More than a quarter of the most famous footpath in America, the Appalachian Trail, passes through Southwest Virginia.
We talked with trail hikers and volunteers with the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club to find out if the sequestration impasse in Washington will take a toll on the iconic trail.
It's a famous hike, and volunteers spend thousands of hours maintaining the Appalachian Trail every year.
Because of their unpaid hard work, the Appalachian Trail might be in the clear when it comes to sequestration.
"As far as maintaining the trail, it’s all volunteer-led and done so it shouldn't affect keeping the Appalachian Trail open in our area at all,” Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club president Mike Vaughn said.
March and April is a popular time for through-hikers. These are people who hike the entire 2,200-mile-long Appalachian Trail from beginning to end.
"They start hiking the trail in Georgia to head up, there's usually about 2,500," Vaughn said.Since some of the trail goes through national parks and some of it borders other federal lands, many hikers worry about extra fees and limited access.
"They've already started charging a fee in the Smoky Mountains as of February 13,” hike leader Edward Burgess said.
Hikers are also concerned budget cuts would reduce the number of federal employees who support efforts on the trail.
“It's a shame it’s come to this, but personally, in my opinion, the president and Congress need to work something out; it’s just hurting the American people everywhere," Burgess said.