Flip-Flopper or Flip-Flop

A person who thru-hikes, but in a non-contiguous manner.  An example would be starting at Harpers Ferry or the actual halfway point of the AT in Pennsylvania and heading north, then returning to Harpers or the halfway point and hiking south to Springer. Some hikers start northbound, but out of concern that they will not finish before Mt. Katahdin is closed for the winter (on October 15), they will get off the trail, get back on at Mt. Katahdin, and hike south.

Mildred Norman, the first female thru-hiker, was a flip-flopper.

Mildred Norman, the first female thru-hiker, was a flip-flopper.

Example: “He started NoBo, but took time off when he got Lyme Disease, and decided to flip-flop.”

Fun Fact: According to the ATC’s records, approximately 5 percent of 2,000 milers are flip-floppers. In 1952, Mildred “Peace Pilgrim” Norman completed a flip-flop and became the first female thru-hiker.

Keep reading:

The ATC’s suggestions on where to begin a thru-hike

Liz Kibby’s post on alternatives to the Northbound thru-hike

Comments 2

  • Marissa : May 29th

    I remember the woman known as the Peace Pilgrim!! She went through our town and took refuge for the night and spoke at our church on Sunday. Very determined and nice lady. <3


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