Alex Pellerin traversing the Appalachian Trail. (image credit: Alex Pellerin)

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is a marked hiking trail located in the Eastern United States. The trail itself stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia all the way to Mount Katahdin in Maine.
Over the years, thousands of hikers have attempted the thru-hike, but statistics show that only about 1 in 4 hikers actually hike to completion.

Alex Pellerin, a graduate of SNHU, Class of 2017, set off to hike the 2,189.9 miles through the Appalachian Trail. Leaving before, and missing graduation, Alex set off on her journey approximately five months ago. Accompanied by her mother, they hiked through 14 states in a matter of 155 days.

Alex and her mother started the hike on May 6 and officially ended on October 7. “I like to challenge myself,” said Pellerin. “Only 1 in 4 people who set out to thru hike the Appalachian Trail actually complete it, I wanted to be that one out of four.”

Before attempting the Appalachian Trail, Alex hiked all throughout the New Hampshire area. Included in this list is Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. “One of my favorite hikes was Mount Washington…where me and my mom were the first recorded mother/daughter team to summit [the mountain] in winter,” said Alex.

Alex and her mother. (image credit: Alex Pellerin)

Alex and her mother started each day of hiking by 7 a.m. at the latest and normally lasted until dark. On average they hiked about 16 to 20 miles a day. “It was a lot of hard work,” said Alex. “I would say the most challenging thing was the mental aspect because your body can literally go through anything and you adjust to the constant stress and difficult terrain you put it throughout. But it’s your mind you have to convince when you’re tired.”

Alex compared thru hiking to a job. “You wake up every day and do the miles. You’re your own motivator… because no one can hike the trail for you, you have to do that yourself.”

Alex Pellerin’s journey on the Appalachian Trail provided her with unforgettable memories and numerous takeaways. “Overall, I would say that life is meant to be lived and explored so go someplace you’ve always wanted to go, and do something you’ve always wanted to do.”

image credit: Alex Pellerin

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