“Grandpa”, as he’s known to some of us, is thru hiking the 2,192 mile Appalachian Trail! Follow along as he makes his way down the Appalachian Mountain range, passing thru 14 states as he makes his way south.

What is a thru hike?
Hikes that traverse an entire trail from one terminus to another in an uninterrupted foot path are considered a thru hike.

How difficult are thru hikes?
Of the 3 million people who set out on the Appalachian Trail each year, only a small fraction attempt a thru hike. Of those who attempt it, only about 25% are successful. In 2019 only 365 people were classified as successful thru hikers.

Mile Marker
Location

Mile 0

Mount Katahdin

5,269 feet high, Mount Katahdin marks the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail. Grandpa is on his way!

Mile 5.2

Katahdin Stream Campground

South-bound AT thru-hikers register with the a Ranger here at the base of Mount Katahdin. Ready, set, let’s go for a walk.

Mile 18.6

Hurd Brook Lean-to

Night one in the Hundred Mile Wilderness! This section of trail is the longest stretch without services or civilization. Hikers are advised by large warning signs at each end to carry 10 days of supplies and not to underestimate this section of trail.

Mile 30.1

Rainbow Stream Lean-to

Saw the first moose of the trip!

Mile 44.0

Nahmakanta Stream Lean-to

Just started raining as Grandpa made it to camp. Some nice views today, beautiful trail.

Mile 59.7

Cooper Brook Falls Lean-to

Pemadumcook Lake offered a beautiful spot for a break & a snack today. 

Mile 71.4

Logan Brook Lean-to

He’s officially starting to smell really, really bad. 

Mile 88.5

Chairback Gap Lean-to

Biggest miles to date! 17+ miles is a long way to walk. 4 mountains summited, including White Cap Mountain (3,650′).

Mile 99.4

Long Pond Stream Lean-to

The 100-mile wilderness is challenging, but beautiful. Broke a hiking pole today – first gear casualty of the walk.

Mile 111.5

Leeman Brook Lean-to

Last day in the 100 mile wilderness! If ever a man needed a shower, it’s now!

Mile 114.5

Maine Highway 15

CIVILIZATION! Grandpa hopped a ride (I hope the windows were down!) into town. Showers & resupply are in order. The 100 mile wilderness is behind him and the second half of Maine awaits.

Mile 127.5

Tentsite

Mile 136.5

Bald Mountain Brook Lean-to

Had a nice break today at Horseshoe Canton Lean-to. Could have stayed here, but pushed on another 4 miles to Bald Mountain Brook Lean-to.

Mile 151.2

Caratunk, Maine

Taking his first zero! Grabbed a shuttle from Highway 201 into town. It’s nice to put your feet up for a day. He’s now crossed the halfway point for the state of Maine!

Mile 165.2

West Carry Pond Lean-to

Nice day today. Had a lemonade and a cookie at Harris’ Camp (mile 154.8).

Mile 177.8

Safford Notch Campsite

Had a moose & her calf walk right up to him today! Didn’t seem to realize he was there til it was already really, really close. Getting wet this afternoon, rain rolling in. Foggy at camp.

Mile 188.2

Stratton, Maine

Into town he goes! Climbed the Bigelow Mountain’s today. What a view!

Mile 194.0

Tentsite

Found a good spot in the woods to make camp today. No official name, but it did the trick.

Mile 209.7

Poplar Ridge Lean-to

Had a nice day up two mountains. Crossed the 200 mile mark today!

Mile 220.4

Rangeley, Maine

Caught a shuttle into town today. Always nice to take a shower!

Mile 234.3

Bemis Stream

Feels good to be back on trail. 

Mile 250.9

Hall Mountain Lean-to

Maine is beautiful! Had a thunderstorm today but waited it out in a lean-to while he cooked supper.

Mile 256.9

Andover, Maine

Maine post offices are like black holes. Can’t recommend.

Mile 271.8

Speck Pond Campsite

Very crowded at the campsite but he just squeezed his hammock in. Tomorrow’s a big day with a milestone landmark.

Mile 281.3

Carlo Col Shelter

Went down Mahoosuc Notch today! Labeled the hardest mile on the AT, he described iy as “any eleven year-old that spends time on a playground could do it”. Seems like he might be downplaying it there.

Mile 281.8

Maine – New Hampshire State Line

First state down!!!! Blew by this landmark first thing in the morning.

Mile 291.4

Tident Col Tentsite

Mile 298.3

Gorham, NH

Town day! Who doesn’t love clean clothes and showers.

Mile 313.5

Carter Notch (just south)

Found a quiet place in the woods to set up camp for the night. Just south of the Carter Notch landmark.

Mile 319.4

Pinkham Notch

Hitched a ride back to Gorham, NH for a comfy overnight stay. Prepping for the highest east coast peak – Mt. Washington. This peak is actually very dangerous with a 12 mile above-treeline exposed ridge to tackle.

