Photo escape: Appalachian Trail Hwy 64 to the NOC

AT at the Jump-up in NC

Whenever I’m going through a tough time, I run for the hills. Literally. Most every major life decision I’ve made happened over the course of a long walk. Nearly three years ago, going through a divorce, I headed off to the Appalachian Trail feeling the need to walk off some heartache. Spring hiking in the […]






Photo of the day: A steep approach to Albert Mountain

Stairs to Albert Mountain

On a solo Appalachian Trail backpacking trip, I came upon these stairs leading up…way up. I was approaching Albert Mountain in North Carolina, and the last third of a mile to the summit climbed nearly 500 feet. Part of the climb had stairs, while other parts were a rocky grab-the-tree-branches scramble. Sadly, this photo doesn’t […]






What’s in my pack: A pair of Holeys clogs

My Holeys hang out on the side of my pack. If I have a small load, I'll put them inside.

There’s a story behind my camp shoes. After backpacking for several days on the Appalachian Trail, my friend and I headed to Damascus, Virginia, also known as Trail Town USA, due to the convergence of four scenic trails: the Appalachian Trail, Trans-America National Bicycle Trail, The Iron Mountain Trail, and the Virginia Creeper Trail. Damascus […]






Cold Spring Shelter on the Appalachian Trail

A misty day at Cold Spring Shelter

The Appalachian Trail (A.T.) is supported by a series of shelters which provide a convenient alternative to pitching a tent. Some are nicer than others. Cold Spring is best described as “historic” and it has a good dose of character. The walls are embellished with years of graffiti, the roof has a few drips, and […]






Book review: Becoming Odyssa, Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail

Becoming Odyssa

  This is the first book review on The Active Explorer, and I couldn’t have had an easier one to write — I absolutely loved this book!  ~ Erika   I felt brave the first time I stepped onto the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) solo. Let’s face it — it’s different for a chick on the […]