Stories from the Trail

Allison Rahmlow: Why I Hike

Allison Rahmlow standing next to the Dover Oak in Pawling, New York.

I love hiking. However, there is something special about hiking the Appalachian Trail. I can’t describe it, but I can feel it. When hiking on the A.T., I become instantly connected to a supportive, passionate, and knowledgeable community that stretches from Georgia to Maine. Are there hot dogs around the corner? Maybe, but even if I do not come across hot dogs, the Trail continues to surprise me with every excursion. Whether you are a thru-hiker, section hiker, or day hiker, everyone might have a different reason why they’re hiking the A.T., but we’re all there to enjoy the Trail. I know it is cliché, but the Trail does provide and somehow anticipates your needs. The Trail lifts you up and provides comfort when you most need it. When you have been hiking all day and it feels like you can’t take another step, the shelter you have been looking for finally appears or you come across a road crossing with a shuttle to town waiting in the parking lot. There is something special about going on a hike on the A.T. and it continues to inspire hikers and adventure seekers alike every Spring as it did for Earl Shaffer and countless others.