before is used for drinking, cooking, food preparation, handwashing, brushing teeth, or washing dishes.
To purify water, simply boil it for at least two minutes, use a chemical treatment (purification tablets), or filter it through a portable water filtering system. If you choose to use purification tablets or a water filter system, follow the manufacturer's directions. Dishes, clothes, and hands should be washed well away from the water supply.
The tables below list water sources, or springs, in order, from north (US 522) to south (Calf Mountain Hut) along the Appalachian Trail. The water flow conditions are updated periodically.