22 Trek Bloggers on the Appalachian Trail You Should Be Following in 2024

As the hiking season officially kicks into high gear, the Appalachian Trail welcomes yet another class of thru-hikers, all of who are hopeful to complete the entire 2,190-mile journey.

Some of The Trek’s intrepid bloggers have already set foot on the AT’s storied path, while others meticulously prepare for their impending journey, eagerly counting down the days until they embark on their own epic adventure.

Amidst this excitement and anticipation, we celebrate the start of another AT season by highlighting 22 remarkable individuals who will be documenting their AT journeys alongside The Trek. 

Join us as we eagerly follow along with these incredible adventurers, each with their own motivations, aspirations, and dreams waiting to unfold along the Appalachian Trail. 

This feature is meant to shine a spotlight on some of our bloggers. It is NOT an exhaustive list. Click here to view a full list of our talented, intrepid blogging team.

Morgan Schmidt

Hello and welcome! The name’s Morgan (they/them). My trail name’s Captain Blogger. I’m 25 and I have spent most of my time since graduating high school doing outdoor seasonal work to get me out of the Midwest. What can I say? I love the mountains. I’ll be attempting a NOBO thru-hike on the Appalachian Trail starting March 2024. Those who enjoy a sense of humor, deep thoughts, and discussion of the taboo, follow along my journey as I stumble and slide my butt to Mt. Katahdin (or the next burger joint). I’ll see ya there!

Post highlight: Day 30: Max Patch and Roaring Forks Trail Magic

Excerpt: “I slept very well last night. My sleeping bag kept me warm in thirty degree weather. I dreamt – although, it was about soft beds and hot showers. I did wake up at around 11:30 that night, though, to hear what I thought was sniffing from a bear around my tent. I yelled out ‘hey’ in my half delirious state and struggled to un-cocoon myself from my bag. I ripped out my earbuds and stilled, listening. Somebody was digging in their pack loudly. I scared the shit out of myself for nothing.”

Follow Morgan: @antiherofem

Josh “Delta” Saunders

What the hell did I agree to? Seriously, who gets a random text from their father a few days before Christmas and decides to change their life completely to go do something they are incredibly ill-prepared for? “Thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail.” That was the text from my dad, Pauley, exactly 12 seconds before I responded “I’m in.” I’m Joshua Saunders, or Delta, to you hiker trash, and I know nothing. Twenty-nine days ago, I decided to press pause on this so-called life and to start preparing for the massive beast they call the Appalachian Trail. I’m not an avid anything. Not an avid hiker, biker, runner, juggler, or yogi. I haven’t done great things, been on great quests, or changed the world in any way. I’m just an average Josh who wants to tell you a story about a long walk where he tries not to shit his pants. Walk with me, but not too close.

Post highlight: We Hiked 100 Miles and Lived!

Excerpt: “I sit on the deck of a small Airbnb just outside of Franklin, NC. My watch says 9:00 p.m., hiker midnight, since most hikers on the trail are sound asleep by this time. Dad comes out on the deck with a couple of beers in his hand, he reaches one out to me and says, ‘One more before bed?’  He sits down beside me, puts his hand on my knee, and smiles. Dad doesn’t always have a lot to say, there are days on the trail when I imagine that we don’t say 100 words to each other. We are comfortable with the silence. It’s not scary or awkward, it’s just that we both don’t always feel like every piece of time demands to be filled with senseless words. So, when he speaks, I listen. ‘I’m proud of us, Bub. We made it 100 miles. I wasn’t sure we would, but we did.’ We never discussed not making it, but we both knew that there was always uncertainty.”

Follow Josh: @delta_on_the_at

Charles “Boomerang” Gutierrez

Retired Military Officer, World Traveler, Chef, and aspiring Thru Hiker. Taking the all-of-the-above approach to not growing old gracefully. Currently seeking The Fountain of Middle Age and living the quiet life in Montana. My wife and I have a small ranch and 18 horses and mules. Leaving this paradise for a January, 2024 start on the Appalachian Trail.

Post highlight: Days 62-67 on The Appalachian Trail

Excerpt: “Guard, protect and cherish your land, for there is no afterlife for a place that started out as Heaven.”

