Home » Hiking » Thru Hiking » Appalachian Trail » AT Day 129 – I just hiked the Appalachian Trail 

AT Day 129 – I just hiked the Appalachian Trail 

Updated:
Mt Katahdin

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.


Download the
Lightweight Hiking Gear List

Add your name and email to download the Lightweight Hiking Gear List

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sharing is caring!

22nd August

15.1 miles

Abol Bridge (2174.7) to Mt Katahdin (2189.8)

There was no way I was going to be late. The all you can eat buffet breakfast started at 7am. Like Pavloffs dog I was salivating outside the restaurant at 6.55am. At exactly 7am I was treated to yogurt, granola, coffee, bagels and a very large bowl of fruit. But I had other places on my mind.

A group of 4 tired hikers left their campsite on the Appalachian Trail for the last time. Ahead was the long and sometimes steep climb up Mt Katahdin. I led the way at a fair pace which left us all dripping in sweat.

We registered at the ranger station near the Katahdin Stream campground. Several other thru hikers were on their way to the summit. The ranger station offered thru hikers the opportunity to store unwanted gear and borrow a daypack for the climb of Mount Katahdin. Many took up the offer but I chose to carry my fully loaded backpack.

The first mile it so of the climb was very easy. All the other hikers set off at a pace that an ultra marathon runner would have been proud of. Enthusiasm overtook their physical ability as I caught up to them once the climbing started.

Climbing Mt Katahdin was just that, a climb. Trekking poles were of little value as I needed both arms to haul myself up, over and through the rocky obstacles. This was no longer hiking, it was rock scrambling. I’m lucky the weather wasn’t too bad or this would be a seriously dangerous mountain.

As we climbed higher the warm and humid weather made way for cold and cloudy. Progress was slow due to the steep climb, in parts there were handholds, railings and even steps in places. Climbing to the top of this mountain isn’t easy, many day hikers had to turn around before the summit due to its difficulties.

After about 3000ft of climbing the trail followed a rather easy summit ridge. Loads of delicate alpine plants survived in what could only be described as a harsh environment.

Thumper and I approached the summit. Our emotions were getting the better of us. With such low visibility I looked at my gps. A quarter mile from the summit I let a very emotional Thumper go ahead. I stopped and gathered my thoughts.

With less than 100 feet of visibility I heard the summit before I could see it. A group of hikers were crowded around a small wooden sign that many a hiker has visualised. I reached the top of Mt Katahdin. I just hiked the Appalachian Trail.

I did a good job to fight off the tears. With the trail complete I tried to take in what I had done for the last 129 days. I felt strangely numb. Devoid of feelings. I was neither happy nor sad. My feelings were more towards the future. What’s next? Has this trail changed me? Have any of the trails changed me? Reflection like this shouldn’t take place on the summit of Mt Katahdin. They should take place days, weeks and months later. I’m a Triple Crowner now, a Triple Crown hiker.

Some people hike this trail and will never hike a long trail again. Others are hooked. I’m hooked. There will be more trails for me. I’ll be cycling and hiking the most amazing places on the planet. I just hiked the Appalachian Trail.

Mt Katahdin
Summit of Mt Katahdin

Have you seen my YouTube Channel?

Check it out and subscribe. Then watch the episode below – Day 124 to 129 The end of the trail and climbing Mt Kahtahdin


Thinking of hiking the Appalachian Trail? Need some help with gear? Check out my reviews of Lightweight Hiking gear suited to hiking the Appalachian Trail.

All the best information on the Appalachian Trail:
Complete Guide to the Appalachian Trail
Appalachian Trail Gear List
Appalachian Trail Gear Review

Sharing is caring!

Photo of author
About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

Download the
Lightweight Hiking Gear List

Add your name and email to download the Lightweight Hiking Gear List

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

63 thoughts on “AT Day 129 – I just hiked the Appalachian Trail ”

  1. Amazing! Congrats on your Triple Crown Shepherd, It’s a great accomplishment! This is the best travel blog I’ve ever seen. Thanks for the hard work. -Outland

    Reply
  2. Brad, congrats on your completion of the Triple Crown. What an amazing achievement. Thanks for sharing, it was a blast to follow you along the way!

    Reply
  3. Congrats. Best triple crown blog out there. Great pics. You really should put it in book form. I know. Big project. It’s been a pleasure following along and best of luck on your future adventures.

    Reply
  4. Congrats Brad on your Triple Crown accomplishment!! I’ve tuned in to your life since the PCT and have so much enjoyed your beautiful photography and writings. You’ve inspired me to get out and enjoy nature more.
    Looking forward to what your next adventure and challenge will be! :)

    Reply
  5. Congratulations, Brad! I enjoy your blog so much. Thank you for being an inspiration to so many of us. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you!

    Reply
  6. Congrats! I’ve been reading your blog since your PCT days. I check for updates frequently, and enjoy every post. You’re very inspirational. Keep living life to its fullest, and I can’t wait to read about your next adventure.

    Reply
  7. Congrats Brad, been following you since CDT. Love your blog. Put the Arizona Trail in your list someday 800 miles of beauty. All my best and congrats again, you are an inspiration !!!

    Reply
  8. Congratulations again Brad! Thank you so much for sharing with us your experience on the AT, including the harsh times! And: 3 times BIG bravo for the triple crowner! Looking forward to reading your next adventures, whereever it might be :-) CHEERS! .-D

    Reply
  9. Started reading your posts when you started the PCT and have read every one since. Let me step out of the shadow and congratulate you on your triple crown! Can’t wait to see what you’re up to next.

    Reply
  10. Congratulations on the Triple Crown. Everyday I looked forward to seeing your progress, your great pictures, and the great insight into what it takes to totally devote yourself to a goal. I’ve never followed anyone through a journey like this. Thank you so much and can’t wait till your next endevour.

    Reply
  11. Great accomplishment Brad….Triple Crown hiker!!! I love reading your blog, no matter where you go, but I do love the hiking trips the most! Now get some rest!! LOL

    Reply
  12. Extremely happy for you mr triple crowned!! Sadly I didn’t finish my PCT. Only 745 miles. Maybe I can finish in sections. Just moved to central Oregon and trying to build a house. To much to do to stay focused. If you’re in the central Oregon area look me up for a hike?.
    Bret fidler
    Bonedaddyhikes.com

    Reply
  13. Congratulations Shepard! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I’m so happy for you!!!! And continually inspired by you, too!

    Reply
  14. I’ve been following your adventures since you hiked the PCT. Then it was the beauties and challenges of the CDT. And now, the AT. Well done, Brad!!!!

    Reply
  15. Thanks for letting us all follow along. Especially appreciated your photos of frogs, turtles, mushrooms and the occasional wildflower. A beautiful journey!

    Reply
  16. You did it! Awright! Well done, mate! You’re a Triple Crowner!

    Like I said yesterday, I’d be proud to hike with you, Brad.

    Good on you, mate! Can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Mike M, Riverside, CA

    Reply
  17. Great news Brad. Who knew when we said goodbye to you in Sydney those years ago that you would have done all three major hikes and MORE. Yay!!!!!!!!!!!! You’re amazing.

    Reply

Leave a Comment