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15 Year Old Solo Hiker Youngest Thru-Hiker Of Appalachian Trail

David McNew, Getty Images

It has been a month of finding people and things who inspire me. First it was my BOW weekend. Last week it was Rachel Kowalsky who is hiking the larger mountains in Northern New England. Today it is Neva ‘Chipmunk’ Warren. Chipmunk is a 15 year old Florida girl and one of this year’s thu-hikers of the Appalachian Trail. (Humm, are you starting to notice a theme?)

Chipmunk is just about done with her hike, making her way to Northern Maine. The northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail is on Mount Katahdin’s Baxter Peak in Baxter Park. She decided she wanted to do this after a three mile hike with her family last fall. On this trip, her parents are not hiking with her, but they are never far away.  They have been trailing her in an RV and Chipmunk has GPS on her so her Mom and Dad know her location. I was reading in the Bangor Daily News, most nights she hikes to where the trail crosses a road and she sleeps with her parents in the camper. But she always has a pack with supplies and sleeping gear. (Be prepared)  But there have been at least 20 times during the long journey when she has had to stay in AT shelters with the rest of the hikers. Even WCSH 6, even went to visit Neva on the trail. I must say, Neva and her parents seem very cool.

It is almost done. Neva had to skip a section of the trail in Maine to reach Baxter Park before it closes on Oct. 15. So, she will backtrack to finish that section she missed, at that point then will she become the youngest solo thu-hiker to complete the 2,180-mile AT.




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