Any long-distance hiker who walks the length of a particular trail in one trip. A “thru-hike” refers to the journey itself. On the AT, this refers to a 2,000 miler who hiked or is currently hiking the entire AT in less than a year. This includes northbounders, southbounders, and flip-floppers.
Example: “Eight pancakes, ma’am?! You must be a thru-hiker.”
Fun Fact: Earl Schaffer became the first AT thru-hiker in 1948.
For Listings of Former Thru-Hikers: Check out Appalachian Trials’ thru-hiker registry.