Hiking The Appalachian Trail...Barefoot

Two sisters tackle the AT, bootless
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Two sisters tackle the AT, bootless

Hiking the Appalachian Trail is already tough enough; people regularly go crazy and give themselves goofy trail names, etc. But can you imagine the type of insanity you might engender by hiking it barefoot?

Lucy and Susan Letcher can: the Two sisters from Maine tramped from Katahdin to Springer Mountain and back, two-thirds of the time without wearing shoes of any kind. What's worse is they actually liked it:

“We had decided to try hiking barefoot because it was the way we had always walked, since we were kids, in the mountains near our home on the coast of Maine. We loved the connection to the ground that barefoot hiking gave us. Every surface felt different underfoot: granite, shale, pine needles, thick mud.”

“It felt good.”

The sisters have chronicled their experience (which actually happened over a 15-month period in 2001) in The Barefoot Sisters Southbound, a new book they launched with an event at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

We've written about barefoot hiking before, and the positive response was surprisingly robust. What about you: Would you ever hike long-distance with naked feet?

—Ted Alvarez

Barefoot hikers return to Appalachian Trail for book tour (Herald-Mail)

via the Goat