Follow Charles: @farside_hiker

Traci “Purple Lotus” Withani

A smiling female hiker stands next to the Appalachian Trail plaque on Springer Mountain

Hey there! I’m Traci Withani (trail name: Purple Lotus) and for years I’ve been obsessed with the Appalachian Trail. After some devastating pivots in my life, I decided to reclaim my narrative by thru hiking the AT in 2024. In addition to being an ardent backpacker, I’m a life-long Midwesterner, neurodivergent, Catholic, mother of 2, fangirl of several franchises, student of Scottish Gaelic, maker of bad puns, passionate listener of podcasts, and unapologetic lover of pizza and ice cold Coca-Cola. When I’m on trail, you’ll usually find me stopping to take pictures of everything, out of breath from any slight incline, and employing my signature move…which is tripping over absolutely nothing.

Post highlight: Running the Gauntlet at the Start of the Appalachian Trail

Excerpt: “Even those who know very little about the Appalachian Trail are able to appreciate what a monumental feat it is to complete the length of the almost 2,200 miles in one season. But even the most AT-obsessed persons may not appreciate the multitude of challenges those first 50 miles or so of the AT can present. I got to experience all of it for myself this week as I started my 2024 NOBO thru-hike. Any one of these trials might be enough to make a person think twice; going through all of them at once was definitely eye-opening.”

Follow Traci: @emplowered

Craigen Smith

I’m Craigen, which is just Scottish for Craig. My granddad told me that if I ever do any thing important in life I should do it in a Kilt, so I can be found hiking in my Kilt. I work as a Pagan Prison Chaplain in the UK, which is different, and they have given me 6 months off to go take a walk in the woods. I’m mostly interested in History, Politics, good food and beer, F1 and Rugby! I’ve hiked the Camino Frances and Portuguese, The Ridge Way and most recently Wainwrights Coast to Coast. PS. I’m rather dyslexic, my SPG might not be on point, but I do try.

Post highlight: Sitting It Out at a Shelter

Excerpt: “Forget the Fontana Hilton, this was the Chesterfield Smokies!  We made it as comfortable as we could.  We had strung up a make shift tarp out of ground sheets and had enough fire wood to keep us warm.  The shelter was actually quite spacious, I’m sure at a push we could have taken in at least a dozen more people.  One thing I would say is that the chimney did not work so it got quiet smokey, but imagine coming into the shelter out of the rain and there being no where to get dry!”

Carly McCalla

Hi y’all! I’m Carly (trail name TBD), and I’ve survived the past six years teaching teenagers science by getting outside and exploring all the beauty that the US has to offer. I’m taking a sabbatical with a sole goal of putting one foot in front of the other as a 2024 AT thru hiker. You can follow along with my “trails” and tribulations on here, my Instagram, or my Facebook. See ya out there!

Post highlight: Georgia Took My Toenail but Not My Spirit: Lessons Learned from My First 100 Miles on the AT

Excerpt: I smell like a mix of body odor and the damp earth of the forest. My knee feels like it’s twisting and my Achilles tendons are throbbing and pulling at my heels. The fog creeps in among the trees, and I swear when the wind rips through the forest it sounds like a baby bear yelping for its mother. My pack is pulling at my right shoulder. As I slide down moss-covered rocks, I can’t help but think over and over again about a quote I heard while listening to Backpacker Radio episode #106 from Nicole Antoinette: ‘What a privilege to get to choose your suffering.'”

Follow Carly: @carlymccalla 

Robb “Movin’ On” Jubin

My name is Robb at home and Movin’ On on the trail. I am currently an AT Thru hiker attempter NOBO starting February 12, 2024. I live in SW Pennsylvania about an hour south of Pittsburgh and I do most of my outdoor activities in The Laurel Highlands region such as hiking (duh), fly fishing, hunting, golf and photography.

