The Appalachian Trail

It seems like anywhere you look the Appalachian Trail is the most talked about trail.  Located in the Appalachian Mountains the 2,184 mile long scenic path winds through Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia.

The first person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail was Earl Shaffer.  Born in Pennsylvania he entered into military service in 1941.  People assumed that it was impossible to hike the entire trail in one season, but Shaffer and his buddy Walter Winemiller planned to try it after the war.  Winemiller died in the war, but Shaffer hiked the trail in one continuous trip in 1948 as a tribute to his friend.  Not to be deterred, Shaffer set another record in 1965 starting at the other end of the trail.  He became the first man to hike from Georgia to Maine, and then from Maine to Georgia.  Unable to stay away, at the age of 79, he completed his third journey in 1998.

Today, the Appalachian Trail represents a haven for veterans to find peace in the outdoors and hike off the war.  The Warrior Hike “Walk Off The War” Program completed its 2013 six month long journey a couple weeks ago.  Ending at Mount Katahdin they celebrated the people they had become and said goodbye to the people they left on the trail.

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