This Week’s Top Instagram Posts from the #AppalachianTrail

Welcome to the weekly roundup of the best Instagram hiker trash and treasures on the Appalachian Trail.

The leaves are changing and fall is finally upon us. Maine is 9,000 colors, Virginia is dishing out some fantastic dawns and dusks for our SOBO crowd, and those thru-hikers out there are delighting us with some magnificent views of it all.

This week’s photos were taken from September 23 to October 8 after careful selection from the #TrektheAT hashtag.

 

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The mornings in PA were our favorite. Between the fog and the sunbeams raining down through the trees, it always made the woods feel magical. Just after this photo was taken we saw a bear fall ten feet from the top of a honeysuckle that was way too small for him to be climbing. He quickly got up and leaned against a tree as if to quickly play it off as if nothing happened. This sent us laughing hysterically which in turn seemed to embarrass the bear. He hid behind a tree, but we could still see ninety percent of his body. This made us laugh harder, he hung his head and ran off. We then felt bad for em-bear-rassing him. #trailingthought #ventureready #hikingwithdogs #timetoplay #trektheat #appalachiantrail #salomonwmn #atclass2019 #appalachianmountains #backpacking #atclassof2019 #hikemore #seekthetrails #thermarest #thetrek #AT2019 #triplecrown #thruhike #thruhiking #thruhiker #atsobo #miloontheat #salomonsole #greentunnel #eastcoast #pa #happyhiker #hightaildesigns

A post shared by Ethan & M.E. (@ourtrailingthought) on

 

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It was a month into my thru hike when I first struggled “mentally” on trail. The honeymoon phase was well over and done with. Reality was setting in. Hiking 8-10 hours a day was not as inspiring as I imagined. It was going to be hard work. You see, I was ready for things to be tough. But when I fell off the trail into a pile of rocks, got 2nd degree sunburn, felt really lonely, camped with hikers who ended up having a physical blowout, and battled the pains of my first round of extensor tendinitis all in the first day of hiking through the Smokies – it was hard to accept that THIS was what I was signing up for. I sat and cried to myself as I filtered my water thinking, “You’re not even at mile 200, and you already feel like this. Is this how it’s going to be until the end?” . The answer was yes and no. Yes ➡️ It’s going to feel like everything is falling apart every now and then. That’s just life. You’re going to feel like shit. I doubt anyone has gone through 5 months of their life without shitty days. No. ➡️ I wasn’t going to be in the Smokies forever. All of the things I was lamenting over were fixable. R.I.C.E would help my tendinitis, Aloe would soothe my sunburn, hiking away from those guys would put me at ease, and pushing on north would introduce me to new hikers. And falling down mountains… I guess try not to do that anymore? They say never quit on a bad day. Even a couple bad days. Hell, even a week or more. Things turn around eventually. I can attest to that. Those first few days in the Smokies were awful. But the morning I climbed up to Clingmans I felt better. The air was cool and the dew on the trees glittered underneath the sunlight. I saw a lot of new faces who were keen to chat away on our breaks. The trees changed from maple to pine. Things weren’t so bad. So I kept going and decided that yes – this is where I want to be ⛰ . #appalachiantrail #appalachianmountains #trektheat #atstrong #smokeymountainsnationalpark #appalachiantrailconservancy #tennessee #womenwhohike #optoutside #georgiatomaine #thruhike #hikertrash #atclassof2019 #thetrek #rei #backcountry #outdoor #blog #nature #fitness #osprey #hiking #outdoorwomen #withguthook #explore

A post shared by Michaela | Kidney (@mightbemichaela) on

 

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Day 195: 2,077.5 miles out of 2,197. Internet access is almost entirely unattainable now that I enter Maine’s 100 mile wilderness today. Unfortunately I am about 2 weeks behind on updates and trail life has devoured any free time I’ve had but I will be sure to catch up on everything soon! When I started this walk it was winter. The trees were bare, the ground was frozen, the air almost always hurt your face. Wind cut through your bones almost always and the clouds brought snow to the tallest mountains on the trail. Ice fell from branches above as the forest prepared to defrost. Spring eventually brought flowers, song birds, budding trees, and the hope of warm nights. Southern spring quickly turned into an almost unbearably hot summer that would chase me further north. Maine now flaunts it’s Autumn colors as foliage nears peak. I’ve walked nearly the entire Eastern border of the United States for 6 months. I walked so long that I’m all out of seasons to walk through…and towns.

A post shared by Ryck “Gravy Train” Proctor (@i_need_mountains) on

 

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September 28, 2019 Regarding seasons, Autumn has and will always be my favorite. Cooler temperatures, fall foliage and the loss of daylight evoke a yearning for introspection. For me it’s also all about the angle of the sun and how it illuminates and dances on ever changing forest. It’s such a soul restoring experience walking in solitude surrounded only by natural sounds and alone with my own thoughts. I hesitate to use the word therapeutic; but perhaps a better descriptive word is sanctuary. When I am in the wilderness I am in my spiritual happy place. It’s always been that way for this tiny Buddha. All morning I walked in gratitude, until I really entered Rocksylvania … Oh, you don’t know the lovely state of Rocksylvania? It’s between Ohio and New York, and just above Maryland and West Virginia. Today I only questioned my decision to re-hike this section of rock hell only about 100 times! 🙂 There’s a reason day hikers don’t seek this section out to hike, and that’s because there are seldom views and 1,000s of rocks perfectly placed to aid in the twisting of an ankle. For the entire morning and early afternoon I didn’t see another hiker until I got to Blue Mountain Drive just before Palmerston. There’s a fairly popular day hike to the ridge above the town that offers exceptional views; but north of this location the only hikers that actually hike between Delaware Water Gap and Palmerston are thru- and section-hikers. Despite all the challenges I still managed a 28 mile day with a hole in my left shoe; but surrounded by beautiful autumn red leaves! 😕 @ Pennsylvania

A post shared by Lo Phong La Kiatoukaysy (@lilbuddhahikes) on

 

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Day 88 | 9.8 miles Fall has arrived and it’s transformed the mundane moments into breathtaking ones. As I left camp, I was already lost in thought. Meanwhile, @_rolson was snapping away. This seemingly ordinary moment wasn’t lost on him. We trekked through some lovely terrain before descending into a gorge that reminded us of one of our favorite hikes in Shenandoah – Little Devils Stairs. On any other day, this descent would be irritating, but today, it was alive with color and vastly different than the terrain we’ve traversed thus far in Vermont. We made it to the shelter as the rain was coming down and enjoyed a quiet afternoon of reading and journaling before we were evicted by mice. Today reminded me how important perspective is. It also reminded me not to lose sight of the seemingly mundane moments. #appalachiantrail #appalachiantrail2019 #at2019 #hiketheat #backpacking #trektheat #atclassof2019 #atsobo2019 #atsobo #sobo #thruhike #thruhiker #hiking #backpacking #takeahike #hikertrash #hikingadventures #liveyouradventure #thetrek #womenwhohike #withguthook #sawyerproducts #goforthefunofit #wanderlust #everytrailconnects #choosemountains #keepitwild #thegreatoutdoors #outlivingit #optoutside #vermont

A post shared by Allison (@allison.on.the.at) on

 

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Hawk back on trail. #thruhiker #hikertrash #atclassof2019 #hawkhikestheat

A post shared by Steve McLaughlin (@smphoto_ig) on

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