Post highlight: My Big 3

Excerpt: “Like most, I researched before purchasing my first bag, pack, and tent when I got the urge to backpack again many years after being removed from my Boy Scout days. Following my research, off to REI I went with the best of intentions. After being fitted, I ended up with a Gregory Zulu 65L pack and a Marmot Never Winter Bag. As for my tent, I saw the announcement of the Drop X-Mid 2P from Dan Durston. Yes, my X-mid is one of the originals through Drop and Drop is printed on the side of the tent. I did one overnight on a local trail with this gear. Once I decided to attempt a thru-hike in March 2023, I started doing more research on these items. For my AT attempt in March of 2023 which is now my Long Ass Shakedown Hike, I kept the X-Mid tent and changed the bag and pack. My Gear List is also available if you are curious about my other choices for hiking 2197.4 miles.”

Follow Robb: @movinon_down_the_trail

Jeff “Relentless” McCorkle

Last year at Grayson Highlands

Hello All. I’m a pretty average middle of the road kind of person in most ways though my spouse of 39 years would certainly add her take to that. I live in Columbus Ohio along with two Beagles and a Coonhound and am beginning the early stages of transitioning from working full time to semi-retirement. I enjoy travelling, most frequently to the US Southwest, car and tent camping, and backpacking. I have loved the week long treks I’ve done in places like the Grand Canyon, Smoky Mountains, Maroon Bells, Virginia Highlands, Yosemite and especially the Inca Trail in Peru to Machu Picchu. I have wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail for a long time and the universe seems to be telling me the time is March 2024.

Post highlight: Found My Trail Name

Excerpt: “Along these first ten days of my backpacking I talked to a lot of different people about trail names. Different people I hike with had different ideas but the one name that they all seem to agree on is one that my wife has always called me. Relentless. I like the trail name because it can be both good and bad to be relentless. It can be great to be relentless, but it can be not so great at other times. Especially to those near me. I think that kind of fits me though. I do tend to be relentless at achieving a goal even though sometimes it takes up too much of my focus. So a trail name that has good and bad connotations fits me Relentless I am.”

Mack McGhee

Avid backpacker, trail runner, lover of the outdoors. Married with two adult children. Engineer developing software during the week. Always looking forward to the weekend outdoors. Counting down the hours to our AT thru hike attempt.

Post highlight: Pink Eye – Days 11 thru 15

Excerpt: “After leaving the hut we saw no one today. It could be because it rained pretty much all day and our heads were constantly pointed at the trail. Or perhaps it is a rainy weekday and everyone else is in the office. In any case, the trail is still exciting on days like today.”

Follow Mack: @mcgheeiv

Peter Randrup

Hello there, hiking world, and welcome to my blog! I am Peter, from Baltimore, and I will be attempting a kinda frankenflop NOBO AT thruhike starting in March 2024. Joining me on this epic journey will be a college friend, Dave aka Straggles or, short-form, Strags. I am in the market for a new trail name, stay tuned to hear of the event(s) or antic(s) that will earn the bestowal of one. Like many hikers starting this in ‘24, this is a life-long dream and I am giddy – yes, giddy! – with anticipation. I will be providing my thoughts and experiences prior to, and on the trail. Be prepared for the occasional blog Take Over from Strags, who will offer his unfiltered thoughts and commentary to provide you with “Here’s What Really Happened”. Come on along for the ride!

Post highlight: The Best Laid Plans Of Mice And Hikers

Excerpt: “On to Pine Knob, getting colder, Nomad was in the shelter and offered us a beer each when we got there — Thanks Nomad!  Be sure to pack out those bottles, folks, it’s a pain, but the beer was cold.  So was I.  My tent partly collapsed as the lock wasn’t tight, and I had to get out to re-do it, in the cold (need better legwear for warmth).  Interestingly, I slept great!  But packing up in the morning (it snowed/freezing rained around 5:00 a.m.) sucked, and I was shivering, so I bolted early and told Strags and Wayster I’d meet them at the next stop, Ensign Cowell.  I think they were concerned about me, but understood I needed to move; they left 30 minutes or so later.”

Follow Peter: Peter Randrup

Ben Carpenter

Writer, hiker, gardener, and puzzle enthusiast, kicking it in Kansas City with plans to NOBO thru-hike the Appalachian Trail in 2024.

