Appalachian Trail

October 10, 2019

Hiker Trash: A Love Letter to the Appalachian Trail

An illustration of the Appalachian Trail.

It takes just under six months for most backpackers to complete the world’s longest hiking-only footpath, but you can get a glimpse of the highs and lows of a thru-hiker’s journey without leaving home this fall with the new book, Hiker Trash: Notes, Sketches, and Other Detritus from the Appalachian Trail. Author and artist Sarah […]

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August 9, 2019

The SWEAT Crew is the Toughest Crew on the Appalachian Trail

A trail crew celebrates the end of a hard day's work surrounded by leafy green trees

The country's most well-known footpath, the Appalachian Trail (AT), stretches for 2,190 miles along the ridges and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains, from North Georgia to Maine, attracting between 2 and 3 million backpackers and day hikers each year. The majority of the trail is maintained by volunteers and seasonal crews managed by the Appalachian Trail […]

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March 2, 2019

Put a Hike to This North Carolina Lookout Tower on Your List

A view of blue skies and mountains in the distance from Rich Mountain Lookout Tower

One of Pisgah National Forest’s historic fire lookout towers has been restored to its former glory. Rich Mountain Lookout Tower, near Hot Springs, North Carolina, was built in 1932 and was used to detect fires in North Carolina and Tennessee for more than 60 years. But the tower fell into disrepair after regular use was […]

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November 13, 2018

Community Stories: Akuna Hikes

When Will Robinson returned home to southeast Louisiana after serving four years in the U.S. Army, he came back broken. “Mentally, I was not the same person that I was before I left,” he said. Robinson enlisted at the age of 22, and his time in the Army included one deployment in Iraq in 2003. […]

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August 29, 2018

Karel Sabbe Sets New Fastest Known Time on the Appalachian Trail

Karel Sabbe embraces the northern terminus of the AT.

With Mount Katahdin enveloped in a midday cloud on Aug. 28, Belgian ultrarunner Karel Sabbe summited Baxter Peak to claim the overall Fastest Known Time, or FKT, on the Appalachian Trail. He ticked off all 2,190 miles of the AT in 41 days, 7 hours and 39 minutes, eclipsing by more than four days the […]

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July 13, 2018

There’s No Such Thing As a Perfect Hike

Denali

My friend Aaron and I spent parts of two days tromping in and around Denali National Park in early May. The mountains were spectacular, the moose were enormous and the snowy owl that flew across my line of vision was a delightful surprise. Even the ptarmigan that sat on the side of the road looking […]

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May 22, 2018

The Joys of Section Hiking

Evolution Basin on the PCT

Many backpackers dream of spending weeks—or even months—on trail; the proliferation of Instagram eye candy, along with popular books and films like Wild, A Walk in the Woods and Mile … Mile & a Half, only amplifies that desire. But most folks can’t swing the time commitment required to thru-hike classics like the Pacific Crest […]

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April 27, 2018

What Does It Take to Set a Fastest Known Time?

Jennifer Pharr Davis became the first woman to set a Fastest Known Time (FKT) on a more than 2,000-mile-long trail when, in 2011, she bested the men’s record for the approximately 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail, adding to her list of FKTs. Pharr Davis reflects on speed in her new book, The Pursuit of Endurance: Harnessing the […]

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February 22, 2018

Quiz: Should You Hike the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail?

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