Jeff White, a 26-year-old Lebanon native, began hiking the Appalachian Trail, which extends from Georgia to Maine, four months ago in February.
Beginning at Springer Mountain, Ga. and ending at Mount Katahdin, Maine, the Appalachian Trail is about 2,200 miles long. White began that 2,200-mile journey Feb. 4.
“I had always known about the trail and had thought about hiking it, so when the opportunity came so I took it,” White said. With the lease on his apartment about to end and a six-month leave given to him by his work, White decided to seize the opening as a chance to hike the Appalachian Trail.
White said he has tried to hike about 20 miles a day while on the trail, which will end up being nearly a five-month hike. In the four months he has hiked so far, White has traversed about 1,800 miles, which puts him currently hiking through White Mountains in New Hampshire.
White described it as an eye-opening experience. White has seen views from points such as Clingmans Dome, the highest elevated point at the trail at 6,643 feet, as well as hundreds of other sights along the trail.
While White said there is a lot of beauty to be seen, he also says the entire journey is not just sightseeing.
“It’s beautiful, but there is also a lot of rain and a lot of snow to deal with along the hike,” White said.
While portions of the Appalachian Trail run through towns and roads, the majority of the hiking done is done in the wilderness.
At the beginning of his journey, White had a friend hiking along with him, but in Massachusetts his friend left the trail, and White has since hiked alone. While hiking alone is never recommended for beginners, the Appalachian Trail is seen as relatively safe, with most injuries comparable with similar outdoor activities.
With only about 380 miles remaining, White plans to reach the end of the trail June 25.