102 Days on the AT (1499 miles)

I finally have a few minutes to update how things are going on the AT. I recently crossed into Connecticut on Tuesday the 10th of 14 states! I was planning to write an official 1/2 way post but time and plenty of miles have flown by.  Today is my 102nd day on the trail and with the progress I’ve made so far, everything looks on schedule for an early September finish!

Some stats from the first 2/3’s of the trail:

# of Black Bears seen on the trail -9

# of Rattlesnakes -1

# of Ticks -6

# of Porcupines -2

# of Bad Days – 0

Average pace per day: 14.7 miles

# of Zero (Rest) Days : 14

Average pace per day minus rest days: 17 miles

Most memorable experience: This is a toss up between hiking 40.6 miles in one day to cross the state of Maryland,  and surviving two intense storms in my ultralight tent.

The three state challenge was indeed successful,  I started out at the Maryland border at 5 am and arrived in Pennsylvania at 8 pm (40.6 miles), just in time to eat dinner and watch the sunset. Thanks to relatively flat terrain the hike wasn’t as difficult as first thought and has given me a lot of confidence towards being able to do more long distance hiking.

Favorite section of the trail: Smoky Mountain National Park

Least Favorite section: All of New Jersey… My time in New Jersey consisted of daily rain showers, falling on rocks, and dealing with bears that weren’t afraid of people. Worse of all ticks were everywhere in this state and thankfully I’ve avoided getting Lyme disease so far.

Tomorrow I will be crossing into Massachusetts and heading farther north into New England. After Massachusetts only Vermont, New Hampshire,  and Maine are left which will bring some of the most beautiful and challenging terrain of the trail!

Here’s the last 400 miles in photos:


Sunset on the Maryland/Pennsylvania border


Making it official, back in the North!


Welcome to Pennsylvania,  we’re things get a little rocky.


View from the top of Lehigh Gap, another rewarding climb.


Entering New Jersey, I was so happy to leave Pennsylvania but those high spirits soon faded.


A nice rest spot in southern New York.


Entering the “lemon squeezer”.


The AT passes right through the Bear Mtn. Zoo in New York. Black bears sure don’t sit around like this in the wild.


Crossing the Hudson River in New York.


Next stop, “Appalachian Trail”. The amtrak crosses the AT in the northern section of New York.



Welcome to Connecticut, where the AT is right on the road… After hiking 1500 miles in the woods, walking  on pavement is so painful!


View from the Connecticut countryside this morning.


Time to rest up in Salisbury, CT.

“Whatever satisfies the soul is truth” – Walt Whitman







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