Mile 327.2

Valley Way Tentsite

Tomorrow’s the big day! Mt. Washington awaits. First to tackle is Thunderstorm Junction, which can be as treacherous as it sounds.

Mile 339.0

Mizpah Spring Hut

Made it! It was a beautiful day for a summit.

Mile 357.3

Guyot Shelter / Campsite

This site is nestled between two mountains. Heard today that after summitting Mt. Washington yesterday, winds were recorded at over 140 mph! (Not sorry to have missed that!)

Mile 370.5

Liberty Springs Tent Site

Made it to camp before the rain hit!

Mile 373.1

US 3

Made it to Route 3. Last night was a windy one as a hurricane worked it’s way up the east coast, but it’s nice to be back in civilization. “Embrace the suck”, as they say.

Mile 381.9

Eliza Brook Shelter

Nice day for a walk.

Mile 398.9

Route 25

Looking forward to hitting the 400 mile mark tomorrow.

Mile 400.9

Wachipauka Pond

Mile 414.9

South Jacob’s Brook

Went up Mt. Cube today. Nice views!

Mile 431.2

Moose Mountain Shelter

Dry camping tonight.

Mile 441.5

Route 120

Into Hanover, N.H. we go! Resupply, pizza, and thai food.

Mile 456.8

Thistle Hill Shelter

State #2 is down! Into Vermont bright and early. The state line is on a bridge, which makes for an interesting crossing as the AT goes right down the sidewalk here. 🙂

Mile 479.0

Stony Brook Shelter

Trail magic! Pasta + sauce.

Mile 499.6

Governor Clement Shelter

Stopped by Killington Peak Lodge for lunch today. Fancy bacon cheeseburger + fries for lunch!

Mile 519.3

Little Rock Pond Shelter

Hit 500 miles!!!

Mile 539.1

Route 11

Into Manchester Center we go!

Mile 560.2

Story Spring Shelter

A 21 mile day. Quarter of the trail complete!

Mile 583.5

Congdon Shelter

The final day in VT. Made it thru the White Mountains and am really picking up speed! New personal best of over 23 miles.

Mile 587.6

Williamstown

Ice cream stand across from the campsite. Can’t beat that!

Mile 601.6

Father Tom’s

Mile 622.7

October Mountain Shelter

Mile 645.7

Mt. Wilcox Shelter

Mile 659.2

US 7

Hitched a ride back to Great Barrington for the night.

Mile 677.2

Riga Shelter

No water at this shelter at the moment :/ .

Mile 695.9

Pine Swamp Brook Shelter

Arrived just as it started to rain. Looks like more weather coming, time to plan a zero in town!

Mile 712.9

Route 341

Hitched a ride back to Great Barrington. Had a nice little storm dodge in a gentleman’s shed, and waited out the tornado warning in comfort. Not many hiker services in Connecticut!

Mile 734.4

Telephone Pioneers Shelter

Into New York. This site doesn’t have water and it’s a cold dinner tonight, but it’s good to have another state down.

Mile 751.2

RPH Shelter

Mile 770.6

Graymoore Campsite

Mile 786.5

William Brien Memorial Shelter

Rained today, and it’s time for a new pair of shoes.

Mile 806.3

Wildcat Shelter

Tired legs today, but making miles!

Mile 823.5

Route 94

New Jersey! Another state down!

Mile 846.9

Secret Shelter

Walkin’ fast today! 13.7 miles in 5 1/2 hours.

Mile 855.2

Gren Anderson Shelter

Starting to really think while he walks. Today’s riveting musings: Cromwell and the Scots.

Mile 876.4

Mohican Outdoor Center

Got a nice lil cabin at the AMC Mohican Center tonight. 

Mile 897

Route 611

Into Delaware Water Gap we go! Another state down, Pennsylvania’s home for the next week or so.

Mile 917.1

Leroy A. Smith Shelter

How much BBQ is too much for one man? Let’s find out! After taking a zero, moved out to the Leroy A. Smith Shelter; rough trail today.

Mile 932.9

Route 248

Ran into town to a hostel for the night. There’s a pizza here with my name on it.

Mile 950.6

Allentown Hiking Club Shelter

Mile 972.5

Route 61

Turns out you can weigh a package at a Russell Stover’s. Chocolate not included.

Mile 996.9

501 Shelter

Mile 1019

Yellow Springs

Crossed the 1,000 mile mark!

Mile 1043.8

Route 11 / 15

Jumping into Duncannon for a zero. 🙂

Mile 1061

Route 11

Did not step on the 3′ long rattlesnack laying in the middle of the trail today. Counting that a success. 

Mile 1077.8

Route 94

Mt Holly Inn isn’t ‘roughing it’ in the wilderness, but it’s cold out there at night.

Mile 1088.5

Ironmaster’s Mansion

Frost warning tonight, glad to be indoors where it’s warm!

Mile 1108.1

Route 30

Took a zero in Gettysburg. 

