My Hike uphill on the Appalachian Trail

by Brianna Nema / Jun 23, 2012 /
Brianna Nema's picture

The Appalachian Trail is a hiking trail for all ages. This trail is over 2000 miles long. There are areas within the Appalachian Trail that tend to be simple, and other areas that are more rigorous. You don't have to venture on the entire trail! But if you are looking for a challenging adventure that lasts over a course of an abundance of days, the trail provides more than 200 shelters. My first hike on the Appalachian Trail seemed difficult when I began panting for air. However, the journey was rewarding.

My Hike uphill on the Appalachian Trail

I've mused on the question, 'how did families and pioneers travel along the great trail from Georgia to Maine?' This spring I journeyed with a friend along on the Appalachian Trail for only a short distance of three miles in NJ. I wouldn't say that I am a completely fit individual, but if I could hike a three mile trail uphill, then anyone can.

 

 

Appalachian Trail Hike

 

 


My partner and I followed a route with white slates in the Stoke's State Forest. Before entering we sprayed ourselves with bug spray. Ticks can be avoided this way, and also by wearing long pants. At first the hike was a balance of flat terrain, scattered rocks, and an everlasting family of trees. The only sounds heard were the hums of insects and the songs of birds. Yet, as we continued hiking along the Appalachian Trail, I found myself to be in a maze of boulders, dodging them left and right. I began to climb rocks, which seemed to be neatly arranged as a staircase, and from then on it was all mainly an uphill hike.

 

 

On my journey I did not fail to find the wildlife rummaging about. At one point I noticed what I believed to be a red tailed hawk soaring right over me. Never had I seen a hawk so close while in midair. It felt similar to when airplanes speed through the skies. Since I live near an airport, the planes race over my house; just the same as this hawk did as it flew circles over as I hiked. Chipmunks were a common sight. Their striped back and cute noggins were easy to notice when the creature sprinted spontaneously over the trail.

 

Appalachian Trail Hike

 

 

The beauty of the bugs was the best. Nothing that day was as stunning as the wings of the butterflies I saw, and although they are tricky to capture in a photo, I managed to steal a shot. Dragonflies were other beauties that wisped sporadically throughout the Appalachian Trail. One just happened to land in front of me to enjoy a meal. As it was chowing down, I was able to snag another great photo.

 

Appalachian Trail Hike

 

 

Still, up and up the trail I trudged, stepping on every other rock that laid in front of me. The trees were more abundant in this area, but the rocks accompanied them. Eventually, what was bestowed before me... water! Not any old shoal, but a rushing stream cutting through the trail. Yes, my water bottle was running low; this was perfect; something cold to cool my entrails. Never drink stagnant water while on a hike. Flowing water is clean because it is constantly in motion, thus it is hard for harmful bacteria to grow. The water felt great. I could taste the minerals in the water, a taste resembling iron. That rest stop washed away my fatigue and I was now ready to push forward, placing on foot in front of the other up the rocky hill.

 

Appalachian Trail Hike

 

 

Finally, as I emerged out of the trees and into the sun, I could see the top of the hill! I looked out in the distance! This was a gorgeous view well worth seeing after that sweat filled hike. Even though I gasped for air at some points, I do not regret my journey, and I am excited for the next time I go.

 

Appalachian Trail Hike

 

 

 

Brianna Nema is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program.

 

All photos courtesy and copyright Brianna Nema.