The Presence (and Power) of Women on the AT

I have been on trail now for 17 days. In a little over two weeks I have already pushed my body to do things I wasn’t sure I could do. I’ve rode out a scary overnight storm in my hammock. I’ve walked further in one day than I thought was possible. The biggest surprise of my journey so far has been the amazing people I have met, specifically the incredible women.

When I was planning my thru-hike the one thing people seemed most uncomfortable with was that I was a woman hiking alone. In just 17 days, I have met so many encouraging and strong women on trail, it has been astonishing.

Little Engine (me), Dodger Dog, The Wander Women

Women of all ages, sizes, and in different sizes of hiking parties are out here. When women meet one another on the trail there is a special kind of bonding that takes place. The women out here seem invincible. They are encouraging and proud. I have found that each and every one of these female hikers has no doubt that they can finish what they have set out to do and that I can do it too! I have heard from so many women about the empowerment they’ve found on the trail.

Cushy Life and Me

The female trail community is really unbelievable. I’m not sure what article or story got into my head that I assumed I’d be a lone women in a sea of male thru-hikers, flying past me on my new flip-flop legs with their seasoned NOBO ones. Whoever put that in my mind, they were wrong. The presence of so many female thru-hikers, section hikers and even day hikers have given me such confidence. I am more convinced now than ever that I am capable of finishing my thru-hike.

Me and Cinnamon

We are out here. We are supportive. We are looking out for one another. We are a community that lifts each other up and drives each other forward. We are competent and capable and frankly, pretty badass. Look out Katahdin…the ladies are coming for you!

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Comments 3

  • Judy Kirk : Jun 8th

    Meeting you on the first night of your hike was awesome and Keith and I were just thinking about you and wondering how it was going. You were so prepared and so determined! So great to see this post and know you are trekking on. Really cool to see both of you in the photo. Happy trails!

    • Susan : Jun 12th

      Hi Judy!! Thanks for checking in! Meeting you two the first night was so great and I’m glad to know you are thinking about me. Thanks for the support!!

  • Aidan Tierney : Jun 8th

    It’s very true. There are so many amazing and inspiring women out on the trail. My tramily has 3 amazing women and I feel so fortunate to have them with me on my hike.


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