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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, September 17, 2017 1:00 am


Trail-hike record topped by 9 days

Journal Gazette

Joe McConaughy, a 26-year-old Seattle native, broke the Appalachian Trail through-hike unsupported speed record, hiking the 2,189-mile trail in 45 days, 12 hours and 15 minutes from Georgia to Maine.

While there is no sanctioning body for AT records, McConaughy's record has been verified by the Fastest Known Time board member Peter Bakwin.

He smashed the unsupported record set in 2015 by Heather Anderson by nine days, lugging a 25-pound pack with clothes, sleeping bag, tent and water, also breaking the supported time by 10 hours set in 2016 by Karl Meltzer.

McConaughy's final 110.8-mile push to the summit of Mount Katahdin in Maine took him a sleepless 37 hours, finishing at 6:38 p.m. Aug. 31.

He also set the FKT for the 2,660-mile Pacific Crest Trail supported in 2014 and set his sights on the AT about 10 months ago.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the entity which maintains the AT, generally recommends hikers allot five to seven months to complete a through-hike.

Celebrate public lands

Admission to Indiana's state park properties and state forest recreation areas will be free on Sept. 30 for National Public Lands Day.

Volunteer opportunities are aplenty as National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands.

At Ouabache State Park, there will be invasive plant removals. For a full list of activities and volunteer opportunities, visit