Mark Kelley (trail name “Wayward” successfully thru-hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, southbound from Maine to Georgia, the opposite direction of most attempting a thru-hike.
Here are some quick facts about the adventure:
- Hiked 2,175 Appalachian Trail miles from Maine to Georgia
- Started at Mount Katahdin on June 11th and finished at Springer Mountain, Georgia November 23
- Journey lasted 165 days total
- Averaged 13.2 trail miles per day
- The first 275 miles of Appalachian Trail in Maine took 39 days (7 miles / day)
- 550 miles of Appalachian Trail in Virginia took 30 days (18.3 miles / day)
- Finished the trail with 10 consecutive marathon days (26 miles / day) – also read, ready to be done with it
- About 250 hikers to attempt the southbound thru-hike that season. Wayward was the 65th hiker passing through the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) in Harper’s Ferry, WV, and about the 16th to finish at Springer
- Cost for the trip, including airfare to Bangor, ME from Raleigh, NC, was about $5,500 (Waiting on full cost analysis)
The dates, miles and ordering don’t have significance, but I wanted to show the scale of the southbound experience.
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Wayward’s southbound thru-hike was completed solo, but he hooked up with numerous hikers and hiker groups along the way. The details of those stories are recounted in the blog on this site and a book published by Adventure Possible, The Adventure Tales of Wayward: An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker.
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