In 2004 I hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from the top of Springer Mountain in Georgia to the peak of Mount Katahdin in Maine. The AT is the longest continuously marked footpath in the world – every few hundred feet or so, the trail is marked on a tree or a rock or a fence post by an iconic, white, rectangular blaze.
Another unique characteristic of the AT is that these white blazes lead you up and over the top of every single hill and mountain that gets in your way along the entire 2,200 mile route. If you add up all the uphill climbs on the trail, it comes to 89 miles of total elevation gain. On the AT you’re always taking the high road – it’s a part of the challenge, the beauty, and the charm of the journey. If the Appalachian Trail was a 2,000-mile-long flat walk, you’d have never heard of it and I’d have never hiked it.