National trails system thru-hike
The National Trails System thru-hike, if completed, will be the greatest test of mental and physical endurance known to the world of backpacking*. The two-and-a-half year journey across the 18,000-mile route would involve hiking straight through winter twice: first in the frigid flatlands of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan and again in the rugged peaks and unforgiving deserts of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California.
*Now, I know this may sound a bit over the top. Many great explorers have come before me and some have completed trips well beyond the scope of this journey. My intention is simply to complete this journey in a single, unbroken trip. No flying home for the holidays, no car rides into resupply towns. It would be notable to walk the proposed route in its entirety, but to complete it as a continuous footpath during an unbroken journey would be on a different level.
My plan is to connect all 11 of out country's National Scenic Trails in one continuous thru-hike: a 18,000-mile, two-and-a-half year journey in 30 American states and 4 Canadian Provinces. Every inch of this route has been walked by ambitious hikers of the past, but never has it been done in one long, unbroken march. A list of trails that make up the route are as follows:
– Key West / Everglades Road Walk
– Florida National Scenic Trail
– Alabama/Mississippi Road Walk
– Natchez Trace National Scenic Trail
– Trail of Tears National Historic Trail
– Benton MacKaye Trail
– Appalachian National Scenic Trail
– Sentier International des Appalaches / International Appalachian Trail
– Long Trail
– Middlebury Road Walk
– North Country National Scenic Trail
– Big Sky Trail / Undefined Connector
– Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
– New Mexico/Arizona Border Walk
– Arizona National Scenic Trail
– Old Spanish National Historic Trail
– Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail
– Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail
Here is a sneak peak at my unfinished spreadsheet of resupplies along the route:
Planning is well underway and always continuing. There will be more to come, stay tuned.