The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has launched a voluntary registration system for people attempting to hike the entire trail. The goal is to put some distance between hikers.
The conservancy says overcrowding has been a problem on the trail, which is nearly 2100-miles-long. Overcrowding can result in trampled vegetation, an accumulation of trash and unsanitary conditions.
Regional director Morgan Sommerville says in a recent news release that hikers need to spread out along the trail.
Sommerville says the conservancy hopes the registration system will allow long-distance hikers to know in advance when overcrowding will occur and then adjust the start date of their hike.
Hikers can register online. The conservancy says the system doesn't guarantee spaces along the trail and it's not a substitute for any required permits. The trail runs from Georgia to Maine.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.