Port Resident Completes 2,000-Mile Plus Appalachian Trail In 163 Days

Elyse Belarge at Mount Katahdin, Baxter Peak in Maine. (Contributed photo)

Elyse Belarge, a Port Washington resident, completed the 2,194.3-mile Appalachian Trail on Aug. 17, 2022. The Appalachian Trail (AT) is a foot path that winds through the mountains of 14 states from Georgia to Maine. Belarge spent just over five months walking from Springer Mountain in Georgia to the terminus at Mount Katahdin in Maine, toting a 26-pound backpack.
According to data from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, it is estimated that only one in five aspiring thru-hikers—a term used for people who attempt to hike the entire trail in a 12-month period—are successful, with women representing just a third of thru-hikers.
Along the way, Belarge picked up the trail name Professor for the fun facts she shared with other hikers. Her favorite aspects of thru-hiking the AT include eating cookies for breakfast, meeting other wonderful thru-hikers, and spending so much time outdoors. Elyse’s least favorite part was putting on wet socks and shoes the morning after a rainy day.
Elyse documented her thru-hike on her Youtube Channel, Belarge at Large, where she discussed the struggles as well as the joys of thru-hiking.
—Submitted by Elyse Belarge