Local man hikes over 2,000 miles across Appalachian Trail
SIDNEY (WBNG) -- A local man crossed a major goal off his bucket list after hiking over 2,000 miles along the Appalachian Trail.
Mike Jackson began his hike in March starting from Springer Mountain in Georgia. He hiked five months before reaching his final destination of Mount Katahdin in the state of Maine.
“I think about it and I’m amazed that I was able to do it,” said Jackson. “Starting out in Springer Mountain, Georgia the weather was topping out at 74 degrees and the nights were at 40 degrees. By the end of the first week I was 3 feet in snow.”
Jackson faced many harsh weather conditions on his journey, but he said the people he met and friendships he made along the way are what helped him keep going.
During his hike, he was joined by veterans hiking group “Warrior Expeditions,” an organization he now holds close to his heart.
Some of the other friendships Jackson made included his hiking partner, who goes by the name of “Papa Bear,” and a couple from Alaska that gave Jackson the special trail name of “Lightning.”
He said “Trail Angels” and “Trail Magic” also helped him get through this hike.
“There are people out there -- former hikers who do trail magic,” he said. “They’ll just pick a road and you cross the road and they’re cooking burgers, hotdogs, and giving out soda. Trail Angels leave coolers full of drinks out on the trails.”
As for what’s next, Jackson said he doesn’t plan on doing any long distance hikes in the near future, but he will continue his adventures on shorter trails.
He shared a piece of advice for people interested in hiking the Appalachian Trail -- pack light, have a great support system behind you, and enjoy the journey.