Post highlight: 4 Kinds of Hikers in my First Week on the Appalachian Trail

Excerpt:As I sat looking at the rain, munching an energy bar, calculating my next move, more hikers from Low Gap began showing up at Blue Mountain Shelter. Each ran their eyes with something like bitter defeat over the row of hikers who got there first, ringing out their shirts or snuggled in their sleeping bags and sitting up against the wall checking their phones for signal. Hotels and hostels were full. Calls to shuttle drivers from Unicoi Gap were throwing up busy signals. It looked bleak. Finally, the Bird Sisters, a pair of sisters from Massachusetts with whom I’d been hiking since Neel’s Gap, got a driver named Grace to pick up and frantically motioned to me to see if I’d be interested in a ride.  “Hell yes,” was my response.”

Follow Ben: @fostercarpenter346

Emilia Grunden

What’s up! I’m Emilia, a nature-loving foodie from Indiana that cannot sit still. I’m grateful to live in a beautiful world! I’ve always dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail, and I look forward to meeting new people and challenging myself with this thru-hike. See ya when I see ya!

Post highlight: GA-NC: Finding My Tramily

Excerpt: “It’s only week two on trail, and we’re already joking around and swapping stories as if we’ve known each other for years. Other hikers ask, ‘Did y’all know each other before this?’ They call us a line of ducklings as we pass them on the trail. We look like a school group out on a field trip. This is my tramily (trail family).”

Follow Emilia: @peggyfern

Caroline Bruno

Hello, I’m Caroline, a 38-year-old nature enthusiast with a strong love for hiking and the outdoors. Despite working in the fast-paced tech industry, hiking has always been my solace. Whenever I have had the opportunity, I would escape to the mountains or nearby trails to seek refuge in the simplicity and tranquility of nature. The more time I spend outdoors, the more alive I feel. Unfortunately, life took an unexpected turn when I was laid off at the end of 2023. Initially, I felt a sense of panic and uncertainty about my next steps. However, I realized that this setback could be transformed into an opportunity. With my newfound free time, I have decided to fully embrace my passion for hiking. So, in 2024, I will embark on a long-distance hike, immersing myself in nature’s beauty and pushing myself physically and mentally. This journey will serve as a reset and a chance to reconnect with the things that truly bring me joy, while also paving a new path in life. I am eager to share my experiences and connect with fellow outdoor enthusiasts along the way. My hope is to inspire others to pursue their passions and live life to the fullest.

Post highlight: Easter Sunday Hiking

Excerpt: “Somehow, 30 minutes later, my miracle Easter wish was fulfilled, and I was in the parking lot with an ice-cold coke in one hand and a sloppy joe in the other. Y’all know me, the idea of eating a sloppy joe is pretty appalling, so you’ll be pleased to know I dug in with reckless abandon and soon became reinvigorated.”

Follow Caroline: @carolinebruno

Naomi Massaro

My Name is Naomi. I’m an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. Born and raised in Southern California. Spent family vacations exploring the western half of the U.S. growing my love for the outdoors in places like Tahoe, Big Bear, and Joshua Tree among other awesome places. I’m now on the East Coast of Virginia, a Navy Veteran, artist, mom of two teens, sharing this life with my Husband and three dogs, still trying to do all the exploring I can.

Post highlight: How Can I Miss You if You Don’t Go Away?

Excerpt:My Dad was not happy I was planning the hike. In fact, my parents were the only ones who had a negative reaction to my plan. So because of the timing, we laughed that he tried to get the final say and stop me from going through with it. My last conversations with him were about the trail and his questions about why I would consider doing it at all, but my reasons for wanting to do it and why I’m doing it haven’t changed, so it’s still my plan. I’m happy these talks were not heated or hostile, he just didn’t think it was a good idea and per usual told me exactly what he thought about it.”

Follow Naomi: @naimomassaro

MaPa Wampus

No photo description available.

We are empty nesters trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up. This hike is part of our transition from steel, concrete, and constant sirens to sandstone cliffs, the salty breeze, and the laughing call of the kookaburra.

Post highlight: Chilly Challenges, Magic on the Mountain, and Other Observations

Excerpt: “As we continue to learn on this trail, technology designed to predict and thwart Mother Nature’s maleffects is far from absolute. Our ability to adapt and innovate seems to be our only defense here, which was certainly the case this week.”

