Megahiking: The 12,500-mile All-in Trek

Sam Gardner plans to hike the North Country Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Appalachian Trail back-to-back-to-back-to-back.
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Sam Gardner plans to hike the North Country Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Appalachian Trail back-to-back-to-back-to-back.

Look out, Andrew Skurka: Someone's gunning for your job. Michigander Samuel Gardner just began the All-In Trek on Jan. 1—through hiking the North Country Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Appalachian Trail back-to-back-to-back-to-back (with plane flights in between to trailheads). In one year. That's 12,500 miles of hiking to make your calves explode with the thought.

Best of all, Gardner's just doing it to do it (though there's enough "overcoming adversity" and "achieve your dreams" talk on his site that I wouldn't be surprised to see a book in a few years, or at least a speaking career). He hopes to tackle the Triple Crown +1 in a year—a feat that will require an average pace of more than 34 miles a day. But he says his ultimate goal is simply to finish.

If he just completes the North Country Trail in winter, he'll be in rarified company—only one other person has pulled this off.

Follow Gardner's progress and learn more about his mission at his site.

—Ted Alvarez

via adventure journal