Below is some data and a few opinions from my 2023 Appalachian Trail Thru-hike. While most of the data was expected, a few numbers did surprise me.
In addition, I’ve listed some of my “Favorite” places along the trail.
As always, please chime in with your favorites in the comment section!
I started the Appalachian Trail on February 26, 2023, and finished it on September 7, 2023.
|Appalachian Trail Thru-hike Facts and Data
|This was the number of days the total hike lasted - longer than expected.
|The number of days I hiked. This is without on and off-trail zero days.
|The number of times I stayed in my tent.
|Number of nights I camped near other hikers I knew and did not know.
|These were off-trail zero days. This included a one-week family vacation, tick bite illness, and leaving the trail in Gorham, NH, for several weeks to wait out severe flooding. I did not want to skip sections of Maine.
|The number of days I stayed in towns and hostels.
|This was the number of times I camped with hikers I had met multiple times. In most cases they had become friends on the trail.
|The number of days it rained.
|Number of nights I camped alone.
|Number of towns where I resupplied
|Highest mileage day in Virginia. It was a rainy, stormy day so I kept moving!
|I met a lot of hikers, but I hiked with around 22 different hikers more than once. I never did really have a tramily. I mostly floated between groups or other hikers, which I preferred.
|The number of days that were exceptionally cold and required additional winter gear.
|The number of miles I averaged each day after removing my zero days.
|The number of days I stayed in hostels. I usually got a private room, but I did stay in bunks three times.
|This was the most number of days I hiked with another hiker. Pigpen was an 18 year old hiker from Missouri.
|The total number of on-trail zero days in towns. Roughly half were taken in the first and last four towns.
|The number of days I stayed in a shelter on trail. I did if it was raining, friends were staying there, and it was clean.
|The number of days it snowed.
|Lake of the Clouds provided me a free reservation when a couple offered it to me because they were leaving. I paid for my reservation at Zealand Falls Hut.
|This is the number of HOKA Speedgoat pairs I wore on the trail.
|The number one breakfast on the trail was the breakfast at Mountain Harbor Hostel/B&B. No other breakfast even came close!
|This was a tough decision, but my favorite motel stay was The Stratton Motel in Stratton, ME. The Jens have renovated the motel and done a wonderful job! It is also right in the center of town which is a huge plus! Shouts out also to the close runner ups - The Hike Inn in Fontana and The Holiday House in Bethel, ME.
|My favorite trail town was Bethel, ME. This was not only a hard choice for me, but a suprise. It has some amazing restaurants and everything is in walking distance. Close runners up were Front Royal, VA and Damascus, VA.
|My favorite restaurant was quirky Le Mu for lunch in Bethel, ME. This was a gem! There was little I did not like and in two days I ate there three times! The Coplin Dinner House in Stratton, ME was also a hidden gem refered to me by the Jens, and Thunderbird Lodge, directly on the trail, was a pleasant suprise and SO hiker friendly!
|My favorite camp spot was on the ridge overlooking Frankly, NC about 2-3 miles from Winding Stair Gap. The sunrise and sunset were amazing!
|I know this should not be my favorite trail name but "Holy Shit" was my favorite name. The name fit this older, male hiker perfectly! 🙂
|There are a lot of hostels on the trail now, and I stayed at 14 of them. The one I enjoyed the most was The Stumble Inn in Front Royal, VA. The owners were fun, and the hostel was clean nice, and offered everything I needed. A close second was Chica and Sunsets in Franklin, NC.