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Hikers react to shutdown closing Appalachian Trail - abc27 WHTM

Hikers react to shutdown closing Appalachian Trail

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The federal government shutdown has closed national parks, and that includes parts of the Appalachian Trail which runs from Georgia to Maine.

As of October 1, over 700 miles of the trail are now closed...but try telling that to someone who has been trekking for months.

The issue for most hikers—even staff—is that it's not always clear where federal land starts and state trails begin.

abc27 caught up with one hiker in Boiling Springs. He, like many, brushed off the notion that standing in the Appalachian Trail visitor's center parking lot could be considered trespassing by the federal government.

In true form, he only gave us his "trail name."

"We haven't been thrown out. 'Oh yeah, here come the park police, oh wait a minute, there's no park police because they are on furlough,'" jokes 'Loon.'

That reaction is a running theme among hikers.

There are still some national park and forest employees who are on payroll; if you are caught on the land, you could be fined.

Although the staff abc27 spoke with said they probably won't go further than giving hikers a warning.

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