5 Million FootstepsLast summer I was lucky enough to spend several weeks on the Appalachian Trail, a 2,175 mile footpath running along the eastern seaboard of the United States. The trail crosses 14 states, six national parks and eight national forests. The group of individuals who walk the entire length of the A.T. are known as thru-hikers. Only about a quarter of the roughly 2000 people who start in the spring end up completing the whole trail in the fall. To walk the trail takes six months and approximately 5 million footsteps.
I decided to attempt to tell the story of the A.T. and the people who hike it through the lens of my camera. During my weeks on the trail, I photographed teenagers and an 80 year old, one millionaire, drifters and people who had their whole life planned out. One hiker was hiking the trail with two replaced hips, another had hiked the trail before and finished on September 11, 1981. He was hiking again just to finish on a different date.
For some, the trip can't end soon enough, they are tired of walking endlessly day after day. Most are enjoying themselves and will be sad to leave the peace of the woods and return to the world of smart phones and reality tv. They all have one thing in common, they have all been touched by the trail.