About The ADT Guide

The ADT Guide is a ‘living’ compilation of route directions, maps, and services information for the American Discovery Trail - a Trans-America trail reaching from California to Delaware.

Utilizing digital online resources, personal trail reports, and tips, ADTGuide.com strives to be the most up-to-date compilation of route changes, conditions, and resources, for the American Discovery Trail hikers.

Hikers, bikers, and others traveling parts or all of the American Discovery Trail are encouraged to submit updates, additions, and corrections - be it a missing sign, a great restaurant, campsite, water source, or other tips to help others following in your footsteps.

Send Updates/Corrections/Suggestions to john@ADTGuide.com

Current Statistics as of

ADT Guide Directions and Maps

The backbone of The ADT Guide is the ADT directions and maps, which utilize simplified navigation notations.
* White Arrows indicate the direction of travel.
* Mile Markers are listed almost every mile and indicated inside a white circle.
* Turns and other waypoints are listed in numerical order and shown in a color-coded box.

BLUE         Turns or Change in Direction
BLACK      Entering important areas - Cities, Towns, Parks, Reservations
GREY         Informational - Cross-Streets or trails, points of interest
ORANGE  Services - Restaurants, Grocery Stores, Resupply stores
RED           Danger or areas of extreme caution
PURPLE   Shortcuts or other alternatives to the trail
GREEN     Campground and Park Information

Climb Categories:

One person's hard hike is another person's easy hike. As there are numerous factors that go into the difficulty of a climb (fitness of the hiker, the weight of the pack, etc.), especially on long-distance hikes, we use a simple calculation to create a standardized reference to compare one climb to another.  You, personally, can then gauge the difficulty of a climb for you.

We multiply the length of the climb in miles by the gradient of the climb in percent to determine a score.

This score determines the Category as follows (from 4-easiest to 0-extreme):

Category 4     5 to 9
Category 3  10 to 19
Category 2  20 to 39
Category 1  40 to 49
Category 0  50 or above

For example, a climb that goes on for 1mi at an average gradient of 12.5% has a score of 1 x 12.5 = 12.5, which equates to Category 3.


The ADT Guide began as a complete, detailed audit of the American Discovery Trail Databooks for Westbound Hikers following reports of lost hikers and outdated directions. We checked and double-checked each road turn, trail route, and information note in the 2013-2018 classic ADT Databooks, still the most current available during the eight-month-long project. In addition, we noted waypoint corrections/omissions and created a corresponding GPS map of each segment.

Today ADTGuide.com is a repository of those initial audit findings - first published in February of 2019 and continuously updated.

In the spring of 2019, we began producing the only Maps of the American Discovery Trail, directions for Eastbound Hikers, and waypoints for use with the Gaia GPS app.

So, Let's Go!

So check back here for the latest updates and crowd-sourced reports from the trail. With our collection of tools – directions, maps, and GPX waypoints – you are well on your way to preparing yourself for the adventure of a lifetime!

The American Discovery Trail Guide!

Keep in touch - John.