Follow MaPa Wampus: MaPa Wampus


A dungeon master on a quest of their own, gaining XP and leveling up through the challenges the trail provides.

Post highlight: Days 21-25: If I’m Still Thinking About You After 2200 Miles, I Will Simply Keep Walking

Excerpt: “I had tried writing an update the night before we left the shelter. Everything felt fake, forced, like the updates I was trying to be different from. After a while I stopped and decided that if I waited it would come to me, that the right article would feel natural and flow like blood. And then I had my first Hard Day. It started with being vulnerable on main. I wrote and shared two poems I wrote on my personal instagram — something I don’t normally do, but we’re here to outgrow anxieties and overcome fears, so screw it. Then came the rest. My bag was still wet. My power brick would not charge no matter what cord I tried or outlet I tried. I felt slow and sore and unsure if I could start off with a 12 mile day after a double zero. On top of it all, I felt like I had opened the floodgates on what I initially most wanted to process while out here. But I had friends, and friends worry and care in a way I didn’t expect to be balancing with my feelings. I immediately knew I was cranky and warned everyone. I wasn’t hungry enough for my autism to let me eat. I was sore. I had already given up on myself a bit. But off we went to the Smokies anyways.”

Follow Spark: @difficultterrain

James “Sparrow” & Marie-Soleil

We are James “Sparrow” Therien and Marie-Soleil Cordeau, thru-hiking enthusiasts on a quest for the Calendar Year Triple Crown, embracing van life and our love for food along the way.

Post highlight: Shipwreck to Triple Crown: Charting an Unlikely Journey

Excerpt: “At 45, I sold everything, leaving behind a comfortable but unfulfilling life, in search of deeper meaning for my existence. My journey began with an ambitious project to sail across the Atlantic, which turned into a nightmare when my boat sank, taking with it all my possessions. This was a decisive turning point, leaving me with nothing but my thirst for adventure. South America, where I ended up thanks to the cargo ship that rescued me, became my playground and rediscovery, where hiking became my new passion.”

Follow James & Marie-Soleil: @epicadventuresnomads

Teagan “Dirt Nap”Kane

Teacher, freedive/ SCUBA instructor, ultra runner, vegan, and a man of leisure. Trying to Speak for the Trees and enjoy life. Been living in Asia and the ME the last 15 years and back for who knows how long, see where the world takes me.

Post highlight: Gaining 15 Pounds for the Appalachian Trail: A Vegan Journey

Excerpt: “As an avid Croc wearer, ultra-runner, and freediver, I’ve always been in tune with my body’s needs and staying fit for the activity. When I decided to hike the Appalachian Trail, I knew it would be a challenge unlike any other and I would need to get bigger. For reference, I am 6ft1 (185cm) and weigh in at around 165lbs (75kg) to 175lbs (79kg) max for the last 13 years depending on the sport I was training for and season. The trail is not just a physical test but also a mental one. To prepare, I made the decision to gain 15 pounds, focusing primarily on muscle mass. Why? Because muscle is more than just power and I will be losing a lot of it, it’s insurance. It’s the reserve your body taps into when faced with the relentless demands of a long-distance hike and not being able to eat regular food.”

Follow Teagan: @travelingteacherteagen

Erica “Stretch” Adams

They say you don’t choose to hike the AT, it becomes a calling ✨ I fell in love with this trail during the pandemic. It felt accidental that I was led to it. I was heading to Mt. Tammany in PA but the parking lot was full so a park ranger diverted me further south to a trailhead on the AT at Mt. Minsi. I stepped onto the trail and instantly felt its magic 💖 During the pandemic, I would head to the AT on Sundays and spend hours hiking alone. It was blissful until one day…. I was listening to music on my headphones and I nearly stepped on a rattlesnake! 🐍 First of all, who knew PA had rattlers?!? The snake lunged at me because I was so taken aback by its presence that I didn’t back away. After that encounter I swore to never hike alone lol! I reached out to some friends and we did our first overnight backpacking trip which was an aggressive 30 miler! After that, the rest was history and I was hooked 💯 I grew up learning to be fearful and I took that with me into adulthood. “Be careful”, “Safety First”, etc etc. I make a conscious effort to not let other people’s fears dictate my choices. I am filled with so many emotions which change hourly but I’m also ready and excited to get on trail. When I ran the NYC marathon 20+ years ago, my nerves were calmed when I was given the advice to think of it as “just a walk around the city”. When I step foot on the AT, I will be “just taking a walk in the woods” 💗

Post highlight: AT Start-Day 1: Jelly Jam Thighs!