Mile 1121.3

Deer Lick Shelters

Weather’s warming slightly again, and we’ve bounced our cold weather gear further south.

Mile 1144

Pine Knob Shelter

Maryland! Enjoying the one and only night in the state of Maryland.

Mile 1167

Shenandoah Street, Harpers Ferry

West Virginia! Took a zero here in historical Harpers Ferry. The Appalachian Trail Conservatory is located here and is a major stop for thru-hikers.

Mile 1187.4

Bears Den Hostel

Virginia!

Mile 1210.2

Manassas Gap Shelter

It’s official! Trail name: GHOST. 

Mile 1220.9

Route 522

Picked up by a friend, into town we go.

Mile 1247.4

Pass Mountain Hut

The pulled pork sandwich at the wayside made it possible to hit 26+ miles today! Easy trail didn’t hurt.

Mile 1266.2

Big Meadows Lodge

Mile 1286.6

Hightop Hut

Mile 1308.0

Blackrock Hut

Mile 1328.7

Route 250

Time for a new pair of shoes!

Mile 1344.20

Campout

Well it’s not exactly a camp site, but home is where you make it, right?

Mile 1363.3

Priest Shelter

Mile 1380.1

Cow Camp Gap Shelter

Half mile off the AT tonight. Trail was wicked pretty today.

Mile 1395.2

Punchbowl Shelter

Mile 1405.7

US 501

Time for a zero! Swapping out my light quilts for my cold weather gear. Saying a sad goodbye to the Palante pack, rotating in the Zpacks.

Mile 1425.8

Cornelius Creek Shelter

Wet feet today, but the rest is pretty dry.

Mile 1444.2

Bobblets Gap Shelter

Time to ditch this hip belt for a smaller size. Lookin’ lean!

Mile 1462.7

Howard Johnson’s

Heading to a gear shop & the grocery store for a resupply.

Mile 1481.5

Johns Spring Shelter

Vinegar pulled pork, Jamaican Jerk pork tenderloin, push puppies and curly fries for dinner tonight. A man can do a lot of things after some good bbq.

Mile 1503.9

Craig Creek

MacAfee’s Knob & Dragon Tooth overlooks today. Part of the Virginia Triple Crown. 🙂

Mile 1523.6

War Spur Shelter

Mile 1548.8

Rice Field Shelter

Glad to have a puffy jacket. Gettin’ a lil chilly.

Mile 1558.9

Angels Rest Hostel

Let the platinum blazing begin!

Mile 1582.8

Route 606

Into the Weary Feet Hostel we go.

Mile 1599.0

Helveys Mill Shelter

Mile 1617.0

Route 623

Headed into the Mountain Garden Hostel. 

Mile 1634.7

Route 42

Mile 1647.3

Route 11

Headed into a Walmart restock & a warm night at the Relax Inn. 

Mile 1668.7

Trimpi Shelter

Mile 1688.8

Wise Shelter

Had to retreat north at the end of the day. Ponies in the campsite we planned to sleep in.

Mile 1706.3

Lost Mountain Shelter

Mile 1722.3

Dancing Bear Hostel

Landed in Damascus, Virginia. This trail town is home to Trail Days every year, and the Dancing Bear Hostel is right on the trail.

Mile 1743.8

Route 91

Mile 1770.3

Route 321

Mile 

Scotty’s Bunkhouse

Just a short hop off trail, Scotty’s Bunkhouse gave me a roof overhead another night. No heat, but warmer than sleepin in the woods!

Mile 1797.7

US 19E

Into town we go, short day on trail.

Mile 1815.9

Tentsite

Grabbed some zzz’s off the ridge.

Mile 1836.5

Beauty Spot Gap

Was going to stop somewhere else today, but decided to push on to Beauty Spot to camp where there was water.

Mile 1865.6

Bald Mountain Shelter

Seem to have misplaced my headphones, but a fella walking North was kind enough to not only find them, but forward them back to me.

Mile 1884.5

Flint Mountain Shelter

Mile 1907.1

Spring Mountain Shelter

Mile 1918.1

US 25

Mile 1941.4

Brown Gap

Mile 1951.5

Green Corner Road

Mile 1969.6

Tri-Corner Knob Shelter

We’ve entered the Great Smokey Mountain National Park, east entrance.

Mile 1990.2

Mt. Collins Shelter

At 5,900 feet in elevation, it’s chilly up here.

Mile 2009.3

Spence Field Shelter

Went by Clingman’s Dome today, but no luck on a view.

Mile 2028.3

Route 28, Fontana Dam

Officially exited the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

Mile 2042.5

Route 143

Taking a zero – this refers to hikers who take 24 hours in the same location to rest. These are often taken in town, where services and resupply are readily available. For some hikers, a zero is a busy day running errands. For others, it’s spent with epsom salts and ice packs. Some hikers also take a rest day with few miles hiked, called a “nero”.