If you’ve been following our series JPD on the MST, you already know that Jennifer Pharr Davis—renowned local thru-hiker and holder of the female speed record on the Appalachian Trail—set out a few months ago to hike the entire length of theMountains-to-Sea Trail in the company of her husband and two young children.
On Saturday, November 18, Pharr Davis arrived at Jockey’s Ridge State Park in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, completing a 1,175-mile journey that began atop Clingman’s Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park just over three months ago.
“I wanted to hike the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to reclaim something that I lost. Instead, it made me realize everything I had gained,” Davis said of her journey, which served to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Mountains to Sea Trail.
An end-to-end thru hike of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail is an impressive feat in and of itself, but Parr Davis took on an added challenge by making it a family affair. During the journey she was accompanied by her husband Brew, her 1-year-old son Gus and her 4-year-old daughter Charley.
“I still think of myself as a thru-hiker, I just assumed that I would have to wait until my children were much older before I could complete another long trail,” she said. “When the opportunity arose to partner with the Mountains-to-Sea Trail and promote the footpath for its 40th Anniversary, I was thrilled.”
You can learn more about the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of JPD’s MST journey here, and stay tuned for a personal essay from Jennifer about her experience in the January print issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine.