The Appalachian Trail & Three Awe-Inspiring Trailblazers

The Appalachian Trail is a 2,190-mile long trail that stretches through 14 states in the eastern United States. It’s considered one of the greatest hikes in the world, attracting thousands of adventurers each year. Among those who have hiked the trail, there are some who have left a lasting impact and inspired countless others to quite literally follow in their footsteps. We'll take a closer look at three of the most inspiring stories from those who have taken on the daunting task of hiking the ENTIRE Appalachian Trail in their own unique and noble way.

Earl Shaffer - The Father of Thru-Hiking

Earl Shaffer is often referred to as the "Father of Thru-Hiking," and for good reason. He was the first person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one continuous journey, a feat that he accomplished in 1948. Shaffer's journey was not just a physical accomplishment but also a spiritual one. He saw the trail as a way to reconnect with nature and find solace after serving in World War II. Through his historic hike, Earl Shaffer will forever be remembered as a trailblazer, a veteran, and a true inspiration to all who seek to find peace, purpose, and adventure in the great outdoors. You can learn more about Earl and his story by clicking the image below.

Karel Sabbe – The Fastest To Do It

Karel Sabbe is a Belgian ultrarunner who made history in 2018 when he became the fastest person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, completing the journey in just 41 days, 7 hours, and 39 minutes – that’s comes out to a mind-boggling 53 miles per day on average! Sabbe's incredible feat of endurance and athleticism has inspired countless others to push their own limits and strive for greatness. He embodies the spirit of adventure and serves as a testament to the incredible things that are possible when one sets their mind to a goal and never gives up. Check out Karel's Instagram by clicking the image below!

Scott Jurek - The Resilient Ultramarathoner

Scott Jurek is a world-renowned ultramarathoner and author who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in 2015. He ran and hiked the trail in a record-breaking time of 46 days, 8 hours, and 7 minutes. While that may not be as fast as Sabbe’s time to completion, what makes his journey just as admirable, is the fact that he overcame two injuries early in the trip which put him behind schedule for some time. Jurek's journey is a testament to the power of the human spirit and the transformative power of a challenging hike. You can keep up with Scott's latest adventures by visiting his Instagram in the image below.

“Sometimes the most memorable moments in our lives are those that were the hardest and the darkest moments. I think that was the case with me, because getting through those dark, deep moments that we remember the most can be the most rewarding, that we learn the most lessons from. That's what makes us stronger and better people in the end.” -- Scott Jurek

The Appalachian Trail is not just a physical journey, but a spiritual one. The stories of Earl Shaffer, Karel Sabbe, and Scott Jurek serve as a testament to the transformative power of nature and the human spirit. So, pack your backpack, lace up your hiking boots, and hit the trail with some the TriPine AT gear – you never know what kind of journey awaits you.

"And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul."

John Muir