2015 Thru-Hikers: Sneak Peek Into Another Record Year

In recent years, conservationists encouraged thru-hikers to stray from the traditional north bound hike in order to alleviate environmental impacts on trail. These efforts have paid off, considering that Alternative thru-hikers currently represent the largest increase in hikers. South Bounders exhibit the next biggest increase. And North Bounders have steadily been increasing at about the same pace (10% per year).

Hikers Photographed In Harpers Ferry as of October 9th:

• 1384 NOBOS: 9% higher than last year. The ATC approximates that 2700 hikers started in Georgia this year. This means that about 51% of hikers made it from Springer Mountain to Harpers Ferry.
• 145 SOBOS: 21% higher than last year on October 9th.
• 280 ALTERNATIVE thru-hikers: an astounding 157% increase over last year on October 9th.
Current estimates suggest that this will be the 5th record year in a row for both NOBOS and SOBOS.  This is likely the 4th record year in a row for alternative-itinerary thru-hikers, who have portrayed the most dramatic of changes.  There are several very good reasons why future AT hikers should consider a flip-flop thru-hike.

As of October 22nd, Baxter State Park has documented:

• 980 NOBOS, which represents about a 29% dropout rate between Harpers Ferry and Katahdin.
• 2,109 Long distance hikers came through the park. This number includes: NOBOS, SOBOS, ALTERNATIVE thru-hikers and hikers who hike at least 100 continuous miles from or to Baxter State Park.

As hiker-registration is not currently a requirement on the AT, these numbers are only representative of hikers who desire to be documented.

*Approximations courteously provided by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 1

What Do You Think?