Time To Hit the Appalachian Trail Again!Thruhikers have started up along the Appalachian Trail again. Some 40 had left Springer Mountain, north of Atlanta as of Feb. 20th. 1750 northbound thruhikers started the trail last year, down somewhat from the peak back in 2000 when some 2875 started. Of those 1750 who started last year, 352 made it the whole way. 291 went southbound with 45 finishing the whole trail. The trail covers 2174 miles and crosses 14 states. Janet and I hiked some 1800+ miles of it back in '95 and if we ever get healthy again, we might just finish it! For a bit of history:
First reported thru-hiker
In 1948, Earl V. Shaffer became the first to report a thru-hike, walking the entire Trail from Georgia to Maine. He hiked again—this time from Maine to Georgia—in 1965. On his third thru-hike, 50 years after his first, he became the oldest thru-hiker at age 79.
A 6-year-old boy became the youngest person to hike the A.T. when he completed a flip-flop thru-hike with his parents in 1980. Twenty-two years later, in 2002, another 6-year-old boy completed a flip-flop thru-hike with his parents and 8-year-old sister
Youngest female thru-hiker
The youngest female to thru-hike the A.T. was 8 when she completed hiking the Trail in 2002 as part of a family group.
Oldest Female Thru-Hiker
Emma Gatewood, better known as "Grandma Gatewood," mother of 11 children and grandmother of 23, was 67 when she first hiked the Trail in 1955. She completed her second thru-hike in 1957 and became the first person to complete the Trail three times when she finished a section hike in 1964. Yep, she carried that sack and wore Keds!
Approximately 100 people have reported hiking the A.T. two or more times; about 25 have reported hiking the A.T. three or more times.
For some good links to trail stories, forums, pictures and ongoing events, try some of these.
Appalachian Trail Conference
Daily Trail Journals of this and past year's Hikers
Wingfoot's Trailplace (WF has hiked the entire trail 7x)
Our Trail Journal from '95
Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association
The Thru-Hiking Papers
Frank Logue's AT Page
Appalachian Tales An Appalachian Trail Education Project