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Check out the How to Play Video Below

Quick Play Instructions

How to play appalachian trail game


  • Each player selects a game piece. In the Backpacking edition, players choose game pieces from their surroundings (stone, penny, acorn, coin, etc), and chooses a trail name.  Note: Game pieces are included in The Appalachian Trail Game - Deluxe Version.
  • All players begin their hike together.  For a northbound hike, place all game pieces on the Springer Mountain, GA circle at the bottom of the Map.  Place the THRU HIKE card at the Katahdin circle at the top of the map. For a southbound hike, reverse these.
  • Spread out the GEAR cards on a flat surface. Each player takes a turn choosing one item for their pack. Players should have the same number of items, Remaining cards are shuffled in with the CHANCE Cards. Each player spreads out their GEAR cards out in front of them, visible to others.  These cards make up a player’s backpack.  Remaining GEAR cards are shuffled in with the CHANCE cards.
  • Shuffle the Trail Journal CHANCE cards (blue) in with the remaining GEAR cards.  Place the stack on the CHANCE card space on the Map.
  • Shuffle the Trail Journal CHALLENGE Cards (green) and deal 5 to each player, face down.  Each player holds the cards in their hands, so they are not visible to other players.  Place the remaining cards on the CHALLENGE space on the Map.


  • Advance 1 space at the beginning of every turn, (unless otherwise instructed to NOT ADVANCE or LOSE A TURN.) The youngest player goes first and play continues clockwise.
  • Land on a green space...choose another player to read you a Challenge card.
  • Answer correctly and add the card and points to your personal Trail Journal! Answer incorrectly and the asking player gets the points and adds the card to their personal trail journal! (end of turn)
  • Land on a blue space...draw a CHANCE card and follow its instructions.  (end of turn)
  • Land on a brown space…swap gear with the player/team of your choice!
  • Use the GEAR cards in your pack and TRAIL KARMA cards to cancel the effects of CHANCE cards.
  • Continue play until a Hiker completes the A.T. and earns the THRU HIKE card.  All players then tally the points in their Trail Journal stack.  The player with the most points wins!



backpacking gear extra socksAppalachian Trail Gear head lamp


Are you prepared for your A.T. journey with the right gear?  The 20 GEAR cards comprise a complete pack list for overnight backpacking.  Gear is divided equally among players before game play begins. GEAR cards prepare you to deal with potentially dangerous situations that could otherwise result in injuries and other trail setbacks.  GEAR cards cancel the effects of CHANCE emergencies.  GEAR cards remain in your backpack to be used multiple times, unless they are damaged or lost.  When additional GEAR cards are drawn from the CHANCE stack, put them directly into play by adding them to your backpack.

Appalachian Trail Cathole waste challengetrail wildlife woods turtle


Do you know the common name of plant and animals that live along the Appalachian Trail? Do you know the proper gear to carry along your hike or the history of the Trail? Answer a question correctly, and add points and experiences to your Trail Joumal. Answer a question incorrectly and the player who challenges you gets the points!

Appalachian Trail  Trail MagicAppalachian Trail Weather card


Your hike along the Appalachian Trail will bring about all kinds of interesting situations! CHANCE cards may present obstacles like Poison Ivy or Hypothermia that slow your pace or require a visit to the nearest AT. Community. The small icons at the bottom of the card indicate the  GEAR that can help to save the day and help to avoid delays or emergency situations! Trail Karma and Zero Day are special types of Chance cards that have been added into the Special Edition game. 

Trail Karma Appalachian Trail volunteersTrail Karma Clean campsite

Trail Karma Chance Cards: Get out of a perilous situation that occurs with a Trail Magic Card! Hikers choose when to play these cards, which cancel out the effects of any CHANCE card.  After the card is played once, it is returned to the bottom of the CHALLENGE card stack.

Appalachian Trail Medicinal PlantsAppalachian Trail Community Zero Day Chance

Zero Day Chance Cards: Does your body and mind need a break from the trail?  Zero day cards provides opportunities for rest and relaxation off the trail and to gain extra points.  If you draw a zero day card, you may choose to take the zero day, and add the card to your Trail Journal and forego your next turn OR decline the zero day.  and return the card to the bottom of the pile.