The Appalachian Trail Conservancy has asked Thru-Hikers to get off trail. So who would have thought my first blog post from trail would be the one of me getting off trail. No, this is not forever. I still plan to finish my AT thru-hike this year. Dug aka Erin, Ollie and I are devastated. But with everything going on with COVID-19, we feel that we would be socially irresponsible if we stayed on trail.

Here are the reasons:

  1. When we had our first resupply at Mountain Crossing we probably saw around 150 people.
  2. When hiking, some days we would see about 60 people.
  3. Almost every night, even when avoiding shelters, campsites have been full.
  4. Traveling from untouched mountain town to untouched mountain town would put those people at risk and stopping at towns in unavoidable.
  5. Campsites and sections of trail up north are already closing.
  6. Resupply is eventually going to be impossible.
  7. We want to set an example for other thru-hikers.
  8. We should be enjoying this trail, but have been nothing but upset about everything going on and whether we are doing the right thing.
  9. The trail will always be there.

Thanks to all those who have been supporting me for staying on trail. Many people have told me to continue on and push because I am in “isolation.” Yes, in theory I am the epitome of social distancing. But in reality I have been one of the people ignoring everything the CDC and WHO are recommending. I would love to stay on trail, but morally I feel that would not be okay. I hope my friends and family can support my choice. Keep your fingers crossed that things will die down soon and I can get myself back on trail ASAP.

Now that I have put a damper on things, here are some pictures of my first week on trail. As soon as I feel better about things, I will do a full write up because this truly has been an amazing week.

19 thoughts on “The Trail Will Always Be There

  1. Megan Doehring says:

    Wow Nicole! I’m sorry this has happened at this time, just bad timing. Your reasons to get off the trail are respectable and it is the right choice. Yes let’s hope a pray this passes quickly and you’ll be back on that trail really able to fully enjoy with no pandemic in sight! Stay well and God speed!

    Megan Doehring

  2. David Bodurtha says:

    Well I will say I am surprised, not with you by any means, but the fact that there are so many people around and about. After you wrote it, there is some sense to it even though people (through hikers) are isolated if you meet up I am sure everyone want to stop and gather to see what everyone else has heard. From the first sentence, I am not surprised at your frame of mind. You are a caring person and being a nurse I am not surprised you are enjoying the hike but worrying about the world and family. Come home, you right they are not going to roll the trail up it will be there when you are ready to start again. The trails loss is out gain. DrB

  3. Sue and Sam says:

    Nicole we are so sorry your adventures have been put on hold! Your def doing the responsible thing to protect yourself and others! ??this is over soon! Take care! Sue and Sam!

  4. Donna (Hamel) Boland says:

    Definitely the right move, you are right, the trail will be there when life gets back to the “new” normal.
    Never give up the dream, it will happen just at another time. This will pass???.

  5. Christine Pinney says:

    I left a more detailed message on Facebook… But I have to say I love the logo.
    Love the brand.
    Brands are created, Not just one campaign/advertisement, they are created for


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