In the spring and summer of 2014 we fulfilled a family dream to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail together. Our children were 15, 13 and 11.
To share the story of our family thru-hike we produced a video series: Beyond our Boundaries: A Family Adventure on the Appalachian Trail.
This video series is hosted on our family's other blog Toe Salad.
I wrote a few posts during the hike and now that we are done our adventure I am writing more. All the FIMBY posts related to our Appalachian Trail thru-hike can be found here.
March 31 at Springer Mountain, Georgia
A few stats:
- The trail is approximately 2,185 miles or 3,516 kilometers long.
- The trail passes through 14 states. Virginia has the most miles at 550 miles and West Virginia has the least at 4 miles.
- Our hike took us 175 days, of those we hiked approximately 160 days, with 15 “zero days” or days not hiking at all. We started at Springer Mountain, Georgia on March 31 and ended at Mt. Katahdin, Maine on September 21.
- For 160 hiking days we averaged 13.65 miles/day or 21.96 kilometers/day.
- From mid-July to Aug 16 we hiked 19 miles per day or 30.6 kilometers per day with a break every Sunday.
- At the beginning of August, in Vermont, I got off the trail with a foot injury that I hoped would heal with a couple weeks of rest. It didn't and I got off the trail permanently in the middle of August at Glencliff, NH. My family continued without me and I supported them with our vehicle.
- 25% of people who attempt to complete a thru-hike are successful. Appalachian Trail Conservancy figures.
July 2, ATC Headquarters in Harper's Ferry, WV
- The total elevation gain of hiking the entire A.T. is equivalent to climbing Mt. Everest 16 times. Appalachian Trail Conservancy figures.
- In April 2014, the Portland Press Herald published that:
There have been just 10 families and only 22 individuals under the age of 15 who have completed the trail since it was completed in 1937, according to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, which manages the trail and keeps records on it.
- This summer we met three other families thru-hiking the trail. The Kallin family, who are personal friends of ours, successfully completed the trail on August 31st. The other two families are still hiking and plan to finish in late November.
- It cost us approximately $2,500 per month to hike the trail, not including our gear, clothing, tents, etc. and getting there (we live in Quebec and traveled to Georgia to start). The most expensive thing is food, as you need lots of it.
September 21 Baxter Peak, Mt. Katahdin, Maine
If you have a question about our hike please post it below. We may have answered it in one of our videos, which I can point you to at Toe Salad, or I may be able to answer your question in the comments, briefly. You could write a book, or two, about thru-hiking with a family. And I don't plan on doing that here. Not yet.Other places you can read about our thru-hike: