Katelyn Janda (right), 17, of Purcellville and her sister Kimberly, 18, enjoy a day hike on the white-blazed Appalachian Trail in Clarke County near the Bear's Den.
Elizabeth Forsythe of Ashburn and her dog Bosley, a large schnoodle, enjoy a day hike on the Appalachian Trail in Clarke County with members of Happy Feet Hikers of Sterling. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
Hannah Claytor of Winchester paints white blazes on trees to mark the Appalachian Trail in Clarke County near the Bear’s Den. She completed the entire route from Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine, where she reached the summit July 24.
Each year, between two million and three million people walk along some or all of the Appalachian Trail, which stretches 2,184 miles between Mt. Katahdin in Maine and Springer Mountain in Georgia.
Melissa Loughridge, 16, of Alexandria enjoys a day hike and the Bear’s Den overlook on the Appalachian Trail in Clarke County. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the trail that travels between Georgia and Maine. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
Eighty-nine-year-old Earl Zook’s journey has seen many ups and downs, both geographically and physically, as he struggled with health problems. So far he has hiked sections along the southern part of the Appalachian Trail. For his final stretch, he will focus on New England. He leaves Friday for a five-day trip to Maine to hike Mt. Katahdin and plans to wrap up hiking by the end of September.
The Bear’s Den lodge in Clarke County is a hostel for hikers along the trail. (Photo by Jeff Taylor/The Winchester Star)
The idea was amazing — people in 14 states stringing together a thin piece of land with a footpath that would travel along...