Excerpt: “As I urgently walk down the aisles of ShopRite searching for Gluten Free tortilla wraps, bopping to “She’s a Bad Mama Jama” by Carl Carlton, I realize that I’m hours away from embarking on a life changing journey. My task at hand seems so trivial yet so important. Finally locating the wraps, which I plan to use for trail lunches with PB and honey, I head back to my van. I drive off, pull into the my co-parent’s driveway and note that the last thing I need to do is tape up my luggage. Yes, I said “tape” because I’m embracing the hiker trash lifestyle early on.”

Follow Erica: @spincoach01

Mo Wynne

Hi, I’m Mo! I’m a curious gal with too many hobbies just trying to make the most of my (hopefully) 4,000 weeks on Earth and experience them with strangers and loved ones along the way.

Post highlight: See Ya, Smokies! Days 23–29

Excerpt: Today was HOT and I couldn’t wear my shorts. They’re getting way too big, and yesterday, the built-in mesh underwear rubbed against my upper thighs too much. I swapped my shorts for my hiking pants halfway through the day thinking I’d caught the issue in time, but unfortunately the damage was done. Word to the wise: If something is bothering you, take care of it immediately before it becomes a problem! Anyway, I begrudgingly threw on my long black hiking pants on this 80-degree day and off we went.”

Follow Mo: @roamin.mo

Florencia Loncan

Florencia is a retired student, professional gabber, and most importantly, an aspiring 2024 Appalachian Trail thru-hiker. While figuring out what it means to embody “hiker trash,” Florencia will be regularly writing about her trail experiences on The Trek while also posting photos from her hike on Instagram: @florenciahikes and releasing episodes of her podcast “In Only So Many Words” on Spotify.

Post highlight: How To Tell Your Immigrant Parents You’re Hiking the Appalachian TrailGoodbyes Are A Bitch

Excerpt: “You see, when I first told my family about the AT, I had never even put a backpack on. In fact, up until this year, I had never been on an overnight backpacking trip. My family was right to be doubtful of my proposed adventure. I’m sure they thought that I’d likely change my mind before graduation rolled around. However, the more research I did, the more adamant I became.”

Follow: @florenciahikes

Will Skipworth

A photo of me at Bryce Canyon National Park.

My name is Will. I’m hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2024. I’ve long been a hiking and outdoors enthusiast, but until this year, I’ve never taken on such a long trip. However, I couldn’t be more excited. Outside of hiking, I grew up in Texas, but now call the Midwest my home. I’m a Chicago-based journalist (on hiatus while I hike) who has written for Forbes, PolitiFact and a string of local newspapers including The Times of Northwest Indiana, The Washington Missourian and more.

Post highlight: People of the Appalachian Trail: Jennifer “P.A.L.” Ball

Excerpt: “I told him ‘Don’t do it.” she said. “You just got this great job. (He was being promoted to replace the person who’s retirement party they were attending.) Don’t mess this up.’”

That’s when he angrily grabbed her by face, she fell underneath his full-size pickup truck, and he began driving, running over her torso.

She was rushed to the hospital, and the incident left her with a fractured rib and five fractured vertebrae, forced doctors to remove her spleen and part of her pancreas and caused her to require a feeding tube and a drainage tube for a while.

“I was two days from putting my two weeks in when that happened,” she said. “I remember laying there. I was covering my eyes crying. I was like ‘I’m not gonna be able to hike. I’m not gonna be able to hike.’”

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Comments 2

  • jen l : Apr 18th

    Any blogger that makes it up to VT, give me a holler for a place to stay and some magic. Enjoying your journeys. Blessings,

  • John Lambert : Apr 19th

    Lots of luck hope you make it to Maine be